Social Media Marketing vs Social Media Advertising

If you are new to the world of digital marketing, then quite often, you will come across two kinds of brand and business promotion approaches:

  • Social media marketing
  • Social media advertising

For the newbie, both the approaches sound about the same because they play out on social media.

But they are vastly different especially when it comes to the financial resources allocated to them.

For starters,

  • Social media marketing is about managing the day-to-day posting of content on a business’ social media pages. This is usually done to create brand awareness and in rare instances get leads. Your posts are visible to your page followers.
  • Social media advertising on the other hand is running paid ads on social media to reach a wide and more qualified audience in the hopes of driving website traffic or getting leads. Since there is money behind this effort, the assessment of the ad campaign is done using the revenue it drew.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each approach.

Pros of social media marketing

  • It is cost-effective, as the posting is free but you might have to pay for making the creative and content.
  • It helps you create a two-way communication, ask questions and invite feedback directly from your followers.
  • It helps you tell stories to increase audience engagement.
  • It helps create a brand identity and community of like-minded people who share similar interests.

Cons of social media marketing

  • It can be a very time-consuming process to establish your brand.
  • You cannot be sure if all your followers can see your posts or not.
  • It’s not far reaching and you might have to spend a lot of time building a community.
  • It requires constant engagement and a need to be active 24/7.

Pros of social media advertising

  • You can reach a wider audience who is more likely to engage with the ad.
  • You can target audiences based on interest, intent and demographics.
  • You can use paid social ads to reinforce your organic content.
  • It is fast and the results can be seen immediately.
  • It connects directly with your business goals - revenue, leads, website traffic or app installs.
  • Measuring returns is easy and straightforward.

Cons of paid social media

  • If your industry is hypercompetitive, lower ad budgets might not get you returns.
  • You need a dedicated team of professionals to manage this. That can become cost intensive.
  • The algorithms behind social media advertising keep evolving. You might be caught blindsided with an update.
  • Understanding the performance metrics can get complicated.
  • If you aren’t on top of your ad spend, you might end up burning a large pile of money for advertising.

The Final Verdict

Neither of the two approaches is a one-stop solution and you will have to use both in sync to get the desired results.

However, which one to prioritize depends on your industry, your budget, current stage of business and available resources.

The lack of a skilled team shouldn’t become a hurdle when you are using Mediaqart to design and run ad campaigns. The platform is easy to use and with automation, you only need to select audience, location and make ad creatives. Ad bidding and optimization is taken care of by the platform.

If you are interested in seeing a demo for this, register here.

We also offer a larger suite of services where we take care of all your digital advertising activities right from strategy to execution and reporting. If this interests you, let us know here.