Social Media Marketing vs Social Media Management

Social Media is king in this day and age. You spend most of your time scrolling through feeds – whether to kill time or to discover some sort of information. But, even in the midst of its popularity, there are still big question marks for brands and business owners about what the difference is between Social Media Marketing and Social Media Management. In layman’s term:

  • Social media marketing uses platforms for paid advertising. You pay for the traffic you get or for the goals that you set.
  • Social media management uses the free platform to spread your brand message.  The traffic you gain is free.

Paid vs Organic

There are two types of reach when it comes to garnering eyes online – paid vs. organic. Anything lumped in to the efforts of “Social Media Marketing” is based upon a budget or a spend. There are many ways in which to pay to put stuff out there, but all of that falls in to marketing. In contrast, organic is based solely on what comes free of charge – usually based around quality content.

The Time Factor

An important distinction to note is that these two options carry different timelines. Social Media Marketing (paid) can be a quick play – meaning you can see results spike in as little as a day based on budget heavily. Social Media Management (organic) is a long play and often takes months to see a significant “business return. Though the time seems as a negative, it really is a positive as it is building up a community, it is validating a voice, and it is engaging with customers. Social media is not the “go to” for sales and for people to buy things. It is called “Social” for a reason – it is about interactions rather than transactions.

Tactical and Content Differences

This leads us to understand that your social media profile is now a “friend” rather than a business”. The tactics and strategies applied to management focuses on building a tribe, fans, community – whatever you want to call them, this is their home. Coming off as too “salesy” or promotion based is an automatic scroll through on these platforms. But, there are practical marketing strategies that you can used based on your audience on your profiles. For example:

  • Create a list of customers who converted on your website, then create a lookalike audience so you can target similar people with content they’ll find engaging.
  • Create an audience based on a life event, like people who recently moved, and target them in a specific geographic area.
  • Create engagement custom audiences that show ads only to people who previously engaged with your Facebook page or watched part of a video. Because these audiences are more targeted and have engaged with your brand, your content can be more promotional and include a call to action. This gives you higher ROI on your marketing investment.


Neither of these options are going to be effective without creating a brand story or voice, so that is step 1 before diving deep in to implementation. The target audience on social media runs younger (think Millenial and Gen Y’ers) so creating a voice and content with that in mind will save headache later. Remember, people want to experience things when they visit these sites, so utilize that and make it the best experience yet!

Once your ready to pull the trigger on launching a Social Media Marketing and/or Social Media Management plan, hit us up, we’d love to provide our services!