Integrating Traditional Media and Social Media to Get the Best Results
Social media is the hot new trend, but the power of traditional media shouldn’t be underestimated when planning your next marketing campaign.
Shares, likes, tweets and followers – these are the new buzzwords that anyone in business is sure to have heard plenty about in recent years. With social media becoming an increasingly important part of modern life and marketing, there is a whole new world of potential opportunities up for grabs.
While previously PR and marketing campaigns focused on TV, newspaper and radio exposure, there is now a social media dimension to nearly every strategic plan for local business. However, according to Impact PR’s Fleur Revell, that doesn’t mean forgetting about traditional media.
“Social media has experienced exponential growth recently, and it’s proving to be a very powerful tool when it comes to driving brand exposure and connecting with customers for businesses across the globe,” explains Revell.
Meanwhile, many traditional media formats such as newspapers, magazines and television are experiencing challenges when it comes to audience numbers, and are viewed by some companies as ‘old hat’ or outdated, she says.
“It’s true that the way people are seeking information and interacting with businesses is changing, but that doesn’t mean solely using social media to drive awareness of your brand or a new product is going to be the most effective approach,” Revell says. “Both offer different advantages and reach different people, and a campaign that integrates the two is far more likely to achieve widespread success in New Zealand.”
It’s also important to note that social media is not appropriate for all companies. “For consumer brands, being on Facebook or Instagram makes sense, but for many corporate or business-to-business clients, traditional media is where they expect to be, and where content will be most effective,” she explains. “For some companies, social media doesn’t make sense at all – they won’t have ”
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offer an opportunity for people to interact with brands in a fun and light-hearted way as they browse while they watch TV, wait for the bus or take a break from their to-do list at work.
“Worldwide brands such as Nike, Oreo and Skittles have created exciting and memorable content that has made them really come alive for customers, and had hugely successful results in gaining positive exposure for campaigns with clever images or posts on Facebook,” says Revell.
The ability for posts and tweets to ‘go viral’ by people sharing them with others means social media can reach those who wouldn’t usually seek out this content, and some of these successful moments are then covered by traditional media outlets as ‘online phenomenons’, widening the net of coverage even further.
All of these factors make social media a desirable element to any PR campaign, says Revell, but there is still a clear place for more conventional coverage as well. “A recent survey in Australia of people aged 18 to 64 years old found that 79 percent of people trusted traditional media formats such as print newspapers and television, while only 40 percent trusted blogs and social media,” she explains.
While social media is certainly popular for sharing funny videos, inspiring images and personal anecdotes, many people still turn to the 6pm television news or the local newspaper (even if it is online) to discover the ‘official story’, says Revell, or to check details of a promotion or product are correct. “Having content in both places therefore reinforces the message, and caters to a wider audience.”
“Newspapers and magazines also usually have the time and space to tell a more in-depth story than those you typically find on social media,” she adds. “Someone reading a two-page feature on an inspirational CEO of a company or a disadvantaged child helped by a business to succeed is committing much more time and energy to that piece – which usually translates to a deeper connection with a brand than simply clicking ‘like’ on a photo and moving on.”
Revell believes the best campaigns take into account the nature of the brand, recognise the strengths of both types of media, and use them to connect with audiences in different forums that are appropriate for their purpose. “Some content will work far better in one setting than another, but both social media and traditional media have their restrictions,” she says.
“The media landscape is constantly changing, and some campaigns will be better suited to one type of media than others,” says Revell. “Making sure that like-worthy content reaches people on social media and attention-grabbing content reaches people in more traditional forums will give any campaign a strong foundation.”