Monday, December 22, 2008

Social Media versus Traditional Media...

...the debate continues.

Well, it's time to end the debate. It's not either or. It's "with"(in the words of Mitch Joel). The whole purpose of marketing through
any channel is to reach out to your audience where they will engage best with your brand. If this is true than the debate should be Media versus No Media. The differences between Social Media and Traditional Media are no different than those that separate Television and Radio, or Newspaper and Billboards. All offer:
  • Different levels of consumer engagement
  • Some form of scalability
  • Different execution strategies
  • Different results
Chris Brogan just wrote a great post on the unique experience that Social Media can (but doesn't always) provide. His story is about the small business, mom and pop shop of the 1930's type of brand experience...."That’s the time to use social media, when you want to reach people on a more personal and more connected way. It’s not always the path to more revenue. In fact, it’s definitely not as easy as just pushing a few clicks and having books sent to the house. But when you need a more personalized feeling, a more human experience, cafe-shaped is what social media does best."

Radio didn't start out with 15 second product dumps and the online space didn't start out with a focus on click through rates. We have created this environment. Social Media is no different.

First find out who you're talking to. Then find out what you want to say. Then explore where you want to say it. Not the other way around.