Is Social Media just another new communication channel adding to the existing traditional marketing communication channels like radio, television, cable or web advertising? To answer the prevalent question, let’s consider their business models. The existing channels are fairly straightforward wherein marketers pay for their companies’ message space/air space and transmit of their desired advertising message wherein social media connects users and facilitates widespread distribution of content/message- transforming the traditional marketing forcing companies to alter their business strategies for communication.
I believe that social media leaves traditional marketing communication efforts outshouted, outscoped and outsold. Let’s see how.
- Volume: Traditional marketing content is being dwarfed by the exponentially greater volume of online user-generated content. In the past, when it came to competing for the market’s attention, brands competing against one another. For e.g. Flipkart vs. Snapdeal. The sheer volume of user-generated content dilutes the paid content and renders traditional marketing outshouted.
- Viewpoint: An increase in message volume naturally brings forth a variety of viewpoints. Through social media, client opinions commingle with the very different viewpoints of the marketers. It’s likely that a prospective buyer of online product can find ten different viewpoints on the various products available to him, making the singularly-focused content generated by the e-commerce company’s marketing increasingly outscoped.
- Value: Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Delicious encourage clients to post their mind, experience with the brands they are consuming, be it e-commerce sites of flight booking sites etc. The inherent value is that this content is timely, targeted and real. Though the content isn’t always positive, it’s derived from a personal interaction with the brands. For example, a buy of e-commerce site like flipkart.com posted about the delivery services and the quality of the product delivered. Such relevant information are hard to be found in the company’s website. This rich, experience driven information available on social media platforms which many consumers are looking for, leaves traditional marketing challenged and outsold.
Also, let’s understand the difference with Coca-Cola’s traditional media usage vs. its social media usage.
Television Commercial vs. YouTube video:
Let’s consider 2 similar videos which has the same message (Coca-Cola bringing the world together one Coke at a time) to its consumers. The Television commercial video, “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” wanted the world to drink Coke and learn to sing to make the world a better place. One the other hand YouTube commercial “Coca-Cola Small World Machine” was an initiative by Coca-Cola to help connect India with Pakistan. Both the videos were meant to advertise the company and its product. However the striking difference between both the video was that, TV commercial was not interactive with professional singers singing the Coke song while the YouTube video was about real people who were able to experience the machine.
Company’s Website vs. Facebook page
The website is more of a corporate page with financial information and regional data but the facebook page has a more “fun” appearance. Also the page act as a community interacting with each other with comments and replies.
Corporate Career Page and LinkedIn
The content about company information might be more detailed on the company page, but the important information is available on both sites. Though the information is the same in both the sites, however the look is not. The LinkedIn page is more user friendly, especially when looking for career possibilities and also the viewer is able to see what connections they have with individuals in the company.
information currently available.