Social Media Marketing vs Conventional Marketing Communications

Social media marketing is very different from conventional marketing. A product which has much higher market share, may be low on Social Media ranking. It means social media ranking has nothing to do with the product ranking. However, in conventional marketing product market share is most of the time proportional to marketing efforts (ranking). Many a times consumer talk about a product without even owning it. For example on social media consumers will talk more about a health product (example, Cheerios is an American brand of breakfast cereal) to show other customers that they are health conscious. So social media rank of the product depends on the band association or theme which a product represents to the customers, irrespective of whether then customers own or do not own the product. Example – More number of customers talk about Rolex on social media than who actually buy it.

The power of content aggregation
Social media marketing follows the principle of content aggregation and screening. It is more influential than other forms of “traditional” communication when it comes to spreading your message. To explain, reviews from trusted resources (including channels such as social media and word of mouth testimonials) have a value 12.85 times greater than paid media (broadcast, radio, and other types of traditional advertising). Therefore, there’s no amount of paid advertising that can realistically overcome a deficiency of earned media. Thanks to the real-time, public nature of the web, marketing and PR have been supercharged and we are now able to maximize this other half of the messaging model. Though this model has always existed, word of mouth tended to resist scale and relied largely on one-to-one or one-to-many interactions. The dawning of the digital age has introduced unprecedented scaling capabilities to many of our communications. Because of the introduction of scale – borne largely of digital technologies – earned media and reviews from trusted sources have never been so accessible, obtainable, con-temporarily relevant, and critical for an organization to succeed.

Disproportionate influences on market behavior
Digital platforms like web, mobile, and social media currently have the highest efficacy among marketing channels in terms of overall, weighted value (contemplative of the market’s perceived trust, and reach and amplification capability of various communication channels). This is especially true compared to more “traditional” channels such as radio and printed materials. In fact, the weighted values attributed to these channels have experienced dramatic decreases. Instead, people are looking to social and web-based platforms to acquire the intelligence to inform their decision-making processes – and these platforms play a significant role as the go-to source for information on leisure activities.

Social media involves evolving technologies and platforms
Unlike largely “fixed,” static media such as print and radio, the mechanisms by which digital messages are delivered and the context within which individual members of the market receive these messages is constantly in-flux. Social media and digital communications depend on rapid innovation, changing platforms, and evolving social mentalities that sink or swim in real-time. They require a strategic flexibility to succeed, and often necessitate experimentation in order to understand how to best reach particular audiences through online engagement. The classic marketing texts of the past remained relevant for decades because – arguably until now – organizations could have one spokesperson, they did have the time to prepare responses before meeting the press, and they could leave a lot more behind closed doors.

Engagement through Transparency
With social media the world has become more transparent and people want to know more about the brands that they support. In the past, organizations could often divulge only what they wished, but now organizations must answer straightforward questions posed on public platforms in real-time, or watch their reputation and consumer-base shrink also in real-time. In short, this change challenges the way that many in the past have been taught to “communicate with the press.” In today’s world, organizations communicate directly with the public. And they need to be likeable and relatable.

Real-time and 24/7
Though it was historically done more passively, brands have always been building relationships in real-time – even while the CEO or other appointed spokesperson was off the clock. People have spread valuable word of mouth messages at cocktail parties and talked shop on the back nine of a golf course for generations. However, from a broad public perspective, it was generally understood that an organization’s “real people” were not accessible outside of the historic “nine to five” workday. Today, the real-time nature of digital platforms have made organizations accessible at all hours and in all situations. The public especially utilizes these platforms during moments of crisis. Moreover, organizations are expected to respond to inquiries on social media platforms in real time. Unlike traditional media that runs as per a schedule and a plan, social media requires active management and necessitates the implementation of real-time PR strategies.

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