Is There a Difference Between Social Media and Digital Marketing?


Many business owners believe that social media is a completely different advertising concept from digital marketing. The truth is that social media is a part of digital marketing. There are also those that believe if they are active on social media, they are engaging in digital marketing. This is not entirely true because there is much more to digital marketing than social media.

If you are in the process of getting your business online, perhaps with the help of a digital transformation company like, it’s likely that you are still struggling to get your head around all of the terms used online. However, if you’re interested in finding out more about the differences between social media and digital marketing, read on.

Digital Marketing Defined

Digital marketing is using digital channels to promote products and services online. Internet marketing is one of the major components of this type of marketing. This includes:

  • SEM

  • Mobile markets

  • Social media

  • Email marketing

The other component of digital marketing is offline digital channels like SMS, radio, and television.

Social Media Defined

This has been the latest buzz for many years in Internet marketing. Social media platform success with sites like Twitter and Facebook has changed the way people shop, interact and socialize. The introduction of these platforms helps propel digital marketing into every part of the Internet.

There are some interesting facts regarding social media such as:

  • Over 130,000 new people join Twitter daily

  • There are over 500 million users currently on Facebook

  • Over 70% of marketers say that Facebook is a major site for lead generation

  • Over 20% of Americans are active on more than one social networking site every day.

  • 60% of Americans have a social media profile on at least one site.

The Benefits of Using Social Media as Part of Your Marketing

There are several benefits of incorporating social media to promote offline and online services and products. The most obvious benefit is the speed at which your message will spread. If your customer or fan base is very large, you can send a tweet or post on Facebook and within hours it can be shared with thousands of other people around the world. Social media can spread your promotions faster than traditional forms of media like television and radio.

Social media can also improve your SEO efforts. Major search engines like Google and Bing have started using social signals when ranking sites. So, the more defined your social media profiles are, the higher you will rank in the search results.

Finally, social media is a trend that is not going anywhere. No matter how long you may have avoided it, you cannot ignore social media and expect to stay updated on the latest marketing techniques and or remain connected with your followers.

Social Media or Digital Marketing?

It should be very clear by now that social media is a part of Internet marketing and Internet marketing is a component of digital marketing. When the two are compared, there are some distinct differences between them.

Digital marketing is much larger than online marketing. It can also be used to interact with people offline too. Social media has limits that do not go beyond the virtual walls of the Internet.

As a business owner or marketer, it is important to understand the differences so you can create strategies and choose tools that will help you with your campaigns.