Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing by Ramit Sethi

Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing: Everything To Know

Digital marketing and social media marketing often get tangled up in conversation, with many using the terms as if they’re one and the same. However, this mix-up can lead to confusion, especially for those just dipping their toes into the world of marketing. 

Social media marketing is all about leveraging platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to engage with your audience and promote your brand. Digital marketing, however, casts a wider net, embracing all digital channels and electronic devices to get your business noticed. 

Drawing from over two decades of experience in digital marketing, I’m here to discuss the intricacies of both concepts, offering clarity and insight to distinguish between the two effectively in this guide.

Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing by Ramit Sethi

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Table of Contents

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing, also known as online marketing, is a comprehensive approach that taps into the power of the internet and digital devices to spread your promotional messages far and wide. This strategy isn’t limited to your social media feed; it also includes email blasts, the art of SEO, the influence of thought leaders, content that captivates, and the precision of PPC ads, among others. 

Whether it’s through an iPhone, laptop, or any device connected to the web, digital marketing is about making sure your business grabs attention in the digital world.

If you’re curious about diving deeper into this field and turning it into your career, check out How to become a Digital Marketer | everything to know in 2024 for a comprehensive guide that’ll set you on the right path.

What Are the Benefits of Digital Marketing?

Global Reach

First off, the global nature of the internet erases geographical boundaries, giving your brand the potential to reach an audience you might never have accessed otherwise. It’s like unlocking a door to a room filled with potential customers from all corners of the globe.

Measurable Results

What’s more, the digital world thrives on data, allowing you to track and measure the success of your marketing campaigns with precision. From website visits to click-through rates, every action is quantifiable, providing you with a clear picture of what strategies are resonating with your audience. This isn’t just about numbers; it’s about insights that guide your next move, ensuring your marketing budget is spent on tactics that actually move the needle.


Perhaps one of the most compelling advantages of digital marketing is its cost-effectiveness. Compared to the hefty price tags often associated with traditional marketing avenues, digital campaigns can be tailored to fit any budget, big or small. This level of accessibility doesn’t just level the playing field; it allows for agility, enabling you to adapt and pivot your strategy based on real-time feedback and results.

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is all about leveraging social media platforms to boost your business’s presence, forge connections with your customers, and drive more traffic to your website. This strategy involves regularly posting engaging content on your business’s social profiles, actively engaging with your target audience, and utilizing paid advertising to enhance visibility and reach.

What Are the Benefits of Social Media Marketing?

The advantages of social media marketing are vast and varied, reflecting the platform’s global reach and engagement potential. 

Firstly, with billions navigating these platforms daily, establishing a social media presence significantly amplifies your brand awareness, essentially putting your business on the global map. Moreover, social media facilitates direct engagement with your audience, fostering stronger customer relationships through real-time interactions.

 Additionally, social media’s targeted advertising capabilities allow you to pinpoint and reach specific demographics, enhancing lead generation and sales opportunities with precision.

Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing: What’s the Difference?

1. Different Marketing Channels

Social media marketing unfolds solely within the realm of platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter), providing a focused environment for brand engagement. Digital marketing, however, casts a broader net, utilizing not just social media but also search engines, emails, apps, and websites among other channels. This expansive reach means digital marketing campaigns generally have the potential to touch a wider audience compared to those confined to social media.

2. Cost Differences

Jumping into social media marketing is financially accessible, with free profile setups and content posting. These platforms also offer complimentary analytics tools for tracking performance, keeping overall costs low, even when opting for paid ads. On the flip side, digital marketing, embracing a wider array of channels and tools, demands a more diverse skill set, tools, and resources, which can accumulate higher costs, though it remains more budget-friendly compared to traditional marketing methods.

3. Engage Differently With Your Target Audience

Social media stands out for its direct, dynamic interaction with audiences, allowing for immediate responses to queries, comments, and feedback. Digital marketing enhances this interaction with additional strategies, like crafting in-depth content on websites to demonstrate expertise or utilizing personalized email campaigns for sales and support, offering a multifaceted approach to customer engagement.

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Social Media Marketing Vs Digital Marketing: Which One Is Better for Your Business?

Choosing between social media marketing and a broader digital marketing approach hinges on your business objectives and the specific goals you aim to achieve.

A social media marketing strategy is ideal if these are your main goals:

  • Brand reach and awareness on social media
  • Timely and more personalized customer care
  • Fostering a relationship with your target audience

A digital marketing strategy would be ideal if these are your main goals:

  • Reaching your target audience across different internet platforms
  • Boosting your business’s online presence
  • Don’t want to limit your marketing efforts to social media platforms


What Is the difference between digital marketing and social media marketing?

Digital marketing or online marketing is the use of the internet and digital platforms to promote your business. It includes content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing, and more. Social media marketing is an aspect of digital marketing that focuses solely on the use of social media.


Is social marketing part of digital marketing?

Yes, digital marketing is a broader term that includes social media marketing.


What does a social media marketer do?

A social media marketer is responsible for creating a social media strategy as well as creating, publishing, and managing content across different social media networks.


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