Why Social Media is completely different than an Advertising campaign

Social media communities are vastly different from a typical advertising campaign for nearly every reason conceivable. Social media is new and different. It is quite common for people to think of a social media investment within the same light as they would a traditional media buy.

This could not be a more inappropriate way to look at the relationship between social media and traditional advertising. Comparing the economics between the two is a complete fallacy, as we’ll discuss. There are many reasons why they are different ‘animals’, but we’ll focus on just three reasons here.

Permanent versus Transient

In traditional media, an advertiser buys time or space on an advertising platform such as TV, radio, or print. The message is delivered through that medium… and that’s it. It’s gone. The message is pushed out of the way by the next edition or next program.

Traditional media advertising is transient and temporary.

It’s the DVR age. Your message is often skipped right over, but you are still holding the bill for it.

Social media has the advantage of being web-based. With social media marketing, content is permanent until willfully removed. Things written online through social media are written in stone.

Communication versus Broadcast

In traditional media, advertisers select various media platforms based on where their target is most likely to be.

Think about that… ‘where their target is most likely to be’.

There’s no guarantee the target will actually see the message. An ad for a beauty brand in Allure magazine targeting young women might be seen by thousands of old men who happen to be thumbing through the magazine as they wait for their cardiologist. There is a tremendous amount of waste in traditional ad spend… but that’s another topic for another article.

On traditional media, your advertising message is simply broadcast out to the masses with the hope that the message will be seen by the right people.

Alternatively, social media gives businesses the opportunities to build high-value and rich individual connections with real people.  As opposed to traditional media, where an advertiser never truly knows who is on the other end of the message, the social media marketer has the opportunity to know every detail about the person on the other end of the message including where they live, their age, their likes, dislikes, etc. Even more important is that social media gives advertisers the opportunity to have a two-way dialogue with their community.  Social media marketing provides real-time feedback on marketing messages. Marketers retrieve consumer information quickly and cheaply. Just this information (let alone the value of the promotional messaging) used to cost thousands of dollars.

Asset versus Expense

Social media communities are a business asset. You can see more about this in a short presentation below, but simply put, social media communities and followings are a permanent business asset that your brand can hold on to and grow.

Traditional advertising is nothing more than an expense, or the cost of getting a message out to a defined group of people.

If you would like to learn more about how to build and grow a dynamic, valuable, and rewarding social media community that rallies around your brand, contact Total Social Solutions via the contact form on our website.

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