Digital and Social Media Marketing (Differences Explained)

5 minute read

The terms digital marketing and social media marketing are often used interchangeably, but as businesses strive to establish a robust online presence, understanding the nuances between digital marketing techniques and social media marketing strategies becomes paramount for success.

Join us as we discuss these dynamic approaches, providing you with actionable insights to supercharge your online marketing game.

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing uses online channels to promote products, services, or brands.
Digital marketing uses online channels to promote products, services, or brands.

Digital marketing is the use of online channels to promote products, services, or brands.

The right digital marketing strategy can propel your business forward, increasing your sales and brand awareness with your target audience and existing and prospective customers in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago.

The beauty of digital marketing is its versatility, encompassing an array of strategies like:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Content marketing.
  • Social media advertising.
  • Email marketing and campaigns.

Perfect for businesses of all sizes, digital marketing is a game-changer in today’s world.

From startups aiming to grow their brand presence to established brands looking to maintain relevance, digital marketing offers endless possibilities that more traditional advertising methods just can’t offer.

Read More: What Is Freelance Digital Marketing? Learn everything you need to know about hiring a freelance digital marketer (and why fractional marketing is better).

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is a surefire way to propel your company’s brand into the spotlight.

Effective social media marketing is not just about posting engaging, quality content or accumulating likes; it’s about crafting meaningful connections and fostering brand loyalty in the digital sphere.

Whether you’re a brand-new startup with an eye on the latest trends or an established brand eager to appeal to new audiences and amplify your online presence, social media marketing is a versatile tool in your digital arsenal.

The most effective strategies often involve a mix of the following:

  • Engaging content creation.
  • Data analysis.
  • Strategic community building.
  • Influencer collaborations.
  • Targeted advertising.

Whether your business is new or firmly established, implementing a strategy that includes social media marketing dynamics can turn your online presence into an engaging conversation, ensuring that your brand stands out and stays top of mind across social media networks.

What’s the Difference Between Digital and Social Media Marketing Strategies?

Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing use different strategies for success.
Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing use different strategies for success.

1. Scope and Channels

Digital Marketing encompasses a broad range of online strategies including SEO, content marketing, email campaigns, and display advertising.

Social Media Marketing focuses specifically on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn, and Pinterest,  and leveraging them for brand promotion and audience engagement.

2. Objectives

Digital Marketing aims for an extensive online presence, visibility on search engines, and a holistic approach to reaching the target audience through various digital channels.

Social Media Marketing prioritizes building brand awareness, fostering community engagement, and creating a personalized brand experience on social platforms.

3. Content Types

Digital Marketing involves diverse content types such as blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, and interactive content.

Social Media Marketing emphasizes visually appealing and shareable content, including images, videos, polls, and stories tailored to each platform’s unique features.

4. Engagement and Interaction

Understanding digital vs social media marketing is vital for crafting an effective strategy.
Understanding digital vs social media marketing is vital for crafting an effective strategy.

Digital Marketing focuses on user interaction through website visits, clicks, and conversions, often occurring outside of social platforms.

Social Media Marketing prioritizes direct engagement, comments, likes, shares, and interactions within the social ecosystem.

5. Metrics and Analytics

Digital Marketing measures metrics like website traffic, conversion rates, bounce rates, and keyword rankings.

Social Media Marketing evaluates metrics such as engagement rates, follower growth, reach, and social shares specific to each platform.

Understanding these distinctions is crucial for your business to tailor its marketing strategies effectively and combine elements of both for a comprehensive and impactful online presence.

Is Digital Marketing or Social Media Marketing Better?

Determining whether Digital Marketing or Social Media Marketing holds the upper hand often boils down to the unique goals and characteristics of your business.

  • Digital marketing provides a broad spectrum of online strategies like SEO, content marketing, and email marketing campaigns, and provides a comprehensive approach for businesses aiming for a diverse online presence.
  • Social Media Marketing embraces social media platforms to foster and increase brand awareness and brand recognition among ideal customers. This avenue shines for businesses prioritizing community interaction and those looking to leverage the influential dynamics of platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and X.

Understanding these two types of digital marketing efforts will guide your business toward the digital marketing strategy that aligns most effectively with your brand identity and business objectives, ensuring a tailored approach that maximizes impact in the digital landscape.

How is Social Media Marketing Changing?

Social media is constantly evolving, so much so that it can be hard for businesses to keep up.

What was once primarily used to connect with loved ones and friends has morphed into a platform that businesses use to expand their reach.

This is accomplished through both paid and organic content:

Many small businesses now rely on social media to grow their customer base. It’s important to be aware of changes that occur on social media platforms.

That way, your paid social and organic social media marketing plans can be adapted accordingly (especially since a presence on social media can make or break your business).

Read More: SEO Affiliate Marketing. Discover what affiliate marketing is and get top marketing tips to drive conversions.

5 Ways to Remain Relevant as Platforms Shift

Remaining flexible with your social media marketing strategy is what will keep your business afloat as social media platforms change.

There are several ways to ensure that your business’s social strategy can keep up with the times:

1. Leverage Quality Over Quantity

Most businesses will get caught up in the number of times they post on their social media channels in a given week, but consistent content won’t mean much if the quality is lacking.

Viewers will not be engaged in what your business or personal brand image is saying if it doesn’t grab their attention.

As you build followers in your online community and continue to deliver quality content, you’ll see an increase in people viewing, sharing links, and liking your posts.

Increased engagement and brand exposure on social media websites won’t just build your brand, but it will also drive traffic back to your site and grow your customer base.

2. Diversify Your Content

Post a wide variety of organic content to pique the interest of your audience.

Completing an audit of your social media platforms will help you organize and measure which content is most successful on each platform.

Knowing what to post and where to post it will help you diversify your organic content on different social media platforms.

3. Follow the Latest Content Trends

Following trends can get your business in front of more eyes.
Following trends can get your business in front of more eyes.

Keeping up with the latest trends on social media will show your audience that you can adapt to fit current best practices.

Content trends may be short-lived, but they’re a great and inexpensive way to get your business name out to the masses, so spend time on your social media marketing plan each day, regularly monitor trending hashtags, and keep an eye on what competitors are doing.

This will keep you in the loop when it comes to changes on social platforms.

4. Implement Social Media Branding

Social media branding makes it easy to become more relevant and increase sales.

Before establishing your brand on social media, you should identify your company’s:

  • Brand identity.
  • Target audience.
  • Content needs.

Identifying these important aspects first will keep your content on brand.

5. Don’t Stick to One Platform

When it comes to social media and digital marketing campaigns, you don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket.

While your business doesn’t need to be on every social platform, having a presence on more than one is a good idea.

Two of the best social media platforms for businesses are Instagram and Facebook:

  • Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform and is preferred by businesses because of its targeted digital advertising platform.
  • Instagram is the best platform for businesses to showcase their products and interact with existing customers and potential customers in real-time.

Posting paid and organic content on multiple online platforms will benefit your business by:

  • Improving search engine rankings.
  • Providing a better customer experience.
  • Reaching a wider audience.
  • Increasing sales.
  • Keeping up with competitors.

Making sure your business has a solid plan will keep you ahead of the game.

How Dia Creative Can Help

Dia Creative specializes in both digital and social media marketing and offers plans for both that can drive your business growth online.

1. SEO Optimization

Leveraging Dia’s Creative’s expertise in search engine optimization, businesses can enhance their visibility on search engines, driving organic traffic and improving search rankings.

Strategy Planning

2. Content Marketing Excellence

Our digital marketing plans focus on content creation, including blog posts, articles, and multimedia content, tailored to engage target audiences, generate leads, and drive conversions.

3. Strategic Social Media Campaigns

Our team specializes in creating targeted and cost-effective social media campaigns across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn, and more.

By partnering with Dia Creative, business owners gain access to our team of experts who are dedicated to navigating the complexities of digital and other social media marketing campaigns.

Want to learn more about how to utilize SEO for social media growth? Check out this video:

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Digital and Social Media Marketing?

Digital marketing involves leveraging online channels such as search engines, social media, email, and websites to promote products, services, or brands. Social media marketing specifically focuses on utilizing social media platforms and services like Facebook, Instagram, X, and LinkedIn to engage with the target audience, build brand awareness, and foster community interactions.

What Does a Digital Marketer Do?

A digital marketer is responsible for developing and implementing online marketing strategies to achieve business goals by understanding target audiences, optimizing websites for search engines, creating and curating compelling content, managing social media accounts, and running online advertising campaigns.


The dynamic duo of digital and social media marketing represents an indispensable force in today’s business landscape.

Whether it’s the comprehensive reach of digital marketing or the personalized engagement fostered by social media, businesses stand to gain immensely by embracing the strengths of each approach.

Dia Creative is here to support you as you embark on your digital and social media marketing journey.

Ready to get your marketing started? Reach out to Dia Creative today!


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