Integrating social media plan into your promotion and branding strategy has moved from being an option to becoming a necessity for survival in today’s fast moving marketplace. Gone are the days of doing business in a conservative manner and without the aid of technology. If you are not visible in the virtual world i.e. the internet, it would seem you are resistant to change. The new fight for customers will be online and if you lose out on social media, you have already lost half the battle. Online media is the most effective way for reach and power in order to drive returns.
With that shift in strategic direction in mind, we will consider the ways that social media differs from traditional media described below.
Social media is produced through self-publishing and user-generated content vs. the professional media outlets such as television, radio, newspapers and magazines used in traditional media. E.g.: the good reviews on blogs or Orkut, Facebook gives the equivalent publicity as online “word-of-mouth”, no other thing can give the review as strong credibility.
Social media leverages pull marketing while traditional media relies on push marketing strategies.
Social media requires a far smaller monetary investment than traditional media usually does. The increasing cost of print media, electronic media and the stratospheric levels to which advertising rates have reached on television force marketers to look at other options
Social media typically reaches and influences a highly targeted or niche market vs. traditional media which often reaches a broader audience. This is advantageous since there is focused approach on that market and efforts are concentrated on those we know rather than anyone who comes across the media.
Social media messages come directly from individual consumers while traditional media messages most often come from the company behind them. This as I have mentioned is about viral marketing through grapevine techniques.
Social media is highly interactive generating ongoing conversations between multiple individuals while traditional media provides one-sided messages in a passive format. This is the reason why markets are turning towards online; it gives them real time feedback about their product or service.
Based on the differences listed above, it should come as no surprise that well-executed social media marketing campaigns can be highly influential. On the other hand, a negative buzz that spreads throughout the social web can be very harmful to a brand. The lesson to learn is that social media is here to stay. While the recipe for success in leveraging the social web to build brands has yet to be determined and quantified, the point is ignore at your own peril.