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15 Dec 2015

The Difference Between Social Media and Social Media Advertising

At first glance, social media and social media advertising appear to have a lot in common. However, the closer you look the more different they become.

Understanding the Terms and Their Benefits:

Social Media

The word “Social” has to do with people and how they relate to each other, either as a unit, community or society. The word “Media” on the other hand may be used to describe a tool or tools that can aid communication of information between two or more individuals.

Embracing these two terms and using them as one, may lead you to view the term social media differently. Therefore, social media is any and all tools that enable people in a group or community to interact freely with each other.

However, we are going to narrow it down further for the purpose of this article. Therefore, social media is select media platforms which are digitally-mediated that allow the exchange information and ideas via text, videos, pictures, messages and gifs.

Benefits of Social Media

Social media benefits both users and producers in a variety of ways, here are a few of them:

  1. Social media helps create an online social network by using the profile and demographic information to connect the users and help build a network of people with mutual interests.
  2. Social media allows people from different countries and varying nationalities to connect with each other and exchange information. Simply put, social media when used properly and efficiently helps in making the world a global village.
  3. Social media can be used from desktop, laptops and most commonly phones. This means that users can be mobile and still make use of it on the go, anywhere and everywhere. Due to this level of comfort, information on almost any topic can be discussed, shared or viewed anywhere and at any time.
  4. Social media can also be used to create and start trends that can affect and change the lives of billions in days. A powerful tool already, it can be used to create awareness about issues and bring about change by influencing the opinion of the users and viewers.
  5. Social media as of now can also be used as a tool for business, by accurately determining the target audience and using it as a platform to reach out and market the products to interested prospective customers.

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising, on the other hand, focuses on advertising. Advertising can be said be the deliberate and conscious use of tools and paid human effort to create awareness and provide information about the product to the target consumers.

Therefore social media advertising can be seen as the deliberate use of social media as a tool by producers, manufacturers and retailers to create and spread awareness about their products to their target audience after gathering information from the social media users’ demographics and information.

Benefits of Social Media Advertising

  1. One major benefit of advertising through social media is and would be the fact that advertisers will be able to easily reach users who a have an interest in their products and services.
  2. Another benefit would be they have access to demographic information that will help them target the right customer range to increase sales. Without such information, they might as well be wasting resources and time while not creating the right amount of impact to the right people that would increase sales.
  3. The advertising companies and producer would also be reassured that the demographic information gathered is real and not a form of statistical assumption. Making it more reliable and easier to build a strategy on.
  4. Through thorough social media research and analysis, advertisers may customize their adverts based on their target audiences in other to better encourage sales and purchase of the products being advertised.
  5. Eventually, response and feedback would be inevitable and social media is a great way for the customers and consumers to communicate and express their satisfaction or otherwise to the producer, this could help in the future improvement or rebranding as they take customers wants and need into consideration. In other words, two-way communication is established between the producers and consumers of the product.

These two are being harnessed in today’s social media marketing which has to do with managing and maintaining the online presence of a business in order to reach both current consumers and target customers and make the best use of the demographic information available to the sellers.

From these clear explanation, it can be seen that the terms are quite different and should not be mistaken as one for the other. One is the tool or platform for worldwide connection, while the other makes use of this worldwide connection to achieve optimal market exploitation and exploration to reach their target customers.

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