We hear it all the time: the Internet has overhauled everything. The fear is that the rise of digital media is eradicating our face-to-face, interpersonal relationships and turning us into social-media-obsessed robots. Being a social media maven myself, this conversation continuously pops up in the office, particularly in terms of advertising. “Social media is the new advertising,” “Digital marketing has eclipsed traditional methods,” and “The entire world is online now” are statements made, doused in confidence, on an almost daily basis in my world.
Is it true? Has social media overrun and, even more so, outshined traditional methods of advertising? It’s a hotly debated topic, and for good reason. With social media consumption now accounting for roughly one in every three minutes spent online, you have to wonder. Has society lost their appetite for physical, printed content? Are marketers shying away from magazines, billboards and radio ads? I reached out to digital engagement expert and top social media geek, Matt Kaskavitch, to feed my curiosity.
“I don’t believe social media is replacing traditional advertising, but it is certainly augmenting it,” Kaskavtich notes. Traditional advertising is not going away, he states, but the budget is being reduced due to the allure of affordable impressions.
“The real value is the cost of social media … The greatest expense is time and people, and you can generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in media value for a fraction of that when it’s done right,” Kaskavitch says. When you layer more traditional tactics with social media, you can build even stronger brand awareness and advocacy for your company for a significantly cheaper chunk of change than typical methods used in the past.
“You have to do it in 2019, otherwise you are being left behind,” he states. HuffingtonPost backs this stance too, stating that “traditional media has been undergoing a sea of change for quite some time now.” The way that business was conducted 15, 10, even just 5 years ago is “gone for good,” according to this source, and smart marketing must not simply “throw the baby out with the bathwater because they no longer believe in the tub.”
Based off of my own experience in the marketing realm, I think a mix of both traditional and digital/social advertising and promotion is a sound business decision. I still seem to observe, however, many companies who shy away from leveraging social media for advertising purposes, which poses a major question in my mind. Why would organizations not adopt this marketing tactic?
According to InTouch-Marketing, it’s multifaceted. Some of the leading reasons include the belief that social media marketing is too much work, that only young people engage in it, that it opens businesses to criticism, and, probably more prominent and relevant than all, people just plain don’t understand how to use it. While these remarks are valid, it doesn’t lessen the danger of avoiding social media as a marketing tool.
According to Fortune, “Not incorporating Twitter, Facebook, and other social channels into your strategy is roughly the equivalent of insisting the web was just a fad a decade or so ago: backward-looking, blinkered, and above all, a serious business liability.” Kaskavitch echoes this claim as well, stating that, “Not including social media advertising as part of your marketing plan is a huge missed opportunity.” With almost nine in 10 companies using social media for marketing purposes in the United States, it’s a wonder why any organization would opt out of social media marketing, unless they genuinely don’t know how to use it.
Kaskavitch is leading two final workshops in CU South Denver's Social Media Boot Camp series. The series is designed to help businesses overcome any hesitation or uncertainty in regard to social media marketing. The upcoming workshops center around how to master Instagram and Facebook marketing strategies. Learn more here.