The same principles of traditional marketing applied to social media marketing may not derive the same results as desired. Hence in order to run successful campaigns, it is important to understand the differences between the two and leverage upon both in an efficient way.
In traditional marketing, the funnel represents the process of finding and converting new prospects and finally sustaining the converts. It is represented as a funnel since the number of customers that flow from the find to the sustain stage keeps decreasing.
In social media, the process of find to sustain can be represented as an inverted funnel. Using social media, we can have lesser number of customers at the find stage. But in accordance to how the model works, the few finds will spread the word and bring in more people at the convert and sustain stage.
This would be the most important difference that we need to keep in mind when using the two marketing techniques.
Engaging the customer
In traditional marketing the relationship between the customers and company is one way. The company talks “at” the customer. The way traditional marketing is carried out is not focussed and aimed at the masses. There is no concept of customer engagement.
Social media marketing is based on the creation of original and value-added content that attracts customers. The content which can be in the form of blogs, articles and videos should be such that they provide interesting information to the customers. The unique and interesting content compels the users to return to the social media sites and to engage with the brand through posting content and commenting.
Reaching out and creating awareness
Traditional way of advertising through ads and print does not reach out to as many customers as it used to. Now there are ways of tuning out the advertisements since the customers find them intrusive. Bombarding the customers with irrelevant offers and products may irk the customer creating a negative aura around the brand. One advantage of the traditional marketing is the control over the content that the company wants to circulate.
In social media marketing, the ads are customised for customers based on their preference and choice. It reaches out to customers who are trying to engage with the brand. Engaged customers share their content through social media which creates an increased level of awareness amongst their network of friends and family. There is a network effect created. Custom content can also increase search rankings as links are shared thus leading to an increased visibility for the brand. One downside to this is that the content being published cannot be controlled by the brand.
Companies spend a lot of their marketing budget in traditional ways of advertising such as TV advertisements and also print ads. With customers increasingly becoming specific and aware of what they exactly need, the effectiveness of TV ads is reducing. Most people find that to be intrusive and skip the ads altogether making the ads obsolete and rendering the budget spent on advertising redundant.
Social media marketing in that aspect is very cost effective and is more efficient in reaching out to the target audience. This is compounded by the viral nature of social sharing. Considering that a lot of consumers make their purchase decision based on the recommendations on social networks, this comes at almost no additional cost to the company and thus is very cost efficient.
Thus social media marketing though seems much more powerful than the traditional way, there are chances that it can backfire and hence should be used cautiously along with the right mix of traditional way of marketing.