The main difference between social media and traditional media is that social media offers two-way communication, whereas traditional media offers one-way communication.
Media broadly refers to forms of mass communication. Traditional media is any form of mass communication that were available before the advent of digital media. This includes newspapers, radio, magazines, and television. Social media, on the other hand, refer to applications and websites that allow users to create and share content and participate in social networking.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Social Media
– Definition, Features, Marketing
2. What is Traditional Media
– Definition, Features, Marketing
3. What is the Difference Between Social Media and Traditional Media
– Comparison of Key Differences
Social Media, Traditional Media
What are Social Media
Social media refer to websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. Social media has many special features compared to digital media. These include communication, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration. Many people use social media to keep in contact with friends and family, and some use it to communicate and interact with different communities. When we usually hear the word social media, we only think of social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. However, social media includes various categories like media sharing networks (Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube etc.) discussion forums (Quora, Reddit), bookmarking and content curation networks like Flipboard and Pinterest, as well as blogging and publishing networks like Tumblr and WordPress. These platforms give us the opportunity to share our thoughts, opinions, photos, and videos in real-time.
Businesses also use social media as a way to market and promote their products. We call this social media marketing. Social media marketing helps businesses to build awareness of their brand, increase sales and help with website traffic. When using social media for marketing products, marketers have the ability to know the thoughts and opinions of the audience and receive their feedback instantly. Moreover, there are many tools to measure the effectiveness of social media marketing campaigns.
What are Traditional Media
Traditional media refers to any form of mass communication available before the introduction of digital media. Therefore, traditional media include television, radio, newspapers, magazines and books. Traditional media offers only a one-way communication; the audience receive messages through the media, but the media do not get direct feedback.
When you use traditional media for advertising or promoting your products and services, sales methods include television advertisements, radio advertisements, banner advertisements, print advertisements, direct mail advertisements, door to door sales, billboards, etc. Various companies have used these methods for many years, with very effective results. Even today, marketing methods like television advertisements and print advertisements can result in successful sales. With the advent of digital media, the use of traditional media for marketing began to see a slight decline. However, companies still spend billions of dollars on promoting their products through traditional media.
Difference Between Social Media and Traditional Media
Social media refer to websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. In contrast, traditional media refers to any form of mass communication available before the introduction of digital media.
Some examples of popular social media platforms include Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Wikipedia and Pinterest, while examples of traditional media include television, radio, newspapers and magazines.
Nature of Communication
While social media offers two-way communication, traditional media offers one-way communication. This is because the audience has an opportunity to voice their opinions on social media.
Although social media has many special features and advantages, it is dependent on the internet. If there is a break down in the internet connection, you cannot access any social media platform. However, traditional media is not dependent on the internet.
Once a message is published or broadcasted in traditional media, it’s too late to make changes. However, messages in social media can be changed whenever you want.
In social media, you have more control over the message you want to share; for example, you can use audience targeting, or you can delay the date of publication. In contrast, traditional media does not allow much control.
Traditional media is any form of mass communication that were available before the advent of digital media. Social media, on the other hand, refer to applications and websites that allow users to create and share content and participate in social networking. The main difference between social media and traditional media is that social media offers two-way communication, whereas traditional media offers one-way communication.
1. “Defining Traditional Media Today.” Techfunnel, 19 Feb. 2018, Available here.
2. “10 Types of Social Media and How Each Can Benefit Your Business.” Hootsuite Social Media Management, 1 Nov. 2019, Available here.