Social Advertising vs Social Media Marketing

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What is the difference between social advertising and social media marketing? Which would be more beneficial for your business? Read on to find out more.

What is the difference between Social Advertising and Social Media Marketing?

The key difference is that social advertising is paid social media advertising and social media marketing is growing a following through quality content (posts and tweets).

Social advertising means that you advertise on a social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter to get more likes or followers. On Twitter and Facebook, you can also have sponsored posts, which means that your tweet or post will appear in people’s newsfeed.

Social Media marketing is encouraging or growing a following more organically, by producing quality content. This can be done for free, but what it will cost you is time. It also takes certain skills to grow a social media following, so you may want to outsource your content to an expert. Just remember to change your passwords frequently and have official contracts in place if you decide to do this.

Social Advertising vs Social Media Marketing

When considering social advertising vs social media marketing for your business, there are advantages of both.

Advantages of Social Advertising

  • You can specifically target your audience based on age, gender and interests on a Facebook Ad.
  • Geotargeting – targeting users who are Geographically based in your area.
  • Social Advertising will generate an increase in followers and you can pay per click or per ‘like’.
  • It is a relatively low cost way of marketing your business.
  • Detailed analysis and Reporting.
  • The ability to ‘pause’ and ‘restart’ according to your needs and your budget.
  • Exponential growth if new fans share your content.
  • Increases brand awareness.

Social Advertising vs Social Media Marketing

Advantages of Social Media Marketing

  • Free if you can write and share compelling content yourself.
  • Social Media ‘Listening’ allows you to engage with current and new customers needs.
  • The compound effect occurs when your status, post or tweet is shared e.g. shared by fans, then friends of fans, then friends of friends, increasing your following.
  • Can be used for customer service.
  • Can be used to develop positive relationships with other businesses.
  • Easy to measure through analytics.
  • Increases brand awareness.

Which should I choose? Social Advertising or Social Media Marketing?

There is no right or wrong answer on how your should use social media, because that all depends on your business. I highly recommend that you have a social media strategy plan put in place. Your initial social media decisions would come down to your budget.

I would highly recommend that you combine both social advertising and social media marketing to get the best results.

However, if you don’t have any budget to outlay on social media, my recommendation is to start with some good content and social media marketing. As your business grows and your marketing budget increases, add social advertising in the mix further down the line.

For more on this top, read my article on Organic Social Media vs Paid Social Media Campaigns.

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