How is Social Media Marketing different from Conventional marketing communications?

With the advent of social media, marketers are rethinking their strategies to acquire and retain customers. Traditional marketing demanded less of customer interaction and feedback and more judgements from the company’s side. Social Media is all about people and their views. Company or the brand has a very little control over it and hence, designing a full proof social media strategy is extremely important for a company’s long term sustainability. As we all know that traditional media mean books, newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, printed advertising such as flyers, brochures, billboards, posters. Social media is found on mobile phones and the internet as blogs, and on various social media platforms for example Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Type of Marketing – Conventional marketing is uniform, structured and clear like advertising campaigns and service hotlines.Social Media marketing is unclear, dissected and spread out like status updates, tweets, blog articles etc.

Direction of Communication – Conventional marketing is unidirectional where the consumers are passive and listening. the information is spread only by the company.In social media, the communication is multidirectional where both company and customers interact and share views.

Scheduling – Conventional ad campaigns are long range and planned for over a longer period of time. Social media campaigns are spontaneous as they are more of responses or reactions to comments and posts.

Scope – Traditional marketing is targeted towards a segment. Social Media campaigns are broad and open to public. No specific segment is targeted in particular.

Risk  – Risks in social media campaign is higher as compared to conventional marketing. This is because virality in social media is very high as compared to conventional media. One wrong or negative comment about a consumer can trigger a tsunami of negative reviews regarding the brand.

Cost – Traditional media is very expensive as opposed to social media which is often free of cost.

The power of social media is increasing every single day. What is becoming more prevalent is that not having a structured social media strategy for marketing will negatively affect a brand’s reputation. 23% of brands do not have a strategy to manage negative social media comments, 26% of brands have a tarnished reputation due to negative social media comments, 15% lost costumers due to negative social media and 11% lost revenue due to negative social media.

92% of internet users read online previews. Of those who reads, 89% trust online previews. 72% trust online previews as much as word of mouth.the funnel for social media marketing is the opposite to traditional marketing , with the former looking to find new customers through word of mouth and through the recommendation of retained and loyal ones.

People like to choose either traditional or social, but the real benefit comes when both types of marketing are used as complements to one another.With social media marketing, content is the key to success. This will determine whether one gets audience’s attention, or drive them away.

Finally, marketing strategies must overlap.At some point, marketing strategies need to converge to give the best outcomes. For instance, if one is selling software, he/she can find new customers and educate or inform the existing ones about new products or updates through social media and/or the use of video in creative ways. But, if one sells plumbing equipment, he/she might split the marketing efforts into two ways – social media for educating customers, combined with traditional methods like direct mail, banner ads or TV spots to help him/her do the actual selling.



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