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What’s the difference between digital marketing and social media?

Businesses who prefer to handle their own digital marketing might focus most of their efforts on social media. That makes sense—it’s where you’re likely to be speaking directly to many of your customers, and it’s highly accessible.

But tackling social media cannot and will not constitute your whole digital marketing strategy. Digital and social media marketing are closely related but not the same thing. Let’s take a closer look at why that is.


What’s the difference between digital marketing and social media?

This can be roughly simplified by a straightforward categorical imperative: all social media is digital marketing, but not all digital marketing is social media (as far as businesses go, at least).

Digital marketing is a much broader range of different channels and techniques than simply posting on social media, and so the latter is simply a single part of the former.

Don’t get us wrong, social media marketing can be highly effective, and it’s all but an essential tool to incorporate into your marketing approach. Indeed, any business that doesn’t give itself some way to communicate with customers through social media channels is as good as invisible to many of them.

Recent statistics suggest that the billions of people now using social media average over two hours a day on various platforms.

But there should be so much more going on with your digital marketing than just social media.


Why do I need more than social media?

Social media marketing is great, but it has a limited scope that will eventually inhibit your reach. Unless you’re lucky enough to have one of your creations go viral, a lot of social media marketing stays right there on social media.

Those of your audience who don’t use social media—or don’t know of your presence on the platforms you use—aren’t going to be affected by your efforts. You need other digital marketing techniques mixed into your approach so that these people can be reached, have their data captured, and be coaxed into the funnel.

Additionally, social media platforms are nowhere near as predictable or controllable as other places to host your content. Just look at the ongoing Twitter saga, the platform having been taken over and suddenly forced into new directions and down paths that the previous management hadn’t showed signs of taking.

While none of this has made Twitter unusable as a digital marketing platform, it does highlight just how quickly things can change, and how the norms of any platform can be changed on a whim. If these changes cause an exodus of its userbase—a userbase you rely on for the bulk of your marketing—you can find yourself with a big loss to your reach that you’ll be scrambling to fill.

Like with many things in life, you simply shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket.

You still need to focus on honing your SEO, investigate PPC options, maintain newsletters, and carry out the myriad other tasks that mean your digital marketing is always visible and can reach as wide an audience as possible.


What if I really need social media?

All businesses are different, and some will find that the nature of their product, service, or their audience leads them to naturally focus their efforts on social media where they’re most lucrative. This is fine, but you must still be sure that social media isn’t all you use.

Remember that the overwhelming majority of internet traffic comprised of people looking for goods and businesses will be going through search engines (and let’s face it, almost entirely through Google).

There is some capacity to search on social media, and indeed some people may turn to a platform like Facebook to search for local businesses. But these searches are limited to the platforms themselves, and are essentially neutered versions of a search engine’s ability to aggregate content from across the entire internet, powered by many more sophisticated algorithms and with a broader scope.

This is why you still need SEO even if you’re a wizard on your socials; a big, wide internet outside of even the largest social media platforms.


Expert digital and social media marketing

We know it can be overwhelming: you’ve just got your head around social media marketing, and now there’s a hundred other terms and techniques to know.

Fortunately, we know digital marketing inside and out, and we can work with you to help you achieve your goals. With exponential increases in revenue, richer leads, and a more successful business, find out why so many trust us with their online reputations.

To perfect your SEO in Liverpool, Manchester, London, and beyond, contact us and tell us about your business today.

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