Facebook vs Mass Media

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

Traditional media; newspapers; radio; TV; magazines still have one advantage over social media - 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 - and that advantage is, they come with a built-in audience.

This audience is mass media's main selling point; they have spent millions of dollars, over their 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 stymied 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, 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 in 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, in the past, there was nothing advertisers could do about this injustice, but in this age of electronic media, the monopoly has been broken and the advertiser has 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 thus making their messages potent enough to positively affect their marketing and thus the bottom line.

This is not a difficult, nor expensive, process, though most companies fail to recognise this important requirement and thus end up failing to meet their social marketing objectives. With competent social media management, you can be up and running 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 Consultants offering small and medium sized companies to benefit from his over thirty-two of advertising and marketing experience on an "as needed" basis.

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