While social media is a valuable way to communicate with current clients and reach new ones, traditional forms of media—print, TV and radio—still have a substantial audience. Combining social and traditional media may give you a stronger edge in a busy marketplace.
What Is the Real Difference Between Social Media and Traditional Media?
Social media (blogs, social media sites, online news feeds, etc.) is based on giving up control and fostering two-way communications with your audience in order to build community and create trust over time. The best practitioners engage others by starting interesting conversation topics or creating exclusive online content. Through blogs, online sites and videos, people can write reviews, post comments and ask questions. That gives you the opportunity to talk directly to the consumer, instead of at them. It’s a format that is interactive, (ideally) friendly and personal.
Traditional marketing (via newspapers, magazines, radio, televisions, etc.) is based on you creating and controlling the message, then pushing that message out to the types of media that best serve to promote those ideas and stories. These campaigns tend to be insular and targeted. However, they do not have to be focused on a particular topic (as tends to be the case with social media). That means traditional marketing has the power to be a strong content generator, giving readers more depth and scope on a topic.
Many traditional news outlets now have a significant social media presence. Writers explore story ideas via their Twitter™ feeds or on the news outlet’s Facebook page. Many magazines and newspapers have a website that offers additional or distinct content that differs from the hard-copy edition. This can present you with a variety of new opportunities for reaching out to the media or garnering media coverage.
According to Peter Baron of Cision Navigator, you can begin to balance traditional and social media by following these easy steps:
- Share links to online industry trade publication articles (traditional media placements) as points of discussion in LinkedIn Groups and on Twitter, or post your reaction to the story in your blog. This can be an especially effective public-relations tool if you wrote the article or were quoted in it.
- Tap the power of microblogging for sharing and receiving instant updates at industry events. The next time your company exhibits at a trade show, assign one person the role of shooting out regular updates via Twitter: reporting from the event, sharing observations about panels and presentations, communicating with other attendees regarding related events, etc.
- Actively weave social media into standard communications like e-mail, phone conversations and business cards. This includes asking to connect with folks via LinkedIn or pointing people to your Facebook page or Twitter feed.
For additional information, please see “Traditional Media & Social Media: Creating an Effective Communications Partnership” in the online IDEA Library or in the January 2012 issue of IDEA Trainer Success.