Jul 29 | Categories: Paid Social

Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Ads: How They’re Different and Why it Matters for Your Business Success

social media heart concept

Social media marketing and social media advertising can work very well together, but they are not the same. We know, it seems like they must be the same. But trust us, knowing the difference between marketing and advertising on social media is important.

What is a social media advertisement? What is social media marketing? Are they the same? Are they different? Why is social media advertising so important? So many questions!

Don’t worry, our digital marketing team here at Metric Marketing is here to answer all of your questions, starting with the difference between social media marketing vs. social media ads.

What Is Social Media, Anyway?

The term social media seems to get thrown around a lot. Your business probably uses a phrase like “follow us on social media on your website and/or newsletters. But if it doesn’t, don’t worry. This article will explain why social media advertising is important and how our social media team can get you all set up.

Social media is a general term for all of the platforms used to communicate with other people on said platform. Social media can either be websites or applications and are oftentimes both.

Social media lets you connect with other people and/or businesses. Through social media, you create an online network for sharing life events, entertainment, sales, and pretty much anything you can think of that can be posted online.

Some of today’s most popular social media platforms include:

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

There are many other social media platforms whose names you probably recognize, like Reddit, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Quora, and Pinterest.

At their core, social media platforms are a tool for communication and growing a social network based on connection.

Social Media: A Brief Step Back in Time

Social media marketing and advertising have become increasingly popular in the last decade or so, but it all really started back in the late 1990s.

In fact, if you really wanted to step back in history, you might argue that social media has always existed, from communicating via hieroglyphics to papyrus letters to WWII propaganda. But for our purposes, let’s focus our attention on what we really want to talk about: digital social media.

SixDegrees.com jumpstarted digital social media networks with its establishment in 1997. Transforming the field—in fact, almost inventing it—with social network attributes such as:

  • Profile pages
  • An in-site message center
  • A list of connections with other profiles

Since SixDegrees.com’s start, social media on digital platforms has evolved to capture the attention of our modern, technology-driven world. In fact, nowadays, having a social media profile is almost expected for most businesses.

Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Ads

Now that we understand the basic concept of social media, let’s discuss the differences between marketing on social media and placing advertisements on social media.

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is the activity you generate on social media platforms. You are practicing social media marketing whenever you engage with audience members for the purpose of building your brand. As you build you brand on social media through your marketing strategy, the goal is to then direct your social media audience towards your website, increasing your site traffic and ultimately your sales.

What Is Social Media Advertising?

A social media advertisement, on the other hand, is any paid action performed on social media. Social media advertisement campaigns are paid campaigns meant to boost your online presence or promote a specific product, service, or deal for a predetermined amount of time and for an exact dollar amount.

What’s the Difference?

One of the main differences between social media marketing and social media advertising is if you pay for your posts to be seen. The other quintessential difference between the two terms is found in the answer to the question “What you are trying to accomplish?”

We’ll discuss the details in depth a little further down, but the main idea is this: Social media marketing focuses on brand identity and establishing trust with your audience.

A social media ad is meant to rapidly reach a target audience, typically with the goal of converting qualified leads into customers (but there are other goals, too).

Why Do Social Media Marketing?

Like it does with organic marketing, social media marketing takes time. Social media marketing’s purpose is to:

  • Build brand identity
  • Increase audience awareness and engagement through consistency
  • Build trust with your audience

Social media marketing is an effective way to establish yourself as a business on social media platforms. Its main goal is to build your community to gain customer trust over time.

Now let’s dive into some of the details of social media marketing.

Build Your Brand Identity With Social Media Marketing

Every business has a brand identity. Think of your brand not just as a logo or single visual element; rather, your brand is your business’s personality, the message that you want to give your audience. Your brand tells your audience who you are.

Social media is one of the best tools for establishing brand identity. By posting consistently in the tone and visual style of your brand, you create an entire profile that communicates who you are to active social media users.

Some ways to increase brand awareness through marketing via social media include:

  • Developing a posting schedule to ensure you post consistently
  • other images that show who you are as a business
  • Interacting using a specific tone of voice that reflects your brand

Building your brand is an important part of gaining your audience’s trust. When your audience recognizes your brand, they associate you with emotions and reactions from past experiences with you. As you continue to grow your brand online, you can establish credibility for yourself. Oftentimes, this leads to your audience trusting you because they recognize your business and brand.

Audience Awareness and Engagement

Social media poses a unique opportunity to connect directly with individual audience members. With social media marketing, you can communicate via instant/direct messaging, commenting on posts, and responding to posts from your audience members. Social media is a great way to talk to and with your audience.

When you get a message, comment, or tag, it’s important to respond to your customers. Doing so shows that you’re willing to help. And attending to the immediate needs that people express over social media also helps you build trust and customer loyalty.

Building Trust

Overall, social media marketing is a great way to build trust with your customers. People like consistency because they recognize you and know what to expect. Trust must be earned, and you can do so by consistently engaging on social media. Over time, you will build up trust and gain the credibility you need to ensure strong customer relationships.

Why Advertise on Social Media?

Social media advertising is a whole different task. If social media marketing is a marathon, then a social media advertisement campaign is more like a sprint.

The goal of social media ads is to reach a target audience to drive traffic and qualified leads to your website/landing pages. A social media advertisement is meant to promote a definite, individual advertisement campaign rather than build your brand. However, the overlap comes when the design for your advertisements on social media need to match your brand.

What Are PPC Advertisements on Social Media?

Social media advertisement means paying for advertisements to be viewed on social media through a method called paid ads. Paid advertising is also called PPC, which stands for pay-per-click advertising.

PPC is a digital marketing strategy meant to get your advertisements in front of the right people. As the same suggests, you only pay for the advertisement when somebody clicks on your social media ad.

PPC advertising takes a lot of research and strategy. At Metric Marketing, we base all of our marketing decisions on the data we collect. When conducting PPC ad campaigns on social media, we will:

  1. Craft buyer personas that best exemplify who your target audience is. Hint: Buyer personas are used all across digital marketing and can be applied to strategies outside of social media ads.
  2. Research what social media platform(s) your target audience is most active on.
  3. Create the actual advertisement that your audience will view.
  4. Run your campaign on the appropriate social media platform(s).
  5. Create ad-specific landing pages so that every time someone clicks your advertisement, they’re directed to a predetermined landing page that will ultimately lead to you accomplishing a marketing goal.
  6. Update you on ad performance.
  7. Work with you to continually improve your PPC ad campaigns.

Social media ads are a great way to boost audience awareness and reach your target audience. We should note that it’s important to have an established website and brand identity before you begin advertising on social media.

Even if your business is small or new, having a sturdy foundation to base your paid social ads on is crucial for your future business success.

How Can Companies Use Social Media to Advertise?

Many social media platforms have paid advertising options that you can use to boost social media posts and conduct paid advertising campaigns. Our social media marketing and advertising team can help you do this. Or, if you prefer, we can do it all for you!

But for some initial insight, let’s talk about the basics of how to advertise on social media.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads Manager is a great place to start with social media advertising. With Facebook Ads Manager, you have the option to:

  • Select campaign parameters/goals
  • Choose your audience
  • Select your own budget per day or ad lifetime
  • Adjust campaigns as they run
  • Run multiple ads simultaneously
  • Place ads across Facebook’s different apps

TikTok Ads

If your main audience is on TikTok, you can create an account on TikTok Ads Manager. Very similar to the Facebook Ads Manager, you select parameters, budget, and target audience. Then you just upload your ad copy and submit!

LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

For more professional outreach, LinkedIn Campaign Manager is a great way to upload advertisements to reach other businesses and people in your industry. Again, this management system works similarly to the previously listed ad managers. Each of these relies on you knowing who your target audience is to reach the right people.

You can use these ad managers to upload content and run ads, such as social media stories marketing.

A Social Media Advertisement or Social Media Marketing: Which Is Best for My  Company?

At Metric Marketing, we believe that having a balance of both social media marketing and social media advertising is the best way to promote your business.

Choosing between focusing your attention on organic social media or investing part of your budget into social media PPC is all about pinpointing what your goals are right now. Using both will optimize your social media strategy, leading your overall positive health for your overarching digital marketing. The question is not necessarily which to choose first, but rather when to run social media advertisement. If you’re a new business looking to reach a new target audience, investing in a social media advertisement campaign may be the best decision

For the best social media practices, evaluate where your business’s health is at right now, and act accordingly. Establishing a strong social media marketing strategy—in addition to having well-researched social media ads—makes for a well-rounded social media presence.

Digital Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Social media marketing is a subsection of an overall digital marketing strategy. Digital marketing is any intentional effort undertaken to reach targeted audiences through a mix of digital platforms, including websites, search engines, apps, and more.

Social media marketing is used to support your broader digital marketing strategy. The main difference is that digital marketing is the umbrella term of a full-on marketing plan, and social media marketing contributes to the accomplishments of your digital marketing goals.

Metric Marketing’s digital marketing strategies have a proven track record of success. We can help your company gain relevance online, increase traffic, and ultimately increase your return on investment (ROI). Whatever your digital marketing goals are, our team of experts is here to help you achieve them!

Contact Metric Marketing Social Media Professionals Today

Take your digital marketing to the next level by incorporating a strong social media marketing strategy. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. Social media for your business can offer you a whole new realm of possibilities for enhancing and optimizing your digital marketing.Our team of experts can work with you to create your social media strategy and continue your social media growth through marketing and advertisements. We’re here to help with all of your social media and business advertising needs.

Give us a call at (734) 404-8714 or fill out an online contact form today. We look forward to working with you to build your online presence!

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