Now to be fair, I happened to see this via Adrian, but I am not picking on him. This same article and infographic is/was Tweeted and ReTweeted A LOT. By A LOT of people. Which is, in and of itself, part of the issue. We don’t really read or think about things. We just re-tweet the link, along with its sneering headline, emphasis on INFOGRAPHIC (scream it with me!), and we pat ourselves on the back for doing a little social-media-reputation-arbitrage.
In addition to the way these posts make their way around the web, I’ve also got issue with this post’s content (and infographic) specifically.
What this infographic seems to be implying, is that “Social” media and “Traditional” media are two distinct things, and that “Social” media is better/more-effective than “Traditional” media. It’s cheaper, it’s more trusted, it’s more efficient, and it’s easier to measure (what??). While it doesn’t necessarily say all of this explicitly (in fact it hedges in the fine fine fine print at the bottom, that I’m sure EVERYONE totally read), it certainly leads the reader in that direction.
And in this distinction between the mediums, and in this heavy lean towards social as the “winner”, and in our blind Tweeting and ReTweeting of this content, it exposes how many of us think so myopically about social media.
Far too many social media professionals are looking at traditional media as the enemy, and that’s a huge mistake. And in my opinion, going too far down this road as a social media professional, is ultimately a fatal mistake career-wise.
The days of “social media” as a discreet thing, are numbered, and the days of those who fail to see how social and traditional media connect together to increase impact and feed off of one another, are also numbered.
At our agency, we handle both social and traditional media for several of clients that have brick-and-mortar locations. When traditional media is in heavy-rotation, those brands see all of their key metrics go up. Brand awareness goes up, foot-traffic goes up, and sales go up. This is the case for every brand that I’ve ever worked with, that uses traditional media.
We use social media strategically to support and extend the traditional media weights and sometimes we do the reverse. But we always think about how the mediums can work together.
From smart integration, comes impact.
So, stop looking at traditional media as the enemy that social media must defeat, and start looking at traditional media as another key ingredient in a smart and integrated marketing plan.