November 22, 2022
Is Social Media Marketing Replacing Traditional Marketing?

First things first, what is social media marketing and traditional marketing and what are the differences?

Social media marketing includes: 

  • Social Networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.
  • Media Sharing Networks: Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok, YouTube.
  • Discussion Forums: Reddit, Quora, Digg.
  • Bookmarking & Content Curation Networks: Pinterest, Flipboard.
  • Consumer Review Networks: Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor.


Traditional marketing on the other hand, includes:

  • Print: magazines, newspapers, coupon books, billboards
  • Broadcast: radio, and television
  • Direct mail:postcards, brochures, letters, fliers
  • Telephone: calls or texts

So, the difference is that Traditional Marketing depends on offline strategies, which include print advertising, direct sales, direct mail, trade events, referral (also known as word-of-mouth marketing), television and radio. It's the most recognizable type of marketing as it includes advertisements strategies that we see and hear every day. 

However, one of the reasons Social Media Marketing has become popular is that it is the most inexpensive and economical way to reach the target market. It refers to the process of gaining traffic or audience through social media channels or sites.

The two approaches also use key performance indicators, or KPIs but differently. 

Tracking is easier on social media marketing than it is on traditional methods because tracking and social media marketers can easily switch around strategy unlike traditional forms. Therefore it is not a time efficient method. Traditional marketing is one-way i.e. brand to customer, which does not leave room for engagement. Social Media Marketing is multi-ways – brand to customer, customer to brand and customer to customer.  

Whether it is through social media comments or email messages, your target audience is instantly connected with you through various digital marketing channels. Therefore social media marketing is the only way that allows brands and consumers to feel more personally connected and heard. This is evident on twitter and instagram with how brands often like and reply to comments, reshare memes and posts.

The most obvious reason though, is that in the age of technology, people are glued to their phones scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, etc etc… People are constantly looking down at their phones so it raises the question: are billboards simply for aesthetic purposes now so that our streets don't look empty? They had humour in some instances and vibrance in others, some are factual but some are simply just a product image. 

We do not always know what is being advertised but guaranteed if the billboard you walked or drove past everyday but didn't pay much mind to suddenly disappeared, you'd feel something was off balanced. It's the most recognisable type of marketing, encompassing the advertisements that we see and hear every day. However to really get a brand or name out there, social media marketing is the way forward. 

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