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Difference Between Social Marketing and Social Media Marketing

Marketing is often tied to business or project success. While we cannot dispute this, different marketing strategies often yield varied results. For most marketers, identifying the target market and devising ways to convey the intended message may not be easy. With online platforms, especially, there is a need for marketers to familiarise themselves with new trends, lingo and even new apps. Currently, almost every business engages in social media marketing, with the few that have not picked up these trends missing out on many prospects. 

While many businesses market to gain more prospects, others engage in marketing to change various aspects of society or convey essential messages, often referred to as social marketing. What many may not know, however, is that there is a distinct difference between social marketing and social media marketing.  

What does Social Marketing mean?

This is the use of marketing principles and strategies to build awareness about an issue in society to change people’s attitudes and behaviours for the better of society. For instance, campaigns based on the importance of protected sex, the importance of recycling, the health effects of smoking and the dangers of driving under influence are examples of social marketing. 

These campaigns are long term and carefully planned to change human behaviour. 

Although anyone can engage in social marketing, they are mostly implemented by non-profit organizations, governments, professional associations and corporations. 

Social marketing applies the same principles as commercial marketing. These include:

  • Product- Here, the product is a shift in attitude or behaviour change. 
  • Price- This is the cost of changing said behaviour.
  • Place- This is the target population that needs to be reached.
  • Promotion- To change human behaviour, advertising strategies such as placing banners by the roadside to discourage drunk driving are often used. 
  • Policy- Any social marketing must have the intent to promote positive behavioural changes. 

What is Social Media Marketing?

This is the use of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to reach prospective consumers. With the internet age, social media has not only been deemed beneficial but also essential for any business looking to reach a wider market. 

Some of the benefits of using social media as marketing channels include;

  • Creating and growing brand awareness- Social media is an effective and fast medium to make your brand known globally
  • Increasing traffic- When people see a product or service on social media, chances are prospects will reach out to get to know about the products and services being offered. 
  • Promotion of products and services- Businesses can easily promote their products and services, leading to more prospects. 
  • Building conversions- Social media marketing helps businesses move prospects from the awareness stage to the conversion stage. 
  • Improving interaction and communication with audiences- Social media marketing provides interactive platforms between brand and consumers 

While social media marketing can help catapult the growth of businesses, it can also fail. As such, brands ought to implement the five core pillars, namely;

  • Strategy- Before diving into the social media marketing space, businesses should define their strategy. This should be based on the business goal as well as the social media channels ideal for the business. For instance, while one brand may succeed on Instagram, another will thrive on YouTube and fail on Instagram.  
  • Content- People are often attracted to a brand based on the content put out. Brands should also be consistent in this area.  
  • Engagement- Prospects will always find ways of interaction with a brand by commenting on posts, messaging directly and even sharing posts. It is important to maintain interaction with these persons. 
  • Analytics- Businesses should use the information provided by social media platforms to gauge how a brand’s social media marketing is performing. 
  • Advertising- To reach a wider audience, brands should implement social ads and tailor their target audience. 

Similarities between Social marketing and Social media marketing

  • Both aim to convey information to the target audience

Differences between Social marketing and Social media marketing

Definition

Social marketing refers to the use of marketing principles and strategies to build awareness about an issue in society to change people’s attitudes and behaviours for the better of society. On the other hand, social media marketing refers to the use of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to reach prospective consumers. 

Purpose

While social marketing aims at changing people’s attitudes and behaviours for the better of  society, social media marketing aims at creating brand awareness and increasing conversions by reaching a wider market. 

Approach

While social marketing focuses on understanding the target audience then tailoring the campaign to them, social media marketing focuses on introducing a new product to an audience. 

Scope

Social marketing is very focused on a specific location, niche or certain behaviour. On the other hand, social media marketing focuses on a broader market.  

Measure of success

While the success of social marketing is the impact of the campaign on individuals, the success of social media marketing is based on analytics such as sales made, clicks and views. 

Social Marketing vs. Social media marketing: Comparison Table

Summary of Social marketing vs. Social media marketing

Social marketing refers to the use of marketing principles and strategies to build awareness about an issue in society to change people’s attitudes and behaviours for the better of society. On the other hand, social media marketing refers to the use of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to reach prospective consumers. While social marketing and social media marketing may have different purposes and approaches, both remain important aspects of conveying information to the target audience. 


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References :


[0]Eric Anderson. Social Media Marketing: Game Theory and the Emergence of Collaboration. Springer Science & Business Media, 2010.https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=6eu6WhP6Er0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=social+media+marketing&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwif2MWr7dvsAhVQj3IEHUJPC_kQ6AEwAHoECAEQAg#v=onepage&q=social%20media%20marketing&f=false

[1]Basil M & Basil D. Social Marketing in Action: Cases from Around the World. Springer, 2019. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=BRaaDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA429&dq=Difference+between+social+marketing+and+social+media+marketing&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjvrs_v7NvsAhX0oXIEHYSKD_cQ6AEwAnoECAgQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20social%20marketing%20and%20social%20media%20marketing&f=false

[2]Kotler P & Lee N. Social Marketing: Influencing Behaviors for Good. SAGE Publications, 2011.https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=NCoCYp-ZcR8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=Difference+between+social+marketing+and+social+media+marketing&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjvrs_v7NvsAhX0oXIEHYSKD_cQ6AEwBnoECAQQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20social%20marketing%20and%20social%20media%20marketing&f=false

[3]Image credit: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2020/05/18/16/17/social-media-5187243_1280.png

[4]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Societal_Marketing_1.jpg

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