Media industry purpose is to spread information to masses. Traditional media refers to spreading or communicating information to masses using traditional tools like Newspaper, magazines and Television. Social media refers to spreading information using social media apps like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or through a blog or website. Traditional media has its foundation dating back centuries and in comparison, social media looks like a toddler who has recently learned how to walk.
So, are you Interested in knowing which media is more powerful or impactful today? Well, this blog is for you. In this blog, we will compare the power of social media and traditional media in details. So, let’s get started;
How is Digital Media Changing the Game?
Digital media has revolutionized industries. Now you cannot just rely on traditional newspapers and television for information. To be an effective and successful media entity at least you need to have profile on big social media platforms and a website. Digital media has made the industries to shift their focus towards being smart phone friendly. Looking at entertainment industry, now films, television shows and music can be found at streaming services accessible through smart phones.
Comparing the Power of Social Media and Traditional Media
- Reach and Audience Size
- Social Media: In today’s world where almost, everybody is on social media apps, the reach of social media could be exponential. With increasing amount of people getting access to internet and social media the audience size on social media can be increased over time through quality content.
- Traditional Media: Traditional media compared to social media does not have a higher reach and since it caters to a certain demographic of audience built over time. Not everybody buys physical newspaper anymore but combining it with technology in the form of E-Newspaper it can reach anyone with a smart device.
- Cost and Accessibility
- Social Media: Social media is more cost effective as you do not need to spend extra money on distribution of content as well, you can simply put it on social media websites available for everyone. It has become accessible now a days due to smart devices in people’s pockets and hands which have become a necessity to live.
- Traditional Media: Traditional media in today’s world is not cost effective and due to that it might not be accessible to people who cannot afford it. Traditional media also requires distribution money and that it gets from its end user whereas today people get the same information through social media so they do not see the point of paying for cable service or newspaper when they watch news on YouTube and read the newspaper online.
- Real-time Interactivity and Engagement
- Social Media: Social media is not one end flow of information. It offers you real time interaction with audience with tools like Instagram, YouTube or Facebook Live users can comment as the things are happening with live chat features. This has led to increased engagement on social media platforms where people can voice their honest opinion free of restrictions. To increase your engagement across social media platforms you can buy likes and subscribers from quality sources.
- Traditional Media: Traditional media is one end flow of information. End user cannot be an active part of the discussions as they are happening. This results in poor real time interactivity and engagement with the content. To gain attention traditional media invites celebrities and politician people who capture the interests and attention of people and to whom people are interested in listening their opinions.
- Credibility and Trust
- Social Media: Social media takes a bullet when it comes to credibility and trust. Information on social media cannot be trusted fully as it could be edited or fake. False news and lies spread on social media faster than wildfires and take a life on its own. Many times, social media accounts get hacked so it’s hard to believe anything from social media unless it is verified.
- Traditional Media: Traditional media stands tall when it comes to credibility and trust. It has built its name over time giving its users credible news so audience trust is on it. It speaks volume that whenever something happens on social media many people wait till it is verified by traditional institutes with credibility.
- Targeted Advertising and Personalization
- Social Media: Social media works on algorithms. Data from social media can be used to do targeted advertising catering to induvial interests. When algorithms see you interact with certain type of content it is more likely they will personalize content for you based on that. This could lead to formation of echo chambers and polarization among people.
- Traditional Media: On traditional media the content will be more generalized than personalized depending on the target audience. You will not be getting Instagram ads for the specific type of shoes you are interested in but a toothpaste ad would be available in the newspaper. knowing its audience, a woman’s magazine will feature ads of beauty products and other products their audience might be interested in.
- Speed of Information Dissemination
- Social Media: Social media and internet has basically turned the whole world in to a global village. The speed of information dissemination on social media is very high compared to traditional media. Once something is uploaded on social media anybody from anywhere can access it immediately.
- Traditional Media: Speed of information dissemination on traditional media is slower compared to social media. Newspaper can only print the most current news tomorrow. Traditional media may not be fast but it tends to be more credible and trustworthy.
- Content Format
- Social Media: Social media does not require its user to put content in a fixed format. Different apps and feature offer flexibility in the content format. Short video content would be popular on TikTok for long videos one can opt for YouTube.
- Traditional Media: Traditional media is restricted by content format. A news channel will have fix format for programs and news. A newspaper will always feature a front page with Headlines but an online blog or website can play with its front page and opening.
- Regulation and Control
- Social Media: Social media is newer compared to its competitors. There exists little control and regulation over the content. This allows creators to be more open in discussing taboos which they could not talk openly on traditional media. Content can be age restricted and hidden for violence. Warnings could for explicit content could be issued at the start or above the content.
- Traditional Media: Traditional media is more controlled and regulated as they have to take in the opinion of their investors. Traditional media bear the responsibility of passing through taking clearance from authorities. For example, content on traditional television shows can only be suggestive but on streaming you can make adult and violent content.
Q: What is the power of social media nowadays?
A: The biggest power of social media is that it has democratized the way information flows now you do not need to go through the ordeal of traditional media sources you can share your honest and unbiased opinion using social media.
Q: How do you compare traditional media and social media?
A: Social and traditional media are compared on certain metrics such as; Reach and Audience size, Cost and Accessibility, Real time Interactivity and Engagement, Credibility and Trust, Speed of information spread are a few to consider.
Q: Why social media is most powerful?
A: Social media is most powerful as it is accessible to everyone, offers real time interaction, speed at which message spreads is fast and is cost effective. It has democratized the way information is shared.
To sum up, social media and traditional media are different ways to spread information to masses. In today’s day and age, social media is more accessible, cost effective, personalized, not restricted to a specific format and decimates information at higher rates. Traditional media is more credible and trustworthy compared to social media as social media information could be edited or faked. To survive, the traditional media needs to adopt digital technology and have social media profiles to increase their reach and audience in number. Traditonal media when building their digtial and social media profiles can buy likes and subcribers to have a massive outreach. So, good luck and thanks for reading!