» Traditional Marketing vs Social Media Marketing

Advantages of  Social Media Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

There are few differences in methods between Traditional Marketing and Social Media Marketing. What I hope to do here is point some of the main differences with regards to operating a small business, and one of the biggest differences, as I see it, is market approach.

Scatter Gun Approach vs Precision Targeting

First of all, traditional marketing is designed to have a shotgun effect, i.e. mass marketing directed at large groups. The marketer may be targeting specific groups or segments but in a general sense, hence scatter gun approach. Furthermore, Social Media Marketing’s focus is directed at an individual and is tailored to that individual, hence precision targeting. Therefore, this requires that marketers know their target market and demographics on each platform or network.  Not all consumers are Facebook users, nor do all consumers use Twitter or Instagram, and there are different interests that show up on each different network.

Traditional marketing is advertising a product or service, getting the brand name out without a thought to the individual consumer. On the contrary, Social media marketing is reaching out and pulling in consumers, making them feel like the marketer is talking to just them (Hausman, 2012).

Streets: Two Way vs One Way

Furthermore, another major difference is that Social Media Marketing is an open system whereby the consumer can engage with the marketer and voice their ideas and opinions. It is more about the consumer, hence it is a two way street, while traditional marketing is a one way street, and more about the marketer or the brand (Hausman, 2012).

Education or Puffery

On the one hand, Social Media Marketing creates real content to inform and educate the consumer. Traditional content, on the other hand, is made up by professional advertisers. These advertisers purposely make the product or service seem to be greatest thing since apple pie, whether it is true or not, known as puffery. And social media marketing has more marketing channels than the traditional forms do. For this reasont, the metrics that social media marketing would use are primarily engagement  and reach, while traditional marketing uses more reach and frequency.

Reach or Reach

This brings up the issue of reach, and while traditional advertising uses mass media production combined with some word of mouth advertising, social media marketing reaches more folks through the use of different networks. Social media continually draws in billions of consumers to networks convincing them to join the networks. Hence, a small business, or any business for that matter, needs to join up. What this all adds up to, is active involvement by the consumer with social media marketing on the one hand, and inactive or passive involvement with regards to the recipient of traditional marketing on the other hand (Hausman, 2013).

The upshot of this is, the consumers now feel that they have some control over marketing and they do in fact have it (Hird, 2009). “Whether the Web site is Twitter, online community, or a blog, there is a special element that helps people to be more enthusiastic in telling other people about it.” (Stephan, n.d.).

The issue for small businesses relies in the cost differences and the bottom line ROI (and of course ROI is a result of gross sales – expenses). The chart below shows the differences in the different marketing channels.
In a recent cross channel media costs comparison, the CPM of various media channels were measured and the results were interesting.

In conclusion, even with these few differences between traditional and social media marketing it is easy to see why a small business would be doing itself a favor by shifting to social media. This is not to say that it is not possible to blend some traditional in with the social strategy, but the main effort of budgeting should be most of all for social media marketing (Lyfe Marketing, n.d.).


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