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Traditional Media versus New Social Media: Differences, Impact and Outcome

An innovative and compelling advertising campaign is the key to success of any product. To make the campaign impactful, the selection of media through which the ad is to be presented and promoted among the audience is crucial.

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The two main media outlets usually preferred by the advertisers are:

1. Traditional Media

2. New Social Media

Each has its own unique features, pros and cons. They may or may not be equally effective for all the advertising campaigns. To understand the basic difference between new social media and traditional media, first we must analyze them individually.

The Legacy of Traditional Media

Traditional media mostly refers to the tools for broadcasting information in the new social media era. These forms of communication are the traditional and steadfast methods that a business uses to reach both consumers and other companies. It is the non-digital advertising or marketing methods. Television, radio and print advertisements including newspapers, magazines, books and even CDs are forms of this traditional media. Door-to-door campaign, banners and pop ups, billboard advertisements and off-site signs are also considered as traditional media. It is mostly one way and considered as a part of “push” strategy wherein the final message is the message that the business house wants to promote. It is non-interactive in nature and consumer has no direct contribution to it. It is a one-way traffic, mainly a monologue. It gives direct message to the consumer. These ads might be costly but its impact is immediate. The traditional media advertising is a sure shot way to reach the consumers in one go and encourage them to purchase. The results are, however, short term.

The Rise of Social Media

New media, or what we more commonly refer to as digital or social media, involves the internet in some form or the other. It refers to online methods using the internet as a platform for promoting various products. Social media marketing, which is growing everyday with the ever-evolving technology, includes social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), blogs, content marketing, email marketing etc. Many of the components of new social media have been already around for some time now. Due to improved technology, it has gained prominence and popularity in the recent years. It is a comparatively inexpensive compared to the traditional media and its success is gauged by long-term measures.

Traditional Media Versus Social Media

Now that we know what exactly traditional and new social media is, let us concentrate on the basic differences.

• In traditional media, the concept of networking is absent. There is no scope for further discussion and subsequent improvement; what is published once cannot be changed immediately. In new social media, there is constant scope for improvisation, change and immediate improvement.

• As opposed to traditional media, new media uses “pull” strategy meaning it encourages two-way conversation and is highly interactive. The new social media provides ample scope and space for discussion. The consumers can interact with one another and give valuable feedbacks, which is indeed helpful in the long run.

• In traditional media, message is the prime mover and hence its success depends on the attractiveness of the message only. It is rather like a sermon to the consumer. Social media on the other hand is like a friend’s advice on buying or reading something. It is a more intimate message, and for that reason it is more effective.

• The publication time for a new social media is very less as compared to the traditional media. With a click of the mouse, one can publish and disseminate the desired message around the world. Thus, the area of coverage is vast in negligible time. In case of traditional media, the major drawback is that its broadcasting speed is significantly large.

• It is interesting to note that irrespective of the above mentioned differences, the traditional and new social media has the same goal of keeping the consumer well informed about its product. Both the media provides information that are tediously collected after long research work, drafted dexterously and are subjected to stringent proofreading. It also caters to similar set of consumers. But superior technology has smoothened these processes and has given the new social media an edge over the traditional media.

Traditional Media’s Battle for Survival in Wake of New Social Media

Consumer has become less receptive to both audio and visual marketing advertisement in the traditional media. Commercials can be skipped easily by changing the television or radio channel, banner ads can be blocked, billboards ignored. Traditional media has, hence, become ineffective compared to the new social media.

With the changing taste, needs and demands of the consumers, marketing strategies and techniques has also changed and evolved for good. The changing time and needs have given birth to the new and innovative digital marketing methods. As a result, the popularity and demand for the traditional media has waned considerably over the period. Advanced technology and increased internet access has given new media an edge over its traditional counterpart.

Many experts believe that new media will one day completely takeover the traditional media. We must concede that technology has made the social media a better tool for marketing and advertising. This is the reason new media might take over the old media with the rampant use of technology, as witnessed from the ease of advertising. One cannot deny the fact that the future of advertising lies in the new social media.

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