If you’re currently increasing your business’s digital presence, then understanding the differences between social media and traditional media is going to help ease that transition. That knowledge, combined with understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each, will help you use them in your marketing.
Definition of social media
Social media is media that is published on any social networking site. Some of the most popular sites are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Media can be in the form of images, videos, and text. Social media marketing has two categories: paid and organic. Paid is when you pay to get your media in front of an audience. Organic is when you allow your media to get in front of an audience without paying for it.
What are the advantages of social media for marketing?
Social media marketing has a number of advantages over traditional media marketing.
- Social media marketing is usually less expensive than traditional marketing.
- It is easier to target a specific audience on social media vs. traditional media with paid ads.
- Your business can easily pivot and change your marketing message if it isn’t generating the results you want.
- Publishing is immediate, so a business can easily take advantage of or respond to current events.
- Customers interact directly with your business so you can get immediate feedback on products or ideas.
What are the disadvantages of social media for marketing?
Social media has some clear advantages over traditional media for marketing. But that doesn’t mean you should switch all your marketing efforts over right away. Social media isn’t a perfect advertising medium after all.
- There is a big learning curve for social media.
- Social media platforms make changes all the time, making it harder for brands to get their message in front of their audience.
- The need to be socially active on social media often requires a significant time commitment.
Definition of traditional media
Traditional media is defined as a message that is delivered to the mass public or a targeted group of the public. As with social media, messages are delivered in the form of text, images, and video. The messages are delivered through mediums such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, billboards, and mail are all examples of traditional media.
What are the advantages of traditional media for marketing?
Traditional marketing is seen as a dead medium by some, but it still holds some advantage over social media for marketing.
- Traditional media is great if you are trying to target older generations.
- The time commitment is often smaller. Once you create an ad and send it in, you don’t need to do much else.
- You can take advantage of repetition to ensure your brand is the one customers think of when they are ready to make a purchase.
What are the disadvantages of traditional media for marketing?
A lot of businesses are transferring their efforts to social media and digital marketing because of the disadvantages of traditional media.
- It is hard to target a specific audience.
- Marketing campaigns tend to be more expensive.
- If you make an error or your marketing message isn’t quite right, it is difficult and expensive to pivot.
- Your campaign is dependent on publishing times.
Is social media replacing traditional media?
There are many people who will say that traditional media is dead. However, as you can see, there are still some clear advantages to using traditional media over social media for marketing. As with any marketing campaign, you should really think about who you’re trying to reach and what the goals of your campaign are.
A good healthy mix of both types of marketing is likely going to be the best option for your business. Some campaigns will do better on social media, while others will perform best using a more traditional form of media for marketing.
Thanks to shutdowns and social distancing keeping people out of stores, a lot of businesses are entering the digital space in a way they never have before. But that doesn’t mean you should go all-in on digital marketing entirely. It depends on your business goals and target market, among other things.
Are you a business owner who is new to social media marketing? Do you feel like you aren’t getting it right? We would love to help! We offer a mix of affordable packages for businesses of all sizes who are looking to grow an audience on social media. Schedule a free, no-pressure consultation today to see if we can help.