Is social media marketing different from digital marketing?

Is social media marketing different from digital marketing? Aug, 3 2023

Understanding the Marketing Spectrum

Alright, let's dive right in. First up, we have ourselves a bit of a dilemma. Social media marketing and digital marketing – are they really the two opposite ends of the spectrum we thought they were? Is that zebra of marketing we've been chasing not black and white, but really fifty shades of grey? (You got it, a cheeky reference right there, one of many more attempts at humor to come.)

In the olden days (and by 'olden', I mean when I had a bit less grey hair and a bit more hope), the concept of marketing was so much simpler. Whack your brand on some billboards, shake some hands, deal with people face-to-face, and you were all done. Fast forward to now, the lines have blurred faster than you can say 'social media influencer'. Digital marketing and social media marketing seem to be two terms used interchangeably by many, and that raises an eyebrow – or both if you're feeling particularly astounded. I remember when I first came across these terms, I used to mix them up all the time. I know, professional blogger Nathaniel not knowing his digital from his social media. Shocking, isn't it?

Navigating The Digital Marketing Universe

So what's digital marketing all about then? Interestingly, it's an over-arching term that encapsulates all marketing efforts that use, you guessed it right, a digital device or the internet. It includes every bit of your online marketing efforts. Do you have a website advertising your services? That's digital marketing. Do you send out emails to your subscribers? Yep, digital marketing too. The term encompasses a wider array of marketing aspects such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Pay-Per-Click, and more. You're all set if you've got your fingers in all these pies (and boy, do I wish we were actually talking about pies. I'd kill for a good apple crumble right now.)

Chartering into Social Media Marketing Territory

So if that's digital marketing, where does social media marketing fit in? Here's the kicker – it's a subset of digital marketing. Right, so it's like the baby brother then? Sort of, yes. Social media marketing mainly revolves around creating content for the various social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even YouTube) to promote your brand and increase visibility. The goal is to drive engagement and ultimately conversion. It's about using these platforms to engage with your audience, publish and distribute your content, and monitoring your success. Let's not forget about digging out those paid social media advertising opportunities either. But that's another rabbit hole altogether. Is it now clearer than my receding hairline that I absolutely refuse to acknowledge?

Breaking Down The Differences

Alright, so we've established what each of these terms mean. But you may still be scratching your head wondering about the differences. To break it down nice and easy, think about the stage where you can most likely reach your audience. Digital marketing is the entirety of your online presence, and social media marketing focuses on just that - social media platforms. All your Tweets, Pins, and Insta Stories sit under the social media marketing umbrella. Heck, even your carefully curated cat memes are part of your social media marketing strategy.

One other thing worth noting, and I speak from personal experience here, is that digital marketing requires you to be a bit of a jack of all trades. You need to have a handle on many different areas. With social media marketing, you can dive into interactions, conversations, relationship-building – it's like being at a virtual party, trying to woo your sassy potential clients with your wit and pixelated charm. Very engaging, isn’t it? It takes a special social media marketer to juggle all this, and oh boy, I've seen some pretty impressive juggling back in my circus days. Yes, you read that right. Circus days. But that’s a story for another day.

Combining Forces for Marketing Magic

Now, before you march off into the sunset thinking you've now got your marketing types all sorted, remember this: digital marketing and social media marketing are like two peas in a very high tech pod. They complement each other and are most powerful when strategically combined. My advice? Don't be a Digital Daniel or a Social Media Sally - be like me, a well-rounded Nathaniel. Remember, having one without the other is like having Vegemite without toast. Besides, combining them for your marketing strategy adds a little spice, and who doesn’t like some spice in their life, right?

So there you have it, folks. Digital marketing is the whole, social media marketing the part. Two separate concepts, yet intertwined. They aren't two opposing armies in battle, but rather, they're like Batman and Robin, fighting on the same side to achieve your marketing goals. My experience in both these areas has significantly shaped my understanding of the marketing world. It's complex and ever-changing, and has more layers than my Mum’s amazing lasagna. But once you understand the nuances, I guarantee it, you'll be navigating it as easily as I navigate to the fridge in the middle of the night. Happy marketing, everyone!