Traditional media has been around for as long as we can remember, while social media is a fairly new introduction when it comes to marketing businesses. Many arguments have been made regarding which of these two is more effective to promote a brand to its target audience. Whether you own an e-commerce site or an established brick-and-mortar store, you should know which of these is better suited as a venue for your message to customers. Social Media You know social media as an interactive hub for communities to meet, but are you aware of its marketing benefits? Inexpensive Though social media is not necessarily free, it is relatively inexpensive compared to traditional media. Signing up for an account on the major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram doesn’t require a fee, though you need to devote time in maintaining your pages. While with traditional media you pay for airtime which can cost more than the production, social media only needs time and effort. You can cut back on cost as well. Interactive Social interaction online is immense. With just one click, your post can reach hundreds of people and gain multiple comments in just a short time. You can get feedback quickly which can give you an idea if the kind of marketing you are doing is effective. Both social media and traditional media convey a message, but social media allows the audience to react to that message as opposed to just consuming it. Social media encourages engagement from users, making your brand a hot topic online. Word-of-Mouth Customers trust the word of the people around them. If their friend recommends a product or a family member urges them to try an item, they will give it a shot. They value the opinion of real people who have experienced it first-hand. Social media values the opinion of other people. Netizens who post their grievances online can either warn other customers off or help the business address their needs. People who upload a delicious-looking picture of a meal they ordered in your restaurant can attract new customers who are wanting to taste it themselves. Targeted to a specific audience Fan pages and forums cater to a specific group of people, thus creating a segmented audience. People who share the same interests, beliefs, and lifestyle are easier to target since the message is tailor-fit. They can relate better and immerse themselves in the brand’s campaign. If your business is trying to target a specific niche, social media is one good way of marketing your product or service because it is considered as a venue for communities to discuss, share thoughts, and come together. Traditional Media Products or services consumed by the general public should still use traditional media. Due to the high number of strategies released by competitors, you should make sure that you are visible on the major media platforms. Wide Reach Millions of people watch television and there are still a handful who listen to the radio. Once your ad goes on air, it reaches a vast audience. You can be sure that your message is heard by your target audience, and even letting those outside your preferred market listen. Reliability Traditional media is seen as a reliable source of information since they have already been around for a long time. Information posted on social media can go viral but may also raise doubts since these pieces of new knowledge are provided by just anybody. News and advertisements that appear on TV, radio, or print are well-researched, making it easier for viewers to verify truth. Although the majority of your target audience have access to social media, there are still those who are not used to online media exposure. Some view social media only as a form of connection between families, friends, and colleagues. They haven’t acknowledged it yet as way to promote a business or getting updates from a brand they patronize. Provides recall Ads which continuously play on television produce recall which is beneficial for every kind of business. If they see a brand all the time, it provides awareness for that brand and can even mark a place in the minds of the consumer. This can be advantageous during the time of purchase, greatly affecting the decision-making process of customers on what to buy. Consumers tend to trust brands they are aware of or have substantial knowledge of. If customers see your brand all the time, they will most likely patronize your products as opposed to unknown brands that haven’t proven anything to them yet. Social media and traditional media are entirely two different platforms. You can decide to stay with traditional media or explore social media, but if you can incorporate these two to your marketing efforts, it then has the potential to bring better returns for your business. Have you decided which platform is for your business? Or are you planning to merge social and traditional media? Share your plans with us! Images: ”Media Signpost Shows Internet Television Newspapers Magazines And Radio / Shutterstock.com“ __________________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Tweak Your Biz: Would you like to write for Tweak Your Biz? Tweak Your Biz is an international, business advice community and online publication. Today it is read by over 140,000 business people each month (unique visitors, Google Analytics, December, 2013). See our review of 2013 for more information. An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. 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