Difference between conventional & social media (SM) marketing communications

The most basic differences between Conventional communications are:


In case of conventional marketing the communication is only one way. SM marketing communication need to create engagement with consumers where in the consumers either interact with other consumers or within groups of consumers or with the brand itself. The SM communication needs to be tracked & has to be sensitive to the comments of consumers.


Multiple platforms in SM marketing mean that the reach of SM communication is more than in the conventional marketing but only if tracked on all fronts. The amount of reach achieved by conventional marketing in markets such as USA can be achieved by SM at 1/10th of the cost.

Tools in SM communications:

There are various platforms for SM communication about a brand to the consumers. The way the brands require positioning can tell us about the platform to be used. Facebook can be chosen over twitter in case of specific targeting & twitter can be chosen over facebook in case of need of mass communication.


Video with babies is a common phenomenon on internet & such content from matured brands may not be received well by consumers on SM as happened in case of Etrade superbowl ad. Coke has thought of different SM campaigns for different markets globally because of varies cultures & demographics. These play a big role while deciding on the content of communication in SM because it is accessible on portals that are globally accessible. Conventional marketing ads are region specific.

Earned versus Paid:

SMM communications should focus on earned approach rather just paying to get the likes or clicks. A competitor can employ interns to click on ad serve of a brands to exhaust their budgets for a day within an hour & therefore the communication strategy has to be chose wisely & with backup of technology to track such abuse. At the same time just maximum likes may not prove that a SM campaign is successful. If the buzz created by an SM communication can drive consumers to download apps, share their usage of brand with community members & groups then the brand can generate more recalls.

Support of SM marketing to conventional marketing communication:

Coke case of cowboys versus shoe girls super bowl ad shows that conventional marketing communication can very well be supported by SM communication. In case of Merimaggi ‘share your maggi experiences’ campaign the conventional ad supports on online campaign. The classic example of VolksWagen print ad integrating an app with it shows that the conventional & SM marketing communication can integrated very well.

Screening & continuity of communication in SM:

Facebook has changed its policies of content ranking twice in the last one year and they are clearly stating the need for the brands to be abuzz for them to show up at the top in their pages. Once the SM communication withstands screening, the marketers also need to ensure the continuity of traffic to their pages. The interest generated by SM communication can only help increase no. of consumers clicking to keep the campaigns alive. Continuity may also have to be maintained considering different time zones for communication launches in different parts of the globe.

Clear targeting of influencers or specific profiles:

SM communication can be so designed that it can target the influencers on the web & encourage them to recommend the brand more. Conventional marketing can’t be made so targeted. Facebook profiling has made it easy to achieve clear targeting of SM communications.