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Digital Marketing vs Social Media Marketing

Digital Marketing vs Social Media Marketing is a source of confusion for many. The use of marketing to increase revenue and sales is a primitive business strategy. Digital Marketing is a vast domain with numerous subfields. 

For many people, the two terms represent a single phenomenon which is not true. Before pointing out the differences between digital marketing and social media marketing, it is important to know

What is Digital Marketing?

It is the use of digital platforms and technology to promote a business or product. It is an advancement of the traditional marketing method also known as offline or traditional marketing. Today, digital marketing forms the basis of a company’s success and brand building. It is an umbrella term that includes Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social Media Marketing, and many more.

Digital Marketing is one of the most in-demand services in the modern world. The people offering the service are called Digital Marketers. Digital Marketers are the Tech Gurus who have mastered the ins and outs of different digital platforms. The domain requires a mix of services such as Graphic Designing, Photography, Video Editing, and Content Writing.

Digital Marketing

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing is a single niche of the broad Digital Marketing Domain. Social Media Marketing is defined as marketing through social media networks such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tiktok, and YouTube. The key difference between the two is the use of platforms

With the increasing influence and use of social media, marketing through the platforms has proved to be highly effective. Social media sites are easy to use and can help in broader reach at a low cost. In 2021 an estimated 4.26 Billion people were using social media which is expected to reach 6 billion by 2027.

Digital Marketing vs Social Media Marketing

The differences between social media marketing and digital marketing are solid and vital. These form the basis of two different niches where the experts are called social media marketers and digital marketers respectively. The 5 differences between social media marketing and digital marketing are:

1. Social Media Marketing is a subdomain of Digital Marketing.

Digital Marketing is an umbrella term that includes several subdomains including social media marketing. Social media marketing is a small part of the whole digital marketing arena. Digital marketing uses technology and digital platforms for promoting a business or product. Social media marketing, on the other hand, focuses on the use of social media networks only. 

2. Use of Devices vs Apps

Digital marketing uses digital devices such as laptops, smartphones, TV, or electric billboards. Contrastingly, social media marketing is based on social media apps i.e. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WhatsApp, YouTube, and TikTok.

Digital marketing
social media marketing

3. Use of Advertisement

The use of Ads in marketing is crucial. Traditional Ads are ads on TV, radio broadcasts, and cold calling. Digital marketing uses traditional ads as part of its marketing strategies while social media advertisement is only limited to social networking sites. 

4. Online vs Offline Marketing

Digital marketing is not only limited to only platforms. Offline Digital Marketing is done through billboard, TV, and radio ads or cold calls and In-App ads. Social media marketing, however, is only limited to online platforms and marketing strategies.

5. Personal Networks vs Global Reach

Social media marketing focuses on personal networks including friends, families, and peers. Digital Marketing does not follow a similar pattern rather it aims at a global reach. With the use of Digital devices and platforms, digital marketing does not depend on personal networks.


Digital marketing vs social media marketing is a commonly confused concept. Digital Marketing is the parent category while social media marketing focuses on social networking sites only. The key differences between digital marketing and social media marketing are the use of social media apps vs digital devices. The two fields also diverge in the use of advertisements and personal networks.

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