According to Jaffe (2005), advertising is the art of creating awareness of or spreading about business in the consumers’ minds. In most instances, advertising is mainly to create awareness, but it can also solicit the sale of a product or service eventually. Traditional advertising incorporates billboards, newspapers, radios, and magazines. Social media marketing and traditional advertising are effective tools for marketing. According to Tuten & Solomon (2013), social media is the technology connecting people through chat or sharing something. Some examples of social networks include Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, among others, and they create platforms where social interactions occur, that is, discovering and sharing. Evans (2008) defined social media marketing as using technology to build relationships, attract new customers, and drive repeat businesses by sharing with friends or through friends. Social media marketing is simply word of mouth powered by technology and is also a great way of attracting new customers and driving new customers. The essay will discuss social media marketing compared to traditional advertising.
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Traditional advertising tries to find and convert new prospects into customers, while social media marketing values existing customers as the best assets.
In traditional marketing, marketers use different techniques to attract new customers to the business to buy goods and services. For instance, traditional marketing methods such as application posters and banners to advertise a product to prospecting customers are designed to channel new customers to a business rather than keeping the customers. A potential customer will read the poster and get directed to the business premises for goods and services (Egendorf, 2006). However, there are mechanisms for retaining customers or reminding them to come back or refer friends. Rapid technological advancement has changed how people are influenced and how marketers influence people. Evans (2010) described it as less than doing the same things but using new techniques and tools. Marketing is the business of selling and promoting products and services (Silverberg et al., 1998). In traditional marketing, marketers spend their limited time and resources trying to find and convert new prospects. D.E. Visuals et al. (2011) indicated that keeping the customers hard-earned in traditional marketing was often an afterthought. This is because, until recently, there was little marketers could do to keep their existing customers. Historically, the best the marketers could do after converting a prospect into a customer was to provide a great experience to the customer with the hope that the customer will return to purchase more of the goods, in addition to bringing their friends along. However, advancements in technology brought about social media, which changed how marketing and advertising are done.
According to Zarrella (2010), social media marketing is all about recognizing existing customers as a business’s best assets. In social media marketing, for example, the use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, a business will market or advertise its products online, attracting and retaining customers through a subscription to the company’s email or by liking their Facebook fan page. By retaining their customers, the business can communicate with their clients with new products and deals every time they are posted online on their social media platforms. This shows how in social media marketing, customers are the business’s best assets. With the application of technology in marketing, how consumer behaviors are influenced has been enabled both after and before the sale. With easy-to-use and low-cost tools like social media and email, businesses no longer need not worry that a customers will come back or even come along with their friends. This is because it is now possible for a business to reach out to their existing customers either through social media or even email to remind them to come back. Falls & Deckers (2012) asserted that social media marketing is as easy as clicking the like, share, or tweet buttons.
In summary, a successful business understands that marketing does not just end after the sale but instead begins after the first sale.
Social media marketing is aggressive in marketing, while traditional advertising is a wiser strategy in marketing.
According to Funk (2013), a growing majority of companies that deal with consumer goods and services have an increasing shift in spending on social media marketing away from the traditional advertising methods such as outdoor, print, radio, and television. The proliferation of the social media marketing alternatives such as mobile, YouTube, apps, search engines, and online advertising is attracting money that was traditionally budgeted on traditional advertising. According to Zimmerman & Ng (2013), social media marketing is very aggressive because they grab headlines and attract potential clients like moths to a flame. Social marketing adverts are everywhere on the internet with the huge traffic of people who surf the internet, and they tend to catch the attention of the internet users. Moreover, most marketers who use social media marketing design online adverts with very catchy phrases, blinking pop-ups, and other ways to attract people to their websites. However, Barefoot & Szabo (2010) pointed out that social media marketing operates under the same rules as traditional advertising. For instance, the techniques for television testing can also be applied to commercials posted on social media platforms, regardless of where they will be aired. Similarly, the static banner ads and social media posts are similar to the print ads used in traditional advertising and can be evaluated.
Mastery of the traditional media form of advertising by companies, especially the outdoor, radio, and television, is a far wiser strategy than social media advertising. Over the past recent years, Zyman & Brott (2002) noted that traditional advertising has been suffering from a trend toward social media promotional expenditures consuming the marketing budget’s larger share. Many companies that deal in consumer goods are spending less on advertising with the hope that one advert on social media platforms may go viral and accomplish their company advertising miracles on a very low budget. Cappo (2003) argued that the decline in traditional advertising by most companies had created an opportunity for companies that can appreciate traditional advertising power. As much as social media advertising is very aggressive, Williams, Lee & Haugtvedt (2004) believe they can be part of a good media mix but still play second fiddle to the traditional media. This is because mastery of the traditional media, mainly outdoor, radio, and television advertising, is a far wider strategy because it repeats a message over and over to the consumer until it becomes part of the consumer’s mind in making decisions on the purchase of goods. For instance, in television advertising, there is a combination of sound, color, and motion in an advert which has a great impact and creates awareness widely and swiftly. Moreover, it is more effective and wise if the higher share of goods were tested amongst the consumers before being aired.
Both social media marketing and traditional advertising complement each other and should be applied together for a greater impact and effectiveness. Traditional advertising relies on one-way communication, while social media marketing relies on two-way communication.
According to Jaffe (2005), traditional media heavily relied on a one-to-many paradigm; that is, a band or a company creates a message and then transmits the message to the masses through signage, radio, print, or broadcast. For example, a company creates an advert that is aired in broadcasts, such as a detergent that will make the clothes brighter or a toothpaste that will make the teeth whiter. The assumption is that the company making advertisement design truthful and correct, and the consumer watching the advert is to believe the brand message. This is a one-way communication system that does not work to promote word of mouth or create engagement. The consumer has no platform to ask questions, enquire more about the products, or give feedback or comments. Egendorf (2006) asserted that these are the hallmarks that social media marketing capitalizes on since they can engage and interact with the company, unlike lies and propaganda in traditional advertising. In traditional advertising, the generic message in the advert shows that the company does not care about the consumers since it does not give them a way of talking back to the company. The consumers are meant to be passive consumers of the message, which does not provide a strong motivation to do something, let alone buy the brand. Given that the consumer cannot talk back, the company never learned if the consumer would love the brand if it only came in a different color, smaller or larger size, had more features, or was simpler. Therefore, the brands marketed using traditional advertising are likely to fail because they do not understand or know what the consumer wanted and did not provide it (Silverberg et al., 1998).
On the other hand, social media provides consumers with a platform to engage the company and talk back, which is two-way communication. For example, a company advertises its product line on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media platforms. Consumers can question the features, prices, sizes, colors, and many more. Tuten & Solomon (2013) stated that the company, rather than getting the brand messages, will be able to get recommendations from friends and consumers in the form of recommended posts and re-shares, which de-commercializes the messages of the brand. According to Evans (2008), social media create a word-of-mouth form of advertising by encouraging re-shares which amplify a brand message and increase reach. Compared to traditional brand messages, word of mouth is more powerful since 92% of consumers tend to believe more word of mouth.
One-way communication in traditional advertising makes the brand right before the eyes of the consumer. Still, two-way communication in social media marketing is perfect for reaching a larger market.
Pros of Facebook, a social media tool
Facebook, one of the tools used in social media advertising, has many advantages compared to other traditional advertising tools such as billboards, newspapers, radio, and magazines. To begin, Facebook is free for a business to set up by simply creating an account. According to Evans (2010), the real costs a company will incur are the resources and time they need in creating their companies social media policies and online management strategy of reputation, finding and updating exciting and fresh content, setting up the sites, monitoring and updating the account regularly as well as promoting it to find new and potential customers to the business. There is also the ability of one-on-one interactions on Facebook as a tool for social media marketing. This is because Facebook allows companies to chat or dialogue with their clients and potential clients in a manner that some traditional advertising tools cannot. Zarrella (2010) stated that the conversational nature of Facebook as a social media marketing tool allows businesses to breathe life into their brands and connect to their customers one–on–one. The business will be able to respond to people’s feedback and comments and post on time. According to Falls & Deckers (2012), Facebook, by its very nature as a tool for social media marketing, can be useful in driving prequalified traffic to a company’s website. Therefore, the people who follow the company’s social pages indicate that they are interested in the company. Therefore, the company, through its Facebook fan page, should entice people to visit its website by running exclusive promotions and posting new productions on its Facebook fan page. Another advantage of Facebook, a social media marketing tool, is that it is flexible with its campaigns. This is possible by adding or deleting promotions or making changes to the campaigns via the sites for networking at a moment’s notice with minimal time required for setup. This is impossible with traditional advertising tools such as television, radio, and print, and the business has limitations on the changes it can make without incurring extra costs (Funk, 2013). Lastly, Facebook can measure the results. The company can evaluate its Facebook campaigns through the network analytic software called Facebook insights. The company will be able to use its Facebook fan page metrics, such as the number of people who clicked or even shared their links with their communities. Moreover, we can also see the network which referred the highest traffic to their websites (Zimmerman & Ng, 2013). Barefoot & Szabo (2010) asserted that the success of traditional advertisement tools such as billboards, and radios may be harder to measure.
The essay acknowledges that Facebook as a tool and a platform for social media marketing has considerable benefits to a brand or a company. However, this section of the essay refutes the assertions that Facebook, as a tool in social media, has many advantages compared to any other traditional advertising tools such as billboards, newspapers, radio, and magazines. To begin, Facebook is currently having rising public struggles with its algorithm for its news feed and marketing approach. May companies with their brands find that subscribers who signed up for their regular updates do not get or see the updates (Tuten & Solomon, 2013). Moreover, Facebook is closely moving to pay only platform for marketing. Therefore, the days are numbered if it is a company that enjoys a free Facebook platform to access its broad fan base (Evans, 2008). According to Evans (2010), the Facebook platform is time-consuming, especially for business owners. The problem is that when the business owners do not do it properly, all their marketing efforts and time will be useless. Lastly, Zarrella (2010) argued that Facebook also generates negative users by attracting all sorts of people, including malicious and negative ones. They include trolls, scammers, and spammers with intentions to harm the business’s reputation through negative comments against a brand.
As much as Facebook is a good platform for social marketing from its large base of fans, it can be detrimental to a business or business when negative comments or posts go viral.
In conclusion, social media marketing and traditional advertising are effective marketing mediums that boost a brand, increase sales, and create a large clientele base. The essay compared and contrasted social media marketing and traditional advertising. The essay found that Traditional advertising tries to find and convert new prospects into customers while social media marketing values its existing customers as the best assets. Social media marketing in marketing is more aggressive, while traditional advertising is a wiser strategy to employ marketing. Moreover, Traditional advertising relies on one-way communication while social media marketing relies on two-way communication. The essay further discussed the pros of Facebook as a tool in social media marketing and refuted the argument with a counterargument. Overall, social media marketing and traditional marketing have both advantages and disadvantages. However, all are viable and effective in marketing a brand.
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