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Difference Between Social Media and Digital Marketing

The primary challenge for any business venture, no matter how large or small is to get its products and services into the hands of as many customers as possible. How the business achieves this goal is informed by market research, polls, and surveys. But there’s one big problem with market research, especially surveys and polls, and that is people lie most of the time. This is where Internet comes to the picture. With the advancement of technology and the widespread adoption of internet, studying people’s online behavior has become much easier than before. Especially with the increasing use of social media, we can now look at what people actually do online.

That being said, the world of digital media is changing at a phenomenal pace. And social media has changed the way not just how we access our information, but how we interact and communicate with each other on a global scale. Social media has deeply integrated itself into our daily lives via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. However, social media not only just made life easier for individuals, but businesses are also leveraging the power of social media to attract customers through digital platforms including both online and offline channels. But social media and digital marketing are never to confuse with one another because they are different terminologies.


Social Media

Social media is more than what it seems; it’s like a platform that not only connects people from all over the world but also serves digital marketing purposes for businesses. Social media refers to web-based communication tools such as websites and applications through which people can do more than just communicate. They can share content like photos, videos and documents online quickly and efficiently. Social media is a means of interacting with people in which they create, share or exchange information through different social media channels. Facebook is the world’s most popular social network with millions of registered users who stay connected with each other via a common platform. Simply put, social media is the media that allows us to be social or get social online.


Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is one of many ways to promote your business through digital platforms including both internet based and offline channels. Digital technology has opened new channels for selling products, all thanks to the digital revolution. Digital technology and social media adoption has put the customer in charge, creating a fundamental shift in the dynamics of marketing. The fundamental principle of digital marketing is that the customer itself is the starting and the finishing point for all digital activities. The idea is to set up blogs, websites and social profiles and start publishing related content about your business, its products and services, in order to set up a legitimate portfolio of your business. Digital marketing is about spreading the word of your business and converting leads into potential customers.


Difference between Social Media and Digital Marketing

Meaning of Social Media and Digital Marketing

Social media is an evolving and unique platform that allows individuals like us to connect to other people within a bounded system. Social media represents the technologies or applications that people use to develop and maintain their social networking sites. This involves posting and sharing multimedia information like text, images, audio, video, and location-based services, gaming, and much more.

Digital marketing, on the other hand, is a means to promote your business through digital platforms including both internet based and offline channels. Digital marketing is about creating awareness or promoting a brand or product via digital channels.


Social media is like a platform that not only connects people from all over the world but also serves digital marketing purposes for businesses. However, social media is just one component of digital marketing which allows businesses or individuals to promote their products and services using social media sites as their platform.

Digital marketing, on the other hand, is not limited to just social media marketing; it also involves using information gathered through digital marketing efforts and integrating it into traditional marketing efforts in order to improve the effectiveness of a marketing campaign.


The reach of social media is limited as it only relies on different social media channels to establish a relationship with customers. It mainly functions online via the internet and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Digital marketing, on the other hand, leverages both online channels and offline marketing channels to promote a brand, which allows individuals and businesses to reach a much wider audience. Online channels include SEO, website marketing, mobile marketing, PPC campaigns, email campaigns, affiliate marketing, etc. Offline digital marketing includes marketing through offline channels such as billboards, SMS marketing, radio and television, etc.

Social Media vs. Digital Marketing: Comparison Chart


Summary of Social Media vs. Digital Marketing

To sum it all up, social media is a component of digital marketing that allows individuals and businesses to target a specific audience using social

media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube. Social media is all about content and how you share it with the world. Digital marketing, on the other hand, is a whole different story. It’s about gathering information digital marketing and integrate it into traditional marketing efforts in order to improve the effectiveness of a marketing campaign.


Sagar Khillar

Sagar Khillar is a prolific content/article/blog writer working as a Senior Content Developer/Writer in a reputed client services firm based in India. He has that urge to research on versatile topics and develop high-quality content to make it the best read. Thanks to his passion for writing, he has over 7 years of professional experience in writing and editing services across a wide variety of print and electronic platforms.

Outside his professional life, Sagar loves to connect with people from different cultures and origin. You can say he is curious by nature. He believes everyone is a learning experience and it brings a certain excitement, kind of a curiosity to keep going. It may feel silly at first, but it loosens you up after a while and makes it easier for you to start conversations with total strangers – that’s what he said."

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References :

[0]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/de/illustrations/digitales-marketing-1780161/

[1]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/de/vectors/soziale-medien-welt-kommunikation-1405601/

[2]Ryan, Damian and Calvin Jones. Understanding Digital Marketing. London, United Kingdom: Kogan Page, 2012. Print

[3]Dodson, Ian. The Art of Digital Marketing. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2016. Print

[4]Albarran, Alan B. The Social Media Industries. Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2013. Print

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