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

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Traditional media vs. social media sparks an endless debate. Many old entrepreneurs trust conventional options. But one cannot sustain in this world by completely ignoring the impact of social networking. The world has changed since the age of conventional media. People no longer blindly believe in TV commercials. People conduct extensive research before buying anything. So, the ways of advertisement have changed. Now, social networking is the future. Every brand is now using social media to connect with the world.

Technology has seen a rapid evolution. It cannot be denied that the digital era is here. But does that imply that traditional options are dead? Certainly not! In this blog, we will discuss several impacts and differences between traditional media and social media –

You may wonder what is the difference between traditional media and new social media. Our experts can explain.

Traditional media definition covers all contents running on conventional means like television, radio, newspaper, etc. It is a form of push media. So, companies only can push their messages to their consumers.

Social networking works differently. It is a form of electronic communication. Moreover, it enables two-way communication, unlike traditional networking. So, users can easily create and share their ideas instead of pushing them on the consumers. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the best examples of social media.

Difference between Traditional and Social Media

We will compare different parameters to understand the differences between traditional media and new social media.


Traditional options work as one-way communication. So, you can only receive messages. That means senders can decide what they want to publish. The final decision of the broadcasters prevails here.

On the other hand, social networking platforms work both ways. So, you get more freedom. Consumers can freely speak with the sellers. Sellers can also tailor content through better communication.


Traditional modes only aim to reach more people. So, marketers always try to reach a larger mass in any way possible. It is essentially a one-way street. So, engagement has always been neglected here.

On the other hand, social media thrives on engagement. The contents are interactive. Sellers can engage with their audience easily. They can understand their needs before creating content. So, the engagement rate is always high.


Traditional platforms are for mass. So, they always target a wide section of consumers. Communication isn’t possible here. So, the marketing team creates their plans solely based on assumptions.

Social media works differently. It aids in two-way communication. Hence, marketers can always target specific niches while creating content. Here, they can communicate directly. So they can easily understand their needs and customize the content. Moreover, everyone can share ideas. This boosts sales and builds brands.

We can explain old media vs. new social media through this chart –

Traditional MediaSocial Media
Includes conventional communication modes like TV, newspaper, radio, etc.Includes electronic communication mediums to create and share information and ideas.
It delivers a single message through a one-way communication medium.The whole concept is based on two-way communication.
Only the sender can decide what to publish, broadcast, and telecast. The receiver only gets the information.It offers more freedom to companies to create content. The receivers can provide inputs on what they want.
It is designed for mass consumption. Hence, they target mass consumers.It involves two-way communication. So the companies can target specific audiences.

If you still have doubts, contact us. We can help clear your doubts in an instant.

Similarities between Traditional and Social Media

Despite these differences, there are quite a few similarities between traditional media and new social media. Let’s take a quick look –

Content Dissemination

Both mediums perform one basic function. They spread information. You can use both to reach a large audience in a short time. Barring structural differences, TV and Twitter serves the same purpose. We can help you understand this in detail.

Mass Communication

Both media forms facilitate mass communication. Their primary function is to reach more people. Traditional means aim to reach the masses. Similarly, social media also aims to reach a global audience. Unsure how it works? Ask us today.

Advertising and Marketing

Both traditional and social media provides marketing opportunities to sellers. TV commercials and print adverts are effective advertising modes. Social media marketing options are diverse too. Through targeted ads and niche marketing, marketers can easily reach their audience. Consult our experts to know it in detail.

Influencing Opinions

They both can reshape opinions. Traditional media has always influenced social perceptions. Social media is no different. It can create content and spread it across millions of users. Just like TV commercials can drive agendas, social media can also impact public attitudes. Ask our experts for relevant examples.

Entertainment Source

Both of them can entertain crowds. People have always been hooked to TV or radio to find entertainment. Social media is no different. You can find memes, pictures, and videos to find entertainment.

Credibility and Misinformation

Both receive flak for spreading misinformation. In a traditional medium, you may find biases in reporting. There are many times when TV or Radio unintentionally propagates false information. Social media does the same. There have been several instances of misinformation through social media. People often share unverified posts. They can disrupt the credibility of both channels.

Evolving Landscape

This is another major similarity. Both strive through continuous evolution. Traditional media is on the decline since it has failed to evolve with time. Social media will meet the same fate if it doesn’t evolve. Need more clarity? We can help you out.

These are a few similarities of traditional media and new social media. Finding it difficult to comprehend? Contact us today! We will be happy to explain you in simple terms.

Legacy vs. Social Media Dynamic

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Traditional and Social Media in the Modern Age

Modern consumers have become less receptive to traditional advertisements. Conventional audio-visual advertisements attract lesser people. Modern consumers are extremely impatient. They skip channels and ignore print adverts. So, despite spending fortunes on conventional media, traditional media makes little impact. So, you may wonder if traditional methods are dead. But that isn’t the case.

Traditional media is still widely used to create brand awareness. It offers other benefits too. From strategic marketing to renewing brand identities, it can do it all. But surely there have been changes. In the last few years, there has been a distinct change in preference. For example, the popularity of Facebook has been on the rise. With more than 2 billion users, there is no denying the power of social media.

You can reach millions through a single Facebook Live. With hashtags, marketers can make posts viral. There is no limit to its potential. Modern-day advertisers can use these avenues to boost the marketing power of their campaigns.

Traditional media has seen considerable popularity over the last few years. But technology has changed the landscape. Access to the latest techs has increased. Now, marketers can gain an edge over their rivals using their power. People who are stuck with traditional means will lag.

But, unlike, what others believe, traditional media won’t go anywhere. It is here to stay. There are still many uses of conventional media. Many countries lack enough technical infrastructure. So, traditional ways are the sole option in those places.

But, gradually, social media will engulf the old channels. It has already paved the way. From digital magazines to geo-targeting, there are several ways modern media is changing the world. So, we may see more social media in the advertising space.

Impacts of Traditional Media

Source of Information

Traditional media always acts as a source of information. You can get any kind of news through this channel. Traditional media covers from local to international events. So, newspaper or television broadcasts always have been a trusted source to get news.

Shaping Public Opinions

It can reshape public opinions. Newspapers print stories in certain ways to influence people. Their language and tones can change people’s perceptions. It forces people to interpret news in specific ways. So, they can affect beliefs, attitudes, and even voting patterns.

Setting Agendas

Media covers selected stories according to their needs. They prioritize certain issues over others. This is called agenda-setting. In this way, traditional media can influence what people think. It forces others indirectly impact social and political discourses.

Socialization and Cultural Transmission

Traditional media transmits cultural norms and values. It impacts the behavior of society and helps in socializing. People relied heavily on TV and radios earlier. They played a huge role in reflecting societal norms. In a way, it impacted how they should perceive themselves and others.

Examples of Traditional Media Ad Campaigns

Coca Cola

The classic Coca-Cola ad dates back to 1971. It featured a group of youngsters singing a popular jingle – “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”. This ad became iconic with time. It represented the youth and unity among them. This ad resonated with the youth and became a craze.


Ridley Scott-directed Apple ad is another major example. This Super Bowl ad first introduced the iconic Macintosh computer. This ad was indeed ground-breaking. It showed a dystopian society. The ad ended with a message – “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984.’”


Nike is synonymous with its “Just Do It” campaign. This became a household sensation after their 1988 ad. Their ad inspired millions of youth. It pushed them to embrace challenges, pushing their limits.


The German car giant also is famous for their “Think Small” ad. This ad is termed a classic. Volkswagen launched its iconic “Beetle” in the American market in the 1960s. The company emphasized its small size, making it unique from the huge cars of that time.

Old Spice

Old Spice has been man’s favorite shaving companion for a long time. But they rebranded itself in 2010. They launched an exciting ad where a charismatic man said, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” This made the brand immensely popular among modern men.


The American fast-food giant created a strong brand image with their “I’m Loving It” campaign. Gradually, it became synonymous with the brand’s appeal. This made it popular among consumers from all age groups.


Their iconic ad is still popular as “The Marlboro Man.” It was a long-running campaign. This ad featured rugged cowboys with Marlboro cigarettes. That image went on to become the symbol of masculinity.


Wendy’s took a humorous approach in their ads. It featured an old lady judging the size of burger patties. Her line, “Where’s the Beef?” became iconic. It emphasized that Wendy’s offered a bigger patty than other fast-food companies.


This ad became popular because of its stunning visuals. This 1999 ad showed a group of surfers taking on massive waves. While the visuals grabbed the eyeballs, the tagline stayed with the customers. The tagline, “Good things come to those who wait.” influenced a lot of people.


Pepsi launched its “Pepsi Generation” campaign in 1984. This ad featured many celebrities. They together captured the spirit of that era. It positioned the brand as the best choice for the new generation.

These are some of the most iconic ad examples to date. They have influenced generations immensely with these ads. Want to know their impacts in detail? Ask us! Our experts can shed light on these ad campaigns and clear your doubts.

But a traditional vs. new social media debate cannot happen without opposing examples. So, here are ten Social Media ad campaigns –


This 2014 ad was extremely popular across social media. This powerful ad challenged many stereotypes and social perceptions. It questioned what people mean by “like a girl.” It used smart hashtags like #LikeAGirl. Through this campaign, Always aimed to redefine the phrase and empower young women.

Always launched another ad in 2016. This was equally successful. This empowering ad used emojis as stereotypes. The ad showed through the “Emoji” campaign that social norms hold back women. It challenged the viewers to normalize being like a girl. It used the same hashtags to promote its campaign.


Dove has been a household name for ages. Women love Dove products. But, it repositioned them beautifully with their 2013 ad. The campaign was called “Real Beauty Sketches.” This campaign showed a forensic artist drawing a woman from her own description. This video showed that women often become too harsh on themselves. The campaign aimed to change that perception.


Nike has been synonymous with great ads over the years. Their 2018 social media campaign was brilliant too. Their “Dream Crazy” campaign featured NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The ad beautifully portrayed how the youth can rise despite setbacks. This social media campaign inspired lots of young minds.


Only a few can be as creative as Apple. In 2018, their “Welcome Home” campaign created a stir on social media. Spike Jonze directed this stunning ad. It displayed the potential of the Apple HomePod. The ad featured FKA twigs through a stunning dance. It showed how the speaker can awaken your inner dancer.

Coca Cola

Coca-Cola, the soft drink giant, impressed audiences with its 2014 campaign. Their “Share a Coke” campaign gained huge momentum worldwide. The social media ad, combined with the World Cup craze, reached every household. The youths wanted personalized bottles, which generated millions of engagements.


Airbnb faced a string of controversies in 2015-16. They were plagued with immigration policy issues in the US. So, it started a social media campaign. It released an ad showing its commitment to its customers. They highlighted their diversity and acceptance with the message – ” We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, or who you worship, we all belong.”


Chipotle took social media to boost its brand. It created an animated movie showing the dark side of the food industry. At the same time, it showed how they use the freshest ingredients. This makes the “The Scarecrow” campaign a huge success.

Proctor & Gamble

Proctor & Gamble used an emotional ad in their successful “The Talk” campaign. This ad depicted how blacks “talk” with their children about racial bias and injustice. They took social media to create this impactful ad in 2017.


REI played smartly by launching its “Opt Outside” campaign. Instead of Black Friday sales, REI encouraged its consumers to spend time with family. They closed their stores for a day. They took social media to promote this, which benefited them surprisingly. Many nature enthusiasts and social workers praised this move. This eventually increased their sales.


Wendy’s traditional campaign was a roaring success. But with time, they evolved their ad styles. In 2017, Wendy’s launched their most famous social media campaign. This started when a certain high school student named Carter Wilkerson tweeted to Wendy’s. He cheekily asked how many retweets he needed to get free nuggets for a year. Wendy’s took this opportunity to do their promotion. It said that if Carter gets 10 million retweets, they will provide free nuggets. This led to the famous #Nuggs For Carter campaign.

The best part was this was a free promotion. Carter launched the campaign with the hashtag #Nuggs For Carter. The campaign quickly became viral. People from all over the world joined the campaign. Ultimately Carter never reached the target. But it became the most retweeted Tweet ever.

Wendy’s acknowledged this massive promotion and kept their promise. They awarded him free chicken nuggets for a year. They even went ahead and promised to donate to a charity of his choice.

This is an excellent example of how social media can gain your attention. So undoubtedly, there is a lot of potential in social media marketing. Brands can build brand engagement by using the power of user-centric content.

Traditional Media Outcomes

Reach and Awareness

Traditional media channels like TV, radio, and newspapers have huge potential. They can reach a broad audience easily. Thus they can help companies increase their visibility. Thus, people get more aware of the brand, which in turn helps to increase profits.

Credibility and Trust

Historically, traditional media is perceived as more credible. The general audience trusts these sources. For example, if a piece of news is published in the paper, it shows more trustworthiness than an online article.

Control over Message

In traditional media, brands have more control over their content and ads. Brands can craft ad content according to their identity and values. So, more power lies in the hands of content creators.

Social Media Outcomes

Targeted Audience

They focus on specific customer segments. The brands can use various options, like targeting options. This helps them achieve specific audiences based on behaviors and interests.

Massive Potential

Social media can make posts go viral. It can even reach people beyond the brand’s audience. Moreover, brands can communicate with their followers. So they understand the specific requirements and create more engaging and shareable content. Such content helps brands to gain traction easily.

Moreover, companies get real-time feedback. These data help them measure and strategize future decisions.

So, we can conclude by saying that debates like traditional media vs. social media don’t make sense. Both of them are important. It all depends on what the end goal is. So, by analyzing the target audience, and industry type, you can decide on an option for your campaign. These are all the details that you should know about traditional and social media. We are always there to help you. If you want to clear up any doubts about the blog, let us know.

Hi, I am Mark, a Literature writer by profession. Fueled by a lifelong passion for Literature, story, and creative expression, I went on to get a PhD in creative writing. Over all these years, my passion has helped me manage a publication of my write ups in prominent websites and e-magazines. I have also been working part-time as a writing expert for for 5+ years now. It’s fun to guide students on academic write ups and bag those top grades like a pro. Apart from my professional life, I am a big-time foodie and travel enthusiast in my personal life. So, when I am not working, I am probably travelling places to try regional delicacies and sharing my experiences with people through my blog. 

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