Understanding some basic concepts can be the difference between a successful ad campaign and one that’s… well, let’s just say less than spectacular. In this article, I’m going to discuss how traditional marketing differs from social media marketing and when you should use either type.
When we talk about traditional marketing, what do we mean? What do you think of when you imagine traditional marketing? TV/radio commercials, newspaper/magazine ads, direct mail, flyers, signs and billboards are just a few of the things that come to mind.
What do they all have in common?
They talk at you. A typical traditional ad will tell you who I am, what I do (or what I sell) and why you should do business with me.
It’s totally one-sided.
Traditional marketing makes it difficult for consumers in that most people need to have some sort of trust in a company before they turn over their hard-earned cash. So how do you establish trust?
My mentor has a saying – “the value is created after the experience.” What that means is that people don’t really know what doing business with you is like until after they’ve actually purchased from you. But giving a free or discounted sample may not always be feasible.
The trick is letting them get to know you – to get the experience of working with you – and that’s where social marketing comes into play.
Where traditional marketing is one-sided, social marketing is interactive. Social marketing is conversational. It allows a business to engage their audience and build a relationship before an offer is even made. In other words, social marketing can help you establish trust with your potential customers.
The mistake a lot of businesses make is treating their social media channels like traditional marketing. They put up posts and ads that talk at the audience instead of to them – or with them. The result is ads and that are largely ignored, or worse reported as spam.
Social media is meant to be exactly that – social. It’s an online continuation of the interactions we have in person. People use social media to communicate with their friends and family, look at pictures and generally escape and be entertained. When you show up with an ad it’s an intrusion into their personal life.
Think about when you go to a party or other social function. Would you walk in the door immediately try to sell people your product or service? How would you react if another party guest that did that? I think you’ll get to know people and if the conversation comes around to what you do, you’ll talk about it. Maybe you’ll give a little free advice, but I’m willing to bet you still wouldn’t ask for a sale right then and there. Maybe you’d give out your business card (if they asked) and get their information to schedule an appointment at a later time, but you know a party is not the time to conduct business.
So why should you treat your social media advertising any differently?
Use your social media get to know your audience – and let them get to know you – by offering useful and entertaining information. Then when you hit them with a piece of traditional advertising, they’ll be warm to you and more likely to become a long-term customer.