Social media marketing or SMM is taking the place of traditional marketing because of its interactivity and cost effective nature. Social media campaigns may be toned and sculpted to accommodate a particular target market. This campaign has continuous updates as per the taste of the market. As social media is always in its formative years, some customers have a hard time discriminating between social versus traditional albeit the two pillars are different.

You will find more similarities between SMM and traditional marketing than differences. Understanding what those differences and similarities are may help you. Listed beneath are some of the differences between these two.

Traditional Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Closed System Open System
1-way conversation 2-way conversation
Mass Marketing 1-1 Marketing
Opaque Transparent
Professional Content Brand & User-Created Content
About Me About You
Paid Platform Free Platform
Polished Content Authentic Content
Celebrities/Actors Actors: Influencers/Users
The metric is frequency/reach The metric is engagement
Controlled communication Unstructured communication
Decision making: economic Decision making: community
Top down approach Bottom up approach
Scheduled/pre-produced Creation is real time based
Passive involvement Active involvement
Formal language Informal language

One of the main similarities between the two is that SMM and traditional marketing have to be properly planned out. Just like traditional marketing, building a social media marketing plans should be relied on the customers you need to reach. The planning process is a 2-fold criterion:

  1. Message planning is very important. You need your viewers to recognize and accordingly act upon.
  2. Channel planning: Planning about the specific channels so that you’ll viably communicate your message to your respective audience.

The message should be simple and clear in both the media. When you’ve decided your message, then you have to select the desired channels.

Another similarity is that traditional marketing and SMM are both measurable platforms. Like any other media plan, the results should be measured to check how efficiently you conveyed your message. In a traditional marketing campaign, you may utilize foot traffic, surveys and sales data to collect results.

Alternatively, the main difference between traditional and SMM is cost. When buying space and time and designing ads — not to cite billable hours in case you utilize an advertising firm — it won’t take long for bills to add up swiftly. On the other hand, the majority of social marketing outlets are normally free to utilize. You may also outsource your various social marketing efforts to a specialty or marketing agency for a cost.

The next difference between the two is the time. The Social Media Marketing campaign should be handled every day. Monitor and analyze what your respective customers are doing and saying about you. Then respond accordingly and it takes time. The majority of the experts suggest that you must spend daily 1 hour on social media marketing outlet you use.

The traditional marketing is time-consuming in nature mostly from the front end (i.e. buying, creating and planning) and back end (analyzing and quantifying) of the campaign. When the traditional marketing plan is done, it is a hands-off job.

How SMM offers value

Traditional media gives value via subsidizing content — i.e. free radio and TV programs, cost effective magazines, and good chances to win several prizes. 

The thing which makes traditional marketing different from social media — YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, et cetera — are FREE.

So, the main thing which makes social media work is that it also provides different types of value like support, information, entertainment, or another kind of rewards and also responds to your commercial messages. 

Social media is the integral part of community

Social networks are more popular than traditional communities. Social networks draw millions of people and encourage them to invest some time on the social network.

So, join the ongoing conversation than disrupting the conversation. As it is the community’s integral part everybody recognizes it and welcomes as you share interesting and fun things with them. 

Wisely use the community. Experience and studies show that people engage more in social media. So, request the community to add content like suggestions or cool video for a particular brand name.   

1-1 marketing

Whilst the majority of traditional marketing is developed for mass consumption, the social marketing involves 1-1 marketing.  So, marketers have to comprehend their desired market on every network hence messages appear custom-made to the individual.  Whilst you might have a broad market, the people on Facebook can be different from those who are on YouTube and taking into account this approach in every network is the main key to your whole success.