What is the Difference between Social Media Marketing and Social Media Management?

December 23, 2019 | 11 minutes to read


While the two phrases are often used interchangeably, social media management and social media marketing are distinctly different. Knowing how to tell the two apart is incredibly important as each strategy is developed around different goals – lead generation and sales vs. brand awareness and customer relationships. Our WSI team takes care of social media campaigns and works to ensure that each campaign follows the predetermined structure to garner the desired results.

Social media can be a valuable asset to any company, be it growing or established. Understanding how to best strategize to meet company goals and expectations while managing other aspects of the business can be intimidating. Learning the difference between social media management and social media marketing, while partnering with an experienced Social Media Coordinator, can turn a stressful project into a fruitful endeavor.

How to Get Your Brand Message Out with Social Media Marketing Ads

If you want to get straight into Social Media Management: click here

A type of digital marketing that focuses on the utilization of display ads on social media platforms to generate leads and sales. Campaigns like Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and LinkedIn ads allow one to target their ideal demographic on their platforms with display ads. YouTube can also be an important source of ad exposure because they preface nearly every video on the site with one or two ads. Nearly all social media platforms have a sort of advertising, be it through text, image, or video. Simply put, social media marketing is the branch of marketing that focuses on generating leads and sales through the utilization of social media platforms.

For specialized assistance with setting up your social media marketing campaign or asking additional questions about how to generate additional leads through online marketing to help grow your business. Feel free to contact us at (707) 843-3714 or through this form.

The Pros and Cons of Social Media Marketing

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Social Media Marketing on Facebook


Specific demographic targeting

    • Data tracked by Facebook allows for marketers to get incredibly specific with their demographic targeting within ads on the platform. Be it age, gender, specific interests, language, or location each of these segments can be targeted.


    • Advertising within Facebook offers incredible flexibility with designing your budget. You can select any value of marketing budget which makes Facebook ads an effective social media marketing tool for any size business.

Wide Audience

    • Facebook’s user base is massive and utilizing ads on Facebook gives you access to target your audience within that base. Combining the aforementioned demographic targeting with Facebook’s wide audience is a recipe for social media success!


Potential for Lower Quality Leads

    • Through Facebook, the potential to find valuable leads increases but so too does the potential to find leads that may not quite be up to snuff. Having a system in place to aid in the qualification or disqualification of leads can help make sure that you’re reaping the maximum benefits for your newfound leads.

Time Intensive

    • This is going to be a common theme across the majority of social media platforms because social media can be valuable but it takes work. Being up to date on the development in trends and what users are responding to helps you build a better campaign that is more effective in reaching your target market.

Text Alone Won’t Cut It

    • When it comes to advertising on Facebook, text just isn’t good enough. After all, your ad needs to be attention-grabbing enough to pull a user’s eyes off of their feed and onto your ad. Keeping a creative eye can help your ads maintain its effectiveness.


Social Media Marketing on Instagram


Higher Engagement

    • Through its interacting and engaging nature, Instagram leads to higher engagement between your brand and target audience. Instagram is a naturally higher engagement platform through the utilization of hashtags and shares to encourage community building.


    • Instagram is owned by Facebook, meaning that the specific demographic targeting that is capable on Facebook is also capable on Instagram. This is potentially magnified through the usage of hashtags to target potential customers based on social media trends emphasized by hashtags.

Simplicity for E-Commerce

    • Instagram, as a platform, is very e-commerce friendly. Businesses are able to directly post images of products that include links and pricing to product pages on its websites. This creates an ease of flow during the buying process that can help consumers make a purchase decision.


Potentially Limited Audience

    • Once consumers find what they enjoy following on Instagram, they commonly use the search functionality less (especially for businesses). This means that, over time, the use of sponsored content and ads within Instagram is almost an inevitability if a business wishes to continue growing its presence.

Time Intensive

    • Once again, the time commit to effectively construct and orchestrate marketing on Instagram is an incredibly large investment that may seem daunting. Much like Facebook, trends come and go at a moment’s notice on Instagram and being able to capitalize on them in a timely manner is key to success.

Text Ads Out of Place

    • Instagram is, first-and-foremost, a platform for sharing images. If a business tries to run primarily text-based ads on Instagram, it is not likely to have a large impact. It’s important to keep in mind the preferred medium for the platform, and not stray too far beyond that.


Social Media Marketing on LinkedIn


Ad Structure Similar to Google Ads

    • LinkedIn’s ads utilize a similar structure to that of Google Ads. This means that businesses that had previously run campaigns on Google Ads may have some initial insight on what may perform best for its business. Additionally, some of the Google Ads may be able to be repurposed for LinkedIn.

Higher Quality Leads

    • LinkedIn is a network of business professionals where it is easy to ensure that your business is getting in front of the right potential customers; when compared to other platforms where there may be many more unknowns regarding users.


    • Similar to both Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn also boasts the ability to target very specific demographics and groups of users in terms of advertising. The ability to micro target will only continue to develop in terms of preciseness and specificity as marketing, in general, continues to become increasingly data driven.


Higher CPCs

    • While LinkedIn is capable of netting higher quality leads, this comes at an increased cost-per-click (CPC) meaning that each click will cost more in return for each lead.

Not Ideal for E-Commerce

    • Product advertising has an incredibly limited scope within LinkedIn, as it is not the primary focus of the platform. The vast majority of advertising promotes services, due to this LinkedIn is less than ideal for e-commerce.

Limited Learning Resources

    • While similar in structure to AdWords, there are limited resources for learning how to effectively construct, implement, and manage a marketing campaign on LinkedIn. This creates a notable barrier to entry to utilize LinkedIn ads to its maximum effectiveness.


Social Media Marketing on Twitter


Large Audience

    • Most social media platforms have gigantic user bases and Twitter is no exception. The difference is that Twitter has the quickest ability to go viral and be seen by millions of users. Twitter serves as the modern day example of ‘the ripple effect’, and this mass amplification of messages serves as one of the biggest draws to a business using the platform.

Keyword Targeting

    • If hashtags were important on Instagram, they are integral on Twitter. Businesses are able to follow the trends of Twitter through ‘trending hashtags’ which enables ultra-precise targeting through keywords.

Global Reach

    • The vast majority of Twitter’s user base is outside of the United States. Combine this with the amplification potential of Twitter and there is a recipe for a business to exponentially grow its following and business internationally through the utilization of Twitter.



    • Twitter operates at an incredibly high speed with updates nearly by the second. Due to this, it is increasingly likely that the speed Twitter operates at could be overwhelming and increase the chance that an opportunity to jump on a growing trend is missed.

User Perception

    • The majority of users on Twitter view sponsored, or promoted, posts as spam and likely skip over it when scrolling through their feeds. This creates an interesting conundrum as businesses try to design its ads to be attention grabbing and entertaining. Businesses need to also consider user perceptions in the sense that its brand may not ‘fit in’ on the platform and need to be ready to react should that be the case.

Time Intensive

    • It would be difficult to say which platform is the most time-intensive as it is a trait most of them share. However, Twitter requires some of the most attention paid to it because of the aforementioned speed activities take place on the site in order to adjust ads based on developing trends.


Social Media Marketing on YouTube


Large Audience

    • The amount of users on YouTube is gargantuan. Being the go-to video hosting site, there is a lot of potential for businesses to reach out and find new customers through advertising on the site.

Users Time on-Site

    • When compared to other sites, a user’s session duration on YouTube runs for a much longer period of time. As opposed to viewing a few images or reading an article on a different platform, users are typically watching multiple videos on YouTube at a wide variety of runtimes. The draw here is that businesses can get in front of those users multiple times through advertising on YouTube.


    • When an ad runs on YouTube, either before or during a video, users have the option to ‘skip’ the ad after the first 5 seconds. If this happens, then a business is not charged for running the ad. Only if the ad is viewed for its duration is the business charged.


Less Precise Targeting

    • Targeting ads at your desired audience is more difficult on YouTube views as you cannot always tell who is going to watch a video, nor if your ad is going to play on that video. This makes marketing on YouTube akin to casting a wide net when fishing when compared to the highly specific microtargeting of other platforms.


    • Within the platform, ads are minimally customizable in regard to 3rd party tagging. This can complicate the process of tracking impressions, conversions, and click-through rate (CTR) for advertisements.

Limited Context

    • Advertisers have limited control over the videos that their ads appear in front of. While YouTube does have standards of conduct and remove offending videos, there is still the potential for ads to be shown in front of completely irrelevant videos which has a low chance to get clicks.

Marketing on social media platforms can be tricky. Users are fickle and what may catch their attention and go viral one day can be a complete afterthought the next day. The Internet isn’t something that can be conquered, but rather something that can be worked with daily. By maintaining relevance, being creative, and providing value, a business can maximize its earnings via social media marketing.

Building Brand Awareness through Social Media Management

Social Media Management focuses on content generation and sharing on social media platforms. Social media management also includes scheduling for content posting, analyzing the reach and impressions of content, reporting to clients about the current status of a social media campaign, and engaging with customers, other businesses, and relevant content on social media. A knowledgeable Social Media Coordinator will be able to increase overall brand awareness, target audience engagement, and curate additional leads through calls-to-action (CTAs) using social media platforms. Social media management is an inclusive, well-rounded approach to tackling marketing on social media.

If you have any questions about how social media management helps grow a business’s online presence or want to learn how WSI can help you develop a strategy to grow your business. Feel free to contact us at (707) 843-3714 or through this form.

The Pros and Cons of Social Media Management


Clear Strategy

    • Develop a clear strategy of what direction you want your business to go and how social media can best be utilized to reach goals and objectives.

Experienced Team

    • Work with online marketing professionals already experienced at growing businesses through social media so that your business’s presence is growing from day one.

Constant Overview and Management

    • A social media management team takes care of observing the latest trends, evaluating performance, engaging with consumers and other brands, and keeping the campaign on track to meet objectives.

Saves You Time

    • Having a Social Media Manager eases your schedule by freeing up your time to focus on your business and allows you to take a 30,000-foot view of how the campaign is going through detailed reporting packages.

Post Scheduling

    • Social Media Managers ensure regularity in your posting schedule through the utilization of scheduling applications to make sure that you never miss a day.


No Guaranteed Results

    • Results cannot be guaranteed. At the end of the day, it’s about creating valuable, informative, and engaging posts to encourage users to follow your brand and increase overall awareness for your brand. It is up to the individual user to decide whether or not to actively follow the page.

Potentially Intangible ROI

    • Brand awareness is an intangible asset to a business. One that cannot be easily tracked to discern a ROI, unlike social media marketing which can be tracked through conversions. This means that it may be more difficult to precisely tell how much brand awareness is impacting consumers purchase decisions.The effect of a truly, successful social media campaign is intangible and ROI should not be counted by how many tweets, likes, or shares one gets. It’s about creating valuable, informative, and engaging posts to encourage your customers to follow your brand and view your business at their go-to source for your industry.


    • Hiring a Social Media Manager is an additional cost that a business would need to incur in order to fuel the growth of its brand’s online presence.

Audience Reaction

    • Users can be engaged through social media management, but Social Media Managers do not have control over their actions and reactions.

Time Intensive

    • Growing a brand’s online presence requires a lot of time, attention, and effort to achieve sustained growth. This means that the process requires a large investment of time to see true growth in online presence and brand awareness.


How to Build Your Social Media Networks Through Engagement

The aim of any Social Media Manager should be to grow the brand’s presence through follower count to expand its sphere of influence on social media. This can be done through a variety of ways.

Contests, Questions, and Giveaways: People enjoy feeling important and seeing that businesses, authentically, value their opinions and thoughts. Using questions and contests can help increase engagement with users that can lead to more followers. Additionally, people love winning things. Giveaways can be an easy way to increase followers by entering people in a giveaway based on them following your page.

Create Engaging, Valuable Content: Once you understand your audience and how they use social media, you can develop posts that are crafted to garner a desired reaction from those users which increases engagement. By providing content that has value to users, businesses can shape the identity of the community they create online.

Just Ask: Many people who follow your business on one platform are willing to follow you on other platforms, the idea just hasn’t come to them! While you shouldn’t spam your posts with requests to follow you on other platforms, there’s nothing wrong with asking every once in a while. If you include links to make it even easier for them, there’s a higher likelihood of conversion as well.

Using Social Media for Brand Experience

Users don’t just want to know a brand, they want to know the story, the mission, and the people behind the brand. There are many ways that you can use social media to promote the identity and experience people have with your brand.

Testimonials: Consumers are more likely to listen to other consumers for their opinions on businesses before trusting an ad from the brand they see online. Showcasing testimonials and reviews from previous and existing clients is a good way to give them a glimpse into your business.

Pictures: Words can only do so much. Having pictures of your products, clients, business, and employees is a good way to help shape the mental image that users have surrounding your brand.

Glimpses Behind the Scenes: Give users more to see than just the ‘surface level’ material and give them a peek behind the curtains. This combines well with the previous point of seeing employees and team members. Video provides a great way to show users the behind the scenes and demonstrate how to use products.

Build a Community: A business doesn’t just create a persona online, they develop a community where users share a common connection. That brand! Don’t be a bystander, instead be a leader in developing the community around your brand. This can be done through hashtags, creating specific community groups, or organizing events. By showing your customers that you are interested in them as people they will be more likely to promote your brand. Authenticity is key!

WSI Smart Marketing is an Award-Winning Digital Marketing Firm

Learning how to create content, schedule content release, post, analyze, engage, and report can seem a tad overwhelming when combined with other daily tasks. Luckily, one can employ the services of a social media marketing firm that can help grow and nurture a campaign to reach its maximum impact. All in all, a well-developed social media campaign provides an effective strategy in the ever-growing world of social media to generate leads, build brand awareness, and strengthen the customer connection. WSI can help your business get found on line and see the kind of growth you’re looking for. Call us at (707) 843-3714 or fill out this form.

This blog is part of WSI’s Smart Marketing Guide to Social Media. Click here to view the complete guide.

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