Social Media vs. Traditional Media

Social Media vs. Traditional media

As someone who has worked for several decades in traditional or “old” media (primarily radio), I am often shocked at how slow old media is to embrace new media. Rather than embracing new media and evolving, old media tends to take the bunker mentality and hide from change. Have you ever noticed that some of the most visually unappealing and least user friendly websites are those created by newspapers, TV stations, and radio stations? The real problem is fear. Old media entities seem to be afraid of anything that challenges its dominance, so rather than embrace new technologies, they tend to hold them at arm’s length, hoping they will go away. They look at the Internet as “giving away” their content for free, and, for the most part, haven’t figured out how to come to terms with that.

When is the last time you took note of, and acted upon, one of the many advertisements you saw in the newspaper or on television? If you’re like most people, it doesn’t happen very often. Traditional media advertising is based upon the concept of casting a wide net, hoping that you “catch” a few customers. You can spend a lot of money creating an advertisement and buying the space or time needed to get it out to the public, never knowing whether anyone will see it, let alone act on it. Consumers (and you’re one of them!) face a daily barrage of marketing overload; some studies say that the average person is hit with about 2,000 advertising impressions each day. As consumers we have become adept at ignoring most of these, while many of us take matters into our own hands by filtering out advertising by using online software and applications that allow us to block unwanted content. Combined, this makes the job of the marketer that much more difficult.

Traditional advertising and marketing is losing its edge

Ask any marketer or business owner what they find is the most effective means of getting new business. Invariably the answer is word of mouth. If you’re looking to find a plumber, you will more often than not take the word of a trusted friend, rather than rely on an advertisement or yellow pages listing. If you rely on ads, how do you choose between everyone who claims to be “the best”?

Enter social media. Social media brings with it the power of community: trusted friends and contacts from whom you would take advice. As one friend puts it, social media is word of mouth on steroids. This is the marketing power we have at our fingertips if we have a well executed social media plan.

Social media utilizes what is known as inbound marketing. Rather than casting that wide net, you work to help consumers find you. If you are providing a product or service that interests people, they WILL find you…if you allow yourself to be found. An effective social media plan does just that.

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  1. […] As newspaper readership is down, and the effectiveness of traditional media diminishes, I know that more and more businesses will be turning to social media as a way to increase their marketing effectiveness, while at the same time getting more bang for their marketing buck. You can read more about this in our article Social Media vs. Traditional Media. […]

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  5. […] Media. (2011). Social Media or “new” media vs. Traditional or “old” media. Available from: http://inklingmedia.net/social-media/social-media-vs-traditional-media/. Last accessed 7th April […]