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Traditional Marketing vs Social Media Marketing

With the emergence of various social media platforms, the marketing sector has had major changes in its operations and strategies. The former methods are fading away as newer strategies come our way. However, the core of marketing remains the same i.e. research, advertising, merchandising and selling of products or services. Schemes that are now being incorporated vary from traditional marketing to social media marketing. It’s also important to build strong customer loyalty.

Here is a comparison of the two:

Motto of marketing

The motto of traditional marketing is ‘Product selling’ whereas the motto of social media marketing is ‘Customer satisfaction’. Since the aim is to satisfy the customer rather than to fill their own pockets, social media marketing tools prove to be better in terms of gaining and maintaining more customers.

Direction of communication

In the case of traditional modes of marketing, it’s a monologue or a ‘one way’ conversation whereas in case of social media marketing, it’s a dialogue or a ‘two-way’ process. In the former, companies spread information and consumers just listen. The latter offers a platform for end users to interact with the brand and company and also to review, comment and feedback for the same. Richard Branson, an English businessman and investor said, “Social media is not only more cost-efficient than advertising, but it also offers great opportunities for innovative engagement with your customers.”

Level of transparency

In the case of traditional forms, the customers are kept in the dark about the business and their products. But, social media forums provide a more transparent model where the customers can go through product reviews, promotions, user comments and so on.

When your customers are satisfied with your product and give positives reviews, it can boost your brand’s image. Studies show that 92% of Internet users read online product reviews and 89% of them trust this information and make their purchase based on them.

Mass marketing vs. one-on-one marketing

The vehicles of traditional marketing namely, radio commercials, newspapers and magazine advertisements all fall into the category of ‘mass marketing’. There is no direct one-on-one bond between the consumer and the brand. But, in case of social media marketing companies, there’s a great relation developed with the consumers.

Type of content

Traditional forms require polished, professional and formal content. Though it sounds nice, the present-day customers are not looking at the professionalism of a company but rather the satisfaction of its products.

That’s why modern day marketing creates brand and user generated content (example: product previews) and authentic content with correct statistics. Consumers respond better to informal language. That’s why bloggers and influencers who are normal people have become influential.

Cost incurred

The cost incurred in case of the various traditional vehicles like radio commercials, newspaper and magazines is exorbitant. This is a disadvantage for small businesses. But, the social media platforms are absolutely free. You have more time to spend energy in creating an attractive marketing strategy, which will generate more ‘likes’ or ‘followers’.

Time factor

The advertisements created on traditional forums are pre-produced and scheduled. If changes have to be made, it will cost you in money and time. It’s not easy to incorporate changes and in some cases, like a magazine or newspaper, you must resend and republish an advertisement.Whereas, in social media marketing, you can clarify, respond and make changes in seconds.


In an advertisement, the actors promoting the product or brand are celebrities whereas in social media promotions, it’s the direct users and influencer’s who promote. That is seen in the form of the user previews and comments. The customers are more confident of this and are willing to trust and purchase such a product.

As we can see that traditional marketing makes use of a Top-down strategy whereas social media marketing makes use of a bottom-up strategy. From the comparisons we can find that there is a ray of hope for small businesses to survive by shifting to the newer, cost-effective and efficient forms of marketing. For professionals, LinkedIn is a great platform to gain new customers.

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