Social Media and Traditional Advertising Are Similar and Different

Posted By on Oct 8, 2008 | 0 comments


Lorraine Ball has an excellent post today talking about consistency in advertising, blogging, and social media.  She talks about the similarities between social media and blogging compared to corporate advertising. She cites Mitch Joel when talking about the best practices in social media.

1. “Repetition, repetition, repetition”.  His point was simple, if we wanted to get noticed, we could not take a one shot approach to our marketing.  Multiple ads, multiple pieces of direct mail would be required to break through the clutter. And the same is true today!  Using blogging and social media as an integral part of your marketing mix.

2. He also makes a great point about creating a consistent online image.  Just as you wouldn’t consider changing your brand color or font every time you print a new brochure, don’t change your identity when you blog.

It made me think about my own paradigm when it comes to push marketing, bomber marketing strategy, and traditional advertising. I have come to despise the constant bombardment of direct mail and email blasts. There is something to be said of a company who can connect with a niche group of people of an emotional level. It is true that repetition and consistency is key in traditional advertising, as well as social media. I wanted to take it a bit further and explain why social media is an upgrade to the traditional advertising platform.

There always needs to be repetition and consistency in social media but not necessarily in terms of “repetition” in the advertising world. In my opinion, repetition in advertising means creating a marketing strategy for a large demographic base and then trying to hit that base as many times as possible with that message (bombing). Social Media has a way (wether you like it or not) to create an extremely niche listener base in your community outlets.

Friendfeed is a great example of this. When you “like” something on Friendfeed you are paired and grouped with people who tended to “like” the same thing. If you are subscribed to a person and he/she likes another post, you will see it in your timeline. This creates a network of niche individuals who share a certain connection in terms of information.

It is hard to pinpoint a specific niche market in your daily social media meanderings because you truthfully have little to no control on how your listerner base in built. That is the difference between social media marketing and traditional advertising.

We choose what we want to read. We choose what we want to see and experience. There has never been such a powerful consumer centric platform in the history!

Yes, you need to be repetitive and consistent in your social media use but if you don’t tack on the content your clientbase wants to read… you might as well be dropping bombs on yourself.