How Social Media Forever Changed the Face of Marketing

social media marketing

The internet forever changed the way the world accesses information, communicates, and shops. When the pandemic caused companies all over the world to close their doors, those that understood the virtual world and how to market successfully online survived and even thrived in the new normal. Traditional marketing techniques are still used today, although they have been partially supplanted by digital marketing strategies such as content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization.

Those organizations that were unable or unwilling to make the switch were left behind in this new virtual world. The internet, and more specifically social media, has taken marketing to another level that is cost-effective and has a greater reach than conventional methods. Some examples of traditional marketing include print advertising, broadcast advertising, direct mail, billboards and other outdoor advertising, telemarketing, event marketing, and public relations.

Print Advertising

This refers to placing ads in newspapers, magazines, flyers, and brochures to promote a business, product, or service. Most internet users get their information from websites and news feeds so paper advertising has slowly been cut back. The evidence can be seen in newspapers, which are now promoting their news sites online with a subscription charge rather than having paper copies delivered for a monthly price. Environmental issues are also a hot topic, and producing advertising with paper has become a social taboo in some circles. Social media has made it easier and more cost-effective for businesses to reach their target audience than print advertising.

Broadcast Advertising

This includes television and radio commercials that promote a product or service to a broad audience.

Broadcast advertising, such as television and radio commercials, is still an important part of modern marketing but its significance has diminished, especially in comparison to digital marketing. Broadcast advertising is still able to reach a large audience, especially businesses that are able to afford airtime during popular programs or sports events. Advertisements on established broadcast channels can add to the credibility of a brand.

Broadcast advertising is less flexible in terms of targeting specific audience segments. This means that businesses must rely on general demographic information, such as age or gender, to reach their desired audience. Compared to digital advertising, broadcast advertising is generally more expensive, making it less accessible to small businesses or start-ups with limited budgets.

Modern consumers are increasingly turning to digital channels to consume media and are using adblocking software to avoid advertisements. This has resulted in a decline in the overall effectiveness of traditional broadcast advertising. Broadcast advertising is still relevant and effective for certain brands and industries, but it has become increasingly important for businesses to incorporate digital marketing techniques into their overall marketing strategy to reach and engage with modern consumers.

Direct Mail

This technique refers to sending printed materials to potential customers, such as catalogs, brochures, and newsletters. Direct mail is also starting to fade as things like phonebooks and flyers can be accessed online with less cost and damage to the environment. Instead of sending advertisements through the mail, businesses can use social media to reach their customers directly.

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Outdoor Advertising

This refers to displaying ads on billboards, posters, and signs in high-traffic areas. The demographic a company wants to appeal to may never see these ads unless they are positioned in very popular areas, which are expensive. When traveling from place to place, most people have their faces set on their screens, so the outdoor ad is lost to most of the people on public transit. Depending on the demographic a company is trying to appeal to, this type of advertising could be a costly way of reaching a fraction of the target audience.


This involves calling potential customers to pitch products or services directly. Social media allows businesses to interact with their customers in a more organic way than cold calls, and consumer interaction tends to be much more pleasant. Unfortunately, telemarketing is one of the last remnants of old-school marketing that has been usurped for telephone scams.

Event Marketing

This refers to promoting a product or service by participating in trade shows, exhibitions, and events. This type of marketing can be very expensive and dependent on many variables that are outside of the company’s control, such as weather and foot traffic. Social media platforms can be used to advertise and promote events, which expands the reach of traditional event marketing.

Public Relations

This includes efforts to influence public opinion and create a positive image of a business through press releases, media interviews, and sponsorships. Social media has revolutionized the way public relations operate in traditional marketing.

How has Social Media Changed Marketing?

Social media has significantly changed the landscape of traditional marketing by providing businesses with new channels for communication and engagement, as well as powerful tools for monitoring brand reputation and conducting targeted outreach. Social media has also changed how businesses connect with their customers and how they receive feedback. Areas, where social media has improved marketing, include providing instant feedback and engagement, reaching a greater number of people, targeting a specific audience, monitoring brand reputation, building relationships with influencers, and managing crises in real-time.

Social media has changed marketing so dramatically that degree programs, such as a communications masters degree online, incorporate virtual forms of content marketing and communication in their curriculum. A degree from an accredited school like St. Bonaventure University opens doors to a challenging and rewarding career in communications.

Targeted Advertising

Social media has enabled businesses to communicate with a broader audience and reach more people than ever before. With targeted advertising, businesses can advertise to their desired audience with ease. More than two-thirds of internet users use social media, and these numbers are growing. This significant percentage of users means that campaigns launched on social media can reach more potential customers than traditional marketing methods.

Social media platforms provide targeting options that allow marketers to show ads to specific demographics or groups, ensuring their messages reach the right people. This advertising strategy helps businesses reach their specific audience based on demographics, interests, behavior, and other factors. This type of targeted marketing campaign could cost a company thousands of dollars without the same results that can be seen with a social media campaign, so there was never a guarantee that the right people would get the message. Today, virtual media campaigns are much less expensive and more accurate, which is a bonus for companies that don’t have a lot of money to spend on advertising. There are certain steps companies do need to follow, however, to ensure the campaign hits the target audience.

Before creating an ad campaign, businesses should identify their target audience and what they want to achieve. This typically involves conducting research to understand their customers’ interests, demographics, and behaviors. After defining their target audience and goals, businesses can create targeted ads that are appealing and effective. A well-crafted ad should capture the audience’s attention, inform, and engage with them to encourage a response.

With a planned advertising campaign, businesses can set the amount they want to spend on advertising as well as when they want it to show, design a schedule for it to run, and select the platforms on which they will advertise. Social media platforms offer several targeting options for advertisers, such as demographics, interests, behaviors, location, and more. By using these targeting options, businesses can ensure that their ads are seen only by relevant audiences. This type of advertising can also provide faster results so the campaign can be tweaked if there is an obvious deficiency.

Brand Reputation Monitoring

Social media monitoring helps businesses keep track of online conversations that involve their brand, enabling them to address negative comments, reviews, or complaints quickly and efficiently. Social media helps brand reputation monitoring by allowing customers to provide feedback on a brand’s products or services in real-time. This means that brands can quickly identify and address any concerns that customers have. These platforms also track mentions of their brand and make them visible on their site.

Responding to negative reviews can be just as helpful in building a brand reputation as positive reviews. When customers provide negative feedback on a product or service, they are not expecting to be answered, and not immediately. In the days before social media, a customer would have to call or show up in person to complain about a service or product. This could result in a positive experience for the customer or a contentious one, but either way, it was extra time someone had to put in to express their displeasure.

With social media, the feedback can be instant, which would raise a question as to why this is a good thing. It is good because companies can set alerts for when their name is mentioned and deal with any issue immediately. This stops what could be a snowball effect of other dissatisfied consumers hopping on the review and adding to it. This type of instant feedback can also help companies make appropriate changes to the contentious issue before someone else experiences it.

Relationship Building with Influencers

Social media has given rise to influencer marketing, where brands use social media influencers to increase brand awareness among their followers. Building a relationship with them can allow a brand to reach a wider audience, and help the brand improve its reputation. Influencers are seen as trusted experts within their niche, and brands can benefit from the credibility that comes with being endorsed by an influencer.

Social media personalities have a specific audience that they cater to, and building a relationship with the right influencers can allow a brand to target a specific demographic or niche market. Influencers are also highly skilled at creating engaging content and working with them can allow a brand to create high-quality content that resonates with its audience.

Influencers can be even more effective than celebrity endorsements and cost a lot less as well. An influencer that does makeup tutorials online with over a million followers can endorse a product much more effectively than a celebrity in a commercial.

Most social media followers use the internet for their daily intake of news, weather, entertainment, and other interests so commercials don’t appeal to them. Users also find advertisements bothersome when they pop up in the middle of their feed, so this type of marketing is not as effective with this demographic as having their beloved and trusted internet celebrity tell them about the product.


Most social media platforms are free to join, and advertising on social media can be more cost-effective than traditional advertising methods. This means that small businesses or companies with budget constraints can run campaigns on social media, providing them equal opportunities as larger competitors. Small businesses can also strike up deals with influencers for less than it costs in endorsements to provide money or merchandise in exchange for a shout-out on their feeds. This is a much less expensive, but very effective, way for small businesses to promote their niche in the market.

Businesses can target their ideal audience with specific demographics, locations, interests, and behaviors to ensure that their content resonates with their target audience, often at a lower cost than traditional marketing, which increases their return on investment (ROI). There is also a greater opportunity for organic content creation and sharing, which are free, making it possible to reach a wider audience at a low cost. Incentives such as contests, surveys, and free samples don’t cost a fraction of what can be spent on a professional marketing campaign, so a company can invest a portion of the same money to effectively engage its target market.

Social media platforms offer accessible analytics dashboards that provide insights into campaign performances, enabling businesses to measure ROI and adjust their strategies accordingly. These businesses can also have personalized interactions with their customers via social posts, comments, direct messages, and feedback. This helps companies create loyalty and trust with their customers and can lead to a positive reputation and free word-of-mouth advertising.

Cost effective


Social media facilitates personalized communication, allowing marketers to engage with their target audience more effectively and create a more personalized customer experience. They use personalization to tailor content to each user’s preferences and interests in various ways, such as algorithm feeds, behavioral triggers, retargeting, geotargeting, chatbots, and personal assistants.

These platforms use complex algorithms that curate feeds based on users’ interests, previous interactions, and engagements. The algorithm optimizes user engagement by prioritizing relevant content. Social media also collects user behavior data, including search history, interests, follows, likes, and shares to help build personalized experiences for users. Based on this data, social media platforms can recommend relevant content and ads to users, generating more engagement.

Retargeting in advertising is where businesses can target ads to users who already have a level of familiarity with their brand. For example, if someone shows an interest in a product by visiting a product page but did not purchase, they can be targeted with related ads later. Social media platforms can also use geotargeting to display localized content based on users’ locations. It is useful for businesses like restaurants, hotels, or local businesses that target local audiences.

Personal assistants and chatbots are used to enhance the customer experience. These tools provide personalized assistance by directing users to specific resources, providing answers to their questions, and offering customized experiences. This technology helps companies stay ahead of their competitors by offering a unique personalized experience for consumers. Chatbots and personal assistants are much more advanced than they used to be and can even be conversational, which makes the experience more like an in-person shopping experience.

Real-Time Engagement

Social media allows businesses to connect with their customers in real-time, enabling them to receive instant feedback on their brand, product, or service. This can be through likes on a post or direct interaction through comments, retweets, or shares. Due to real-time engagement, social media campaigns enjoy a higher engagement rate than traditional marketing and allow companies to offer personalized experiences, such as chatbots, online customer services, and feedback channels. This improves the overall customer experience, leading to increased engagement and amplified reach.

Real-time engagement also means that businesses can respond to any crisis instantly, which can prevent the escalation of negative reviews or comments on a brand. This also increases brand loyalty because the customer feels that their concerns are being dealt with immediately, which solidifies their importance.

Navigating the new world of social media marketing can be tricky for some companies, but with the right marketing manager, the job can be simple. Social media is here to stay in one form or another, and with the platforms constantly changing or updating, it is important that companies employ marketers who are familiar with the industry and keep up to date on changes. The old ways of telemarketing and printing flyers are no longer feasible, customer-oriented, or even environmentally friendly, so businesses that want to stay relevant today need to embrace social media marketing and all it offers.

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