Digital Marketing vs Social Media Marketing?

Table of Contents

Importance of Marketing in Today’s Digital Age

In today’s digital age, digital marketing and social media marketing is very important for raising brand awareness and growth of any business. People prefer online shopping nowadays and even if they don’t shop online, they check the products online before going to physical stores to buy them. It shows that it is very important for brands to have an online presence. 

Digital marketing enables businesses to inform the audience about their products or services in a proper manner with all the pricing, availability, and size options. People rely on the website and social media reviews of any product to decide on purchasing it. 

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the use of online channels to inform people about your business and advertise your products or services. To stand out in highly competitive marketing, digital marketers should execute marketing strategies on multiple channels. 

Various Digital Marketing Channels

digital marketing channels

There are multiple ways to promote a brand via digital marketing such as:

  • Websites
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Pay-Per-Click campaigns
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

Goals of Digital Marketing

Goals of digital marketing include raising brand awareness, generating leads,increasing website traffic, and conversion rates. Digital marketing also aims to improve SEO rankings and customer engagement. Other digital marketing goals are increasing the number of sales and overall revenue, building relationships with customers, and enhancing customer loyalty.

Digital Marketing Tools

One of the best features of digital marketing is that it enables you to measure the performance of your campaigns. This way, you can easily observe which strategy is giving you the desired result. If a campaign or strategy is not working up to the mark, you can identify it using analytics and change it accordingly.

digital marketing tools

This is not possible if you use traditional marketing methods. Different digital marketing tools are:

  • Google Analytics
  • SEO tools e.g. Semrush, Moz
  • WordPress
  • Google Ads
  • Hubspot
  • Mailchimp
  • Content creation tools

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing means using social media platforms to engage with the audience. It involves creating and sharing content that reflects your business and aligns perfectly with people’s interests or needs. 

Some of the ways to advertise your business on these platforms are:

  • Collaborating with influencers
  • Creating content
  • Running paid ads on social media

Popular Social Media Platforms

When you hear the word ‘social media’, what comes to your mind? Most probably Facebook and Instagram, right? Facebook and Instagram are the most popular social media platforms where you can grab the audience’s attention very easily. A few other social media platforms are Twitter, Pinterest, Tik tok, LinkedIn, etc. 

popular social media marketing platforms

Goals of Social Media Marketing

The main goal of social media marketing is to raise brand awareness and promote products or services. You can use social media marketing to build a community around your brand and win customers’ loyalty, 

Social Media Marketing Tools

It is very important to analyze the potential of each social media platform before running campaigns. For example, Facebook and Instagram are more likely to generate leads for fashion-related content. 

social media marketing tools

There are different tools for measuring the performance of your  social media marketing efforts such as:

  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • Facebook Ads Manager
  • Facebook Insights
  • Sprout Social
  • Brandwatch
  • Twitter Analytics

Difference Between Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is one of the types of digital marketing. Even though these two terms are used interchangeably, there are still some differences between the two. 

difference between digital marketing and social media

Digital skills and knowledge are necessary for creating a social media strategy. Social media marketing focuses solely on the use of social media platforms for marketing purposes. Although digital marketing involves social media marketing, it goes beyond that too. It includes a few other ways to engage with audiences and boost traffic such as PPC, SEO, email marketing, affiliate marketing, etc. 

Target Audience

The target audience of digital marketing is wide as it reaches those people too who do not have a social media account. For example, if a student has deactivated his social media accounts during exam season or for taking a break, you can still reach him through email or SMS marketing. This way, you will target a much wider range of audience. 

On the other hand, social media marketing allows you to reach only those people who are using it. Your audience is divided across different platforms and you have to analyze audience behavior on each platform before distributing your content. 

In other words, audience engagement in digital marketing strategy depends on people reading emails, visiting websites, or going through blog posts. In social media marketing, engagement depends on the audience visiting social media platforms.  

Communication Style

The communication style on social media is informal and conversational. Brands’ representatives or social media managers engage in two-way communication with customers. They interact with potential customers through comments or direct messages.

In digital marketing, the communication style depends on the platform or marketing strategy used. However, as compared to communication via social media, the digital marketing communication style is more formal and structured. 

Content format

Social media marketers tend to focus more on content that is easily shareable across all social media platforms and brings more customer engagement. The social media content includes polls, stories, short videos, or pictures.

A digital marketing strategy includes diverse forms of content that are more detailed and informative. These include blog posts, newsletters, podcasts, webinars, etc. 

Measurement and Analytics

Social media marketing and digital marketing use different tools to measure and analyze the results of different campaigns. Social media tools allow marketers to measure impressions, likes, comments, and shares. This enables them to analyze the performance of different campaigns across different social media platforms. 

Digital Marketing includes a wide range of metrics for measuring the results of digital campaigns. Digital marketers rely on tools like Adobe Analytics or Google Analytics to track website traffic, bounce rates, SEO results, and more. Digital marketing measurement tools give a detailed viewpoint on marketing efforts.  

The internet is flooded with information related to marketing and sometimes it seems too much to understand. There might be times when you are too busy in managing other aspects of your business that you do not have time to choose which digital marketing strategy to choose. That’s when digital marketing experts come in with their services. 

Digital marketing expert like Nawazish Tawab can help you in creating customized digital marketing strategies for your business. You can subscribe to his YouTube channel to learn digital marketing and learn how to earn the highest return on investment and other marketing tactics. 

Advantages of Digital Marketing

Each type of marketing comes with certain pros and cons. Some advantages of digital marketing are:

  1. It enables the brands to target new markets and cost-effectively reach the international market.
  2. It allows businesses to target customers based on their demographics, gender, age, or interests.
  3. Digital marketers provide quantifiable results of all the campaigns and marketing efforts. 
  4. In a digital marketing strategy, there are multiple other ways besides social media to increase brand visibility.

Advantages of Social Media Marketing

The advantages of social media marketing are:

  1. Billions of people use social media daily and it offers a vast audience reach and new leads.
  2. It enables marketers to run paid advertisements.
  3. Social media marketing allows brands to develop a consistent image of a brand across all platforms and build a community around it. 
  4. LinkedIn, a social media platform, allows free posting of organic content. 
  5. A huge percentage of people shop online after seeing its advertisement on social media. So social media platforms are a great way to increase website traffic and boost sales. 
  6. Businesses can increase the conversion rate by retargeting and capturing customers if they have left your website.

Digital Marketing Vs Social Media Marketing: How They Work Together

No doubt, there are some differences between digital marketing and social media marketing. But they still come under the same umbrella and are components of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. 

Social media and digital marketing strategies generate the best results when they are implemented together. The techniques of both kinds of marketing are mixed to increase the efficiency of marketing efforts. 

Multiple ways in which social media and digital marketing can work together are:

Content Distribution

The content that is created for digital marketing campaigns can also be reshared on social media platforms to reach a wider audience. 

Integrated Campaign Strategies

Social media platforms are an essential component of digital marketing strategies. These platforms play a vital role in driving traffic to websites and landing pages resulting in lead generation and conversions. 

Audience Engagement and Interaction

Businesses can combine digital marketing techniques such as email marketing with social media marketing methods to provide a consistent brand experience for all customers.

Cross-promotion and Collaboration

Businesses can leverage both types of marketing for creating cross-promotion or collaboration. This will increase brand recognition and visibility. It will also result in fruitful partnerships for both kinds of marketing. 


Both social media marketing and digital marketing can contribute to the success and growth of your business. Determining which marketing strategy suits your business better depends on the budget and goals. Social media is the best way to engage in frequent conversations with customers, reach more social media users, and increase brand awareness on a single channel. Digital marketing aims to increase the overall online presence of a brand and to expand reach through multiple types of advertisements. 

Social media marketing is just a component of digital marketing. Digital marketing involves a range of techniques to reach the target audience and gives you more flexibility. 


What is the difference between digital marketing and social media marketing?

Social media marketing involves sharing content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik tok, etc to raise brand awareness and generate sales. Digital marketing includes a few other marketing tactics also such as email marketing, PPC, SEO, mobile marketing, etc.

Which course is better: digital marketing or social media marketing?

Both types of marketing can significantly contribute to a brand’s success depending on the goals of the brand. It also depends on your target audience. If you want to target youth, social media marketing is the best way to do so. If you want to target a bit older generation who are more into reading emails or browsing websites, digital marketing is a better choice. 

What is the difference between digital marketing and a social media manager?

A digital marketing manager is responsible for establishing and maintaining the online presence of a brand using different digital marketing strategies. They design marketing campaigns by searching industry trends, creating relevant content, and running the campaigns across all mediums. Whereas a social media manager manages and distributes a brand’s content on all social media platforms. They respond to customers’ queries about the brand on social media and contact relevant influencers for collaborations.


Picture of Nawazish Tawab
Nawazish Tawab

Google and Meta Certified Digital Marketing Expert

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