Social Media – a different ball game altogether

Yes, social media is here to stay. And so is social media marketing. Like it or not. Avoid it or not. And while a brand can choose not to use the medium, the consumer is going to talk about the brand. Neither the brand manager nor the advertising agency can control that aspect. David Ogilvy once said, “Advertising reflects the mores of society, but it does not influence them”. But what if the society itself starts contributing to the advertising of a product? Or starts sharing insights about what influences them the most? And what if these contributions of society can be legitimately tracked and identified? If word of mouth is regarded as the most powerful mediums of marketing and if ‘listening to the consumer’ has been the dream of every marketer – then, what if brands actually had the power to engage with their consumers?

Welcome to the world of social media. And the immediate function of social media marketing.

While social media marketing (SMM) is the new-hair-do-spotting-dude-in-the-city; it needs to be treated in a very different manner compared to it’s oh-I’ve-seen-it-all bigger brother – advertising.

Here are the key differences between SMM and Advertising:

  1. Advertising is all about one monologue with one message. Social Media Marketing is about many dialogues with one message.
  2. Advertising concentrates on the craft of communication. Social Media Marketing focuses on the art of communication.
  3. Advertising says, “Hey consumer look at this”. Social Media Marketing says, “Hey consumer, guess what I have for you?”
  4. Advertising deals with forming an opinion about a brand. Social Media Marketing deals with driving an opinion about a brand.
  5. Advertising is built on creative ideas. Social Media Marketing is built on creative conversations.
  6. Advertising is based on a paid form of communication. Social Media marketing is based on an earned form of communication.
  7. And most importantly advertising is aimed at the masses, hence it is non-personal. Social Media Marketing is aimed at communities, hence it is personal.

Have a point of view? Ask away…

Source: This post was first published here

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~ by rb on May 17, 2010.

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