Facebook vs Mass Media

Mass media has ruled the adverting world for many years but over the last Twenty years, they are combating dwindling importance in the overall marketing arena. Specifically in regard to facilitating effective communication channels directed towards targeted consumers vs cost-effectiveness of accessing specific audience profiles.

Traditional media; newspapers; radio; TV; magazines still have one advantage over social media and that advantage is, they come with a built-in audience - and from here on out I will use Facebook to represent social media because it represents over 75% of the social media market in the two territories I am dealing with, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago.

This large audience is mass media's main selling point; they have spent millions of dollars, over the years of their existence, on building, maintaining and in today's prolific competitive arena, defending its erosion. This positive though is also their biggest negative.

You see, when using mass media, you are forced into paying for their entire audience, regardless of your defined target consumer profile. So, for instance, a female-specific clothing boutique, targeting styles from size 0 - 4, if using mass media, have to pay for, aside from their bulls-eye audience,  all the male readers, all the females under seventeen and over forty, all the females not interested in the latest trends and all the females whose body shape does not match their inventory.

The irony is, you can pinpoint your very focused market segment (from research generated from and paid for by the media) but the mass media industry will not let you just pay for your tight audience sector, no, they insist you pay for their entire audience profile, regardless of your needs.

When mass media had the monopoly, there was nothing advertisers could do about this injustice, but in this new age of electronic media, the monopoly has been broken and the advertiser have more options open to them allowing not only choice, for the first time in decades but for more cost effective communication channels from which they can connect to their customer base.

There is a caveat though, like all mass media of the past, advertisers using Facebook have to first build their audience base to sufficient levels to ensure their messages are potent enough to positively affect their marketing and thus their bottom line.

This is not a difficult, nor expensive, process, though most companies fail to recognize this important requirement of social media advertising and thus end up failing to meet their marketing objectives. With competent social media management, you can be up and running, to effective levels, within a few months. There are a number of methods to increase your overall fan (audience) base on Facebook, including, in some cases, using existing mass media.

Aside from using your fan base to communicate with, you can also message the entire Facebook community, breaking down your targeted audience into components like; country, gender and a specific age range to name but a few of the criteria available. And unlike the mass media, which still insists that you pay for their entire audience, Facebook allows you to pay for this, and only this, detailed profile.

Antonio Rodriguez is one of the few true advertising professionals, trained in every aspect of the advertising industry. He has worked as an Account Executive, Client Services Director, Managing Director and CEO, all in the Advertising Agency industry. He runs AntRod Consulting offering small and medium sized companies to benefit from his over thirty-two years of advertising and marketing experience, paid for on an "as needed" basis.

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