Marketing: Traditional vs. Social Media

Just a quick thought:
The revolutionary part of social media is that now, instead of relying on a relatively small pool of opinions limited by your physical world, you have a practically limitless pool of opinions to pull from. Google, Yahoo!, Urban Spoon, Yelp, Twitter, Flight Club, AutoSpies, and the list goes on and on.
Too many people make the mistake of thinking about social media marketing in the same way they think about traditional marketing and that is just not the case. As an example, let’s take a newspaper advertisement. First, if the advertiser can pay the money, the ad is placed. No judgments, no opinion, no questions asked. In traditional media marketing, money talks. This is not so with social media. Take the Like button on FB – a real person is displaying a real opinion to push the Like button and therefore expose that business to their friends. They may also post a comment on the page for that business. Not only are that person’s friends going to see the comment, but everyone who visits that page. That is not money talking, that’s a real person and that is priceless because a FB friend’s opinion holds more influence than an advertisement any day of the week. So you can think of social media (in a marketing sense) as word-of-mouth on steroids.
It causes businesses to seriously think about their reputation. Reviews, whether bad or good, are stored in a (for most practical purposes) permanent and public manner for a business to deal with. This creates a responsibility for businesses to be aware of what people are saying about them and to respond to it. Want to know a lot about a company or business in one shot? Watch how they respond to complaints, concerns and even praise from their customers. Who wants to deal with a company that got aggressive with a customer for voicing complaint? Hopefully, this may turn a corner for the sad state of the service industry in America. (That is my own opinion.) Now, it behooves a businesses to deal in a fair and respectful manner with customers. Why? Each of their customers has the power to influence more of their customer base than at any other point in history, whereas before, the fallout from an incident was rather limited.
Word of mouth has always been king. It doesn’t matter how much money a business spends on advertising or improving their image through any form of media.

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