AskMotionPicturesKE: What is the difference between Social Media Management and Social Media Marketing?

Abigail Nwaocha
May 31, 2017 · 3 min read

Say what you will about social media, it’s here to stay, this is why many brands in Kenya are finally understanding the impact social media has on their business and have made it an integral part of their marketing strategy.

Phrases such as social media automation, social listening, social selling, social media management and social media marketing have been thrown around, making us assume that they all mean the same thing -promoting a brand on social media, however, they all mean different things.

This article focuses on the difference between social media marketing and social media management, but it is important to start by defining all the terms mentioned above.

What is Social Listening?

Social listening is the process of tracking conversations around specific phrases, words or brands, and then leveraging them to discover opportunities or create content for those audiences. It’s more than watching @mentions and comments pour in via your social profiles, mobile apps or blogs. -Sprout Social

What is Social Media Automation?

Social media automation is the use of tools to automate the process of posting content to social media platforms.

An example of social media automation is using Buffer to schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc. another example is using IFTTT to send a tweet whenever your favorite blog publishes a new blog post.

What is Social Selling?

Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects. Salespeople will provide value by answering prospect questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy. -Hubspot

What is Social Media Management?

Social Media Management is the act of monitoring and participating in social conversations across platforms. -CXSocial

This definition is simple and a bit broad, simply put, social media management refers to managing social media platforms. This includes:

  • Creating a social media strategy
  • Publishing posts on social media pages
  • Responding to the reviews, check-ins, messages and comments
  • Updating images such as cover images and profile pictures
  • Monitoring metrics such as reach, engagement, follower count/number of likes etc.
  • Running competitions and giveways

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites. -Search Engine Land

Emphasis here is on “gaining traffic” the goal is not to post a million times, but to use social media to drive traffic to your website, store, mailing list or similar platforms.

The main purpose of social media marketing is to generate leads and to win new business.

From the definitions above, you can already tell that Social Media Management and Social Media Marketing are different things, here’s where it gets interesting and might blow you your mind.

Social media automation falls under social media management.


Social listening, social selling and social media management, falls under social media marketing.

Several social media management tools such as Hootsuite have in-built social listening features.

Since we’ve already determined that social media management is a part of social media marketing, it’s time to expand on what social media marketing is used.

To quote The Balance:

Social media marketing is used for all the traditional marketing goals — to reach customers and:

  • Increase referrals or sales leads
  • Build word-of-mouth
  • Increase sales of products or services
  • Provide a means of feedback
  • Develop a reputation as an expert or thought-leader
  • Drive traffic to a business website or blog
  • Develop new products or services
  • Keep people informed about special events and anything else newsworthy about the business
  • Provide customer service

Remember how we defined Social media marketing as the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites? It’s time to look deeper into that definition understand social media marketing better.

Think about how you would use social media to drive traffic to your website? What would come to mind are:

  • Running paid advertising campaigns using Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Ads etc.
  • Using Social media as part of SEO strategy

Now that you know the difference between the two terms, you’d be able to understand how this affects your business.

Thank you for reading this article, feel free to contribute to our next #AskMotionPicturesKE article by asking us questions you’d like us to explain. One more thing, don’t forget to join the #AskMotionPicturesKE email list.

We are a leading experiential marketing agency with a passion for building strong chemistry between brands and consumers

Abigail Nwaocha

Written by

Motion Pictures Kenya
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