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


There are various ways to drive traffic to your website. The main two that businesses and brands turn to and invest in are search and social. 

In this post, we will discuss the difference between Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing. 

Should we invest in one marketing strategy more than the other? 

Why are these necessary for a thriving business?

Let’s start by defining Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing. 

SEM – Search Engine Marketing 

Search Engine Marketing involves the process of driving traffic to your website using paid online advertising. In short, you pay Google for Google Ads (Formerly Google AdWords) which results in your content coming up first, driving more awareness and traffic. You may have heard of Pay Per Click or PPC? 


Well, let’s look at consumer behavior.  Let’s reflect on your own habits. Whenever you are looking for a service or product, what do you do? Most likely, you will go to a search engine like Google to look. 

The fact is that most consumers use search engines to help them in product research before making a purchase. This means if you want to get discovered, you have to rank well. 

Tools like Google Ads Keyword Tool allows you to see what keywords are ranking best, for example, it can show you that “office supplies” is a more popular keyword over “office supply.” 

In addition, if you can’t make it to the top of organic results, you can always buy your way into the sponsored links. With paid search listings, you can customize your appearance in search results. You can use something that calls out to a specific sale in sponsored results. 

SMM – Social Media Marketing 

Social Media Marketing (SMM) is part of off-page SEO because of link building. Have you Googled your name lately? Take a look at the first few results. Do you see a link to your LinkedIn profile? Twitter? This applies to business, as well. Being on these social platforms helps your company, and your brand(s), get found easier. 

The goal of SMM is to drive quality traffic to your website, landing pages, and blogs, to get them to engage with you, and ultimately, drive revenue with a trackable ROI. This strategy can also involve paid advertising across social platforms. 

SO, which one should I use? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, etc?

The first thing you need to do is identify which platform your buyers are actually on.  Investigate what social networks your audience uses. You then can focus on providing them with personalized remarkable content. 

3.6 billion people worldwide were using social media in 2020, and Statista predicts this number will grow to 4.41 billion in 2025. So, chances are, your customers are already on social media, meaning that it is an essential channel for your marketing efforts. 

Peer Recommendations

Once you have established your presence on whatever Social Media Channel (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc) peer recommendations will happen when someone likes your page, mentions, or tags your brand. When a user takes these actions, their connections will help get your brand noticed by others. 

Online Reputations Management

With Social Media Marketing you can reply to complaints and turn them into positive experiences by responding in real-time. This will show current and possible consumers how much you care about everyone’s satisfaction. 

Buy your spotlight 

Businesses and brands can put their content in front of social media audiences by paying for it. This is a great way to generate traffic to your website, fans for your Facebook page, and visibility for your messages on social media platforms.


All in all, if you take the time to create a social media strategy that is tailored to each of the platforms you use, you’ll likely find success on the channel and meet your audience where they are. 

Should I Invest in Both Search and Social?

You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket.  If you are investing your time in both search and social, you’ll have a good balance of traffic. This means if one source begins to fail, you could always boost your efforts in another area and know you will not lose all your visitors. 

When it comes to search engine marketing vs. social media marketing, which one do you put the majority of your energy towards? 

Need help deciding which channel will bring the most traffic to your brand? Contact us. We are happy to help you! 

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