Difference between Social Marketing and Social Media Marketing

Marketing is often the key to the success of a business or an endeavor. We accept without argument that different marketing strategies provide widely varying results. Most marketers will find it difficult to identify their ideal customers and devise methods to get their message across to them. Marketers, especially those dealing with online platforms, need to be aware of and adapt to new trends, languages, and tools. The small percentage of businesses that haven't yet jumped on the social media marketing bandwagon are missing out on a huge chunk of the market.

While expanding their customer base is a common objective for most companies, some use a technique called "social marketing" to try to make a positive impact on the world by spreading useful information or influencing societal norms. As a result, the distinction between social media marketing and social marketing is often blurred.

What is Social Marketing?

Creating awareness of a social problem through the application of marketing principles and techniques in order to change the attitudes and actions of individuals for the welfare of society is one example. Marketing campaigns that raise awareness about the risks of engaging in risky behaviors like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, littering, or recycling are all examples of social marketing.

These campaigns aim to change people's habits over the long term and are well−planned and structured. While anybody is free to engage in social marketing, businesses, governments, and other organizations often do so.

Social marketing employs the same tactics as traditional advertising. These include the following −

  • Product − This effect is a shift in one's perspective or conduct.

  • Price − This is the price that must be paid to change said behavior.

  • Place − To achieve success, it is necessary to target this group.

  • Promotion − Posters along the highway to discourage drunk driving are only one example of the widespread use of advertising to influence consumer behavior.

  • Policy − The goal of any social marketing campaign should be to inspire people to change their behavior positively.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is the process of contacting prospective clients using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. With the rise of the internet, social media has gone from being seen as helpful to essential for any business with ambitions of reaching a wider audience.

Using social media as promotional resources may help your business in many ways −

  • Creating and growing brand awareness − Making your brand known worldwide is possible with the help of social media's widespread reach and effective tools.

  • Increasing traffic − There is a considerable chance that potential customers may reach out to a company after seeing an advertisement for a product or service on social media.

  • Promotion of products and services − Businesses may more easily promote their products, which in turn attracts a larger pool of prospective buyers.

  • Building conversions − With the help of social media marketing, businesses may more quickly transfer prospects from the awareness stage to the conversion stage.

  • Improving interaction and communication with audiences − Promoting two−way contact and involvement with target demographics is a key function of social media marketing.

Social media marketing might greatly aid a business' expansion, but it also runs the danger of failing. Companies must, therefore, adhere to these five essential tenets −

  • Before diving headfirst into social media marketing, businesses should have a strategy. Company goals and the characteristics of the most effective social media platforms should inform this decision. It's possible, for instance, that one company's brand does well on Instagram but poorly on YouTube, and vice versa.

  • Many consumers' first exposure to a company may be traced back to the information it has distributed online. With this in mind, it's important for businesses to stick to their established aesthetic.

  • Customers will always find new ways to get in touch with a company, whether it's through a remark on an article, a direct text message, or a shared social media post. Maintaining communication with the above−mentioned people is essential.

  • Businesses should make use of the information provided by the various social media platforms when assessing the success of their social media marketing strategies for their brands.

  • Businesses may increase their consumer base and appeal to a certain demographic by placing advertisements on social media.

Differences: Social Marketing and Social Media Marketing

The following table highlights how Social Marketing is different from Social Media Marketing −

Characteristics Social Marketing Social Media Marketing
Definition The term "social marketing" is used to describe the process of bringing attention to a social issue via the use of marketing principles and strategies to alter consumer behavior for the greater good. Social media marketing is promoting a business or brand on social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to get new clients.
Purpose Social marketing aims to persuade consumers to adopt behaviors that are good for society as a whole. Social media marketing hopes to increase brand recognition and sales by reaching out to a wider audience.
Approach Social marketing is predicated on identifying one's target audience and catering one's marketing efforts to that audience specifically. Getting people interested in a brand−new product is the main goal of social media advertising.
Scope Targeting a specific area, niche market, or behavioral trend is a hallmark of social marketing. By leveraging these platforms, businesses hope to attract a more varied customer base.
Measure of success An essential indicator of the success of social marketing initiatives is the degree to which they affect target audiences on an individual level. Metrics like sales, clicks, and views are used to evaluate the efficacy of social media marketing campaigns.


The phrase "social marketing" is used to describe the process of bringing attention to a social issue via the use of marketing principles and strategies with the aim of altering consumer behavior for the greater good. Conversely, social media marketing is the process of promoting a product or service to a target audience using social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Although social marketing and social media marketing are separate disciplines that use different methods to reach their respective audiences, they are equally important.

Updated on: 29-Nov-2022

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