To decide which one your business needs, let’s start by defining what each really means.

Social media marketing has to do with all marketing strategy and tactics that take place on a social media platform. Some of the more common social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Linkedin and Twitter. On these channels, you can strategically position your brand in front of your audience.

Digital marketing, on the other hand, is wider. Digital marketing covers social media and several other online channels that can be used to share your brand’s message with an audience. Social media marketing is included in digital marketing along with search engine marketing, mobile marketing, website design, website optimization, and email marketing.

Digital marketing or social media marketing, which one does your business need? Or do you need both of them? This is answered by where your ideal audience turns to first when they are searching for a product similar to yours and where they spend most of their time online.

If you are in the real estate business then most likely your customers will turn to search engines when they are in need of such a service. Your business then would benefit from investing in search engine marketing such as pay per click ads and Google display ads.

An entrepreneur that has a coffee small business would find a better opportunity in investing in Instagram for example so they can visually demonstrate the whole culture and lifestyle associated with coffee drinking.

Some businesses will find it beneficial to be on several channels, implementing a comprehensive strategy. Although a potential customer will use search engines to search for your business they might not be ready to purchase from you as yet. This is where other channels such as blogging on your website and getting them to join your email list become important. They already expressed an interest so putting in place a tactic such as a free offer for them to download gives you the opportunity to continue a conversation with them until they are ready to purchase from you.

How to get started with digital marketing or social media marketing?

  • Clearly understand the profile of the person you are trying to reach.
  • Research to find out where they are most likely spending time online.
  • Assess & invest in the platforms your ideal client turn to when they need to purchase products or service similar to yours.
  • Focus on one channel at a time especially if you are a DIYer. If you are using an agency or freelancer then it would be easier for them to create a multi-channel strategy for you.
  • Develop an understanding of what type of content your ideal audience is interested in an start giving this to them.
  • Do not oversell your product or service. Provide value instead of selling.
  • Know what content does best on what platform. Facebook, for example, gives higher priority to video over text posts.
Comment below on which channel performs the best for your small business or brand.

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