Social Media Advertising vs Traditional Advertising

Social Media Advertising vs Traditional Advertising from Shelten LLC at

If you’re looking to advertise your business in 2022, you’ve probably thought about marketing your business on social media platforms. But should you also be doing traditional marketing? That’s a tough question to answer because it depends on your business and what you’re trying to achieve. Let’s take a look at the difference between social media advertising vs traditional advertising.

First, it’s important to know that social media advertising is all about getting your message in front of as many people as possible, quickly and easily. But traditional marketing can be just as effective if done correctly. It all depends on your goals and how much money you want to spend. 

So, which is right for you and your business? Only you can decide that, but hopefully this article will help make your decision a little bit easier. 


What is Social Media Advertising?

Social media advertising is under the big umbrella of digital media advertising. However, its focus is on social media sites for content marketing to reach potential customers. 

Through media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, small businesses can reach their target audience to increase brand awareness. This can be done through organic social media posting, or through paid ads that promote your services or recommend your products.

Social media advertising can also entail partnering with influencers who create promotional content for your business and post it on their own social profile(s). This can increase brand awareness with your target audience, which can lead to a more established brand identity and, eventually, brand loyalty.

Because we’re living in the digital age, online advertising has become much more prevalent. A big reason for this is because the reach of social media ads is not limited to your local audience. 

Rather, these ads can reach the global population for a fraction of what it would cost to reach the same amount of people through traditional marketing methods. Plus, the reach of social ads can be measured in real time through metrics, making it an extremely accurate way to advertise. Social media marketing companies like Shelten, LLC can set up social media campaigns for businesses as well as run social ads. 


What is Traditional Advertising?

On the other hand, traditional media advertising is a marketing strategy that uses traditional channels like the following:

  • TV commercial ads
  • Direct mail
  • Print ads like newspaper ads or magazines
  • Radio advertising
  • Billboard advertising

The main focus of traditional ads is the local audience. It cannot be denied that this type of marketing has worked and continuously works for big and medium companies. That is one of the reasons why traditional advertising persists today.


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Social Media Advertising vs Traditional Advertising

The main differences between traditional advertising and social media marketing are the following:


Specific Target Audience

Not surprisingly, it’s a bit more difficult to gauge the reach of traditional media compared to social media. Social media has metric data which can be used to gauge the number of people who visited the site, their demographics, and their purchasing patterns. On the other hand, traditional media can only try to do focus groups or surveys, which don’t typically capture the entire target population of the specified local area.



In order to check whether businesses are reaching ROI (a return on investment), they should know the overall amount spent on promotions vs the cost per result. If an ad is more expensive, it does not necessarily mean that it is also as successful. For example, a physical billboard can cost between $4,000 to $13,000 a month in the United States. On the other hand, the cost of a digital ad can vary widely, from a few hundred per month to upwards of even $100,000 or more each month, depending on the size of the company. In short, social media advertising can have a lower upfront cost than traditional advertising, but this isn’t always the case.


Customer Engagement

While traditional marketing is helpful in promoting brand awareness, most customer engagement happens online. As an example, an independent study in 2019 made by GfK shows that 56% of consumers learned of a product through television commercials. However, to validate the viewed commercial, the modern consumer would check the product online.

Because the internet is where most people prefer to learn about brands, social media advertising can be extremely effective at promoting products and services. Another way to increase customer engagement is to have a social media strategy in place that includes high-quality content posted on a consistent basis. For help creating a social media strategy for your business or brand, schedule a free consultation with Shelten, LLC.  


How can Social Media Advertising Help Businesses?

In today’s digital world, more and more companies are making use of the wide reach of digital advertising. There are many reasons for this, including the effectiveness of online marketing. Since social media users comprise about half of the world’s population, a company’s marketing message can be seen by a broad audience on social channels. Also, one of the advantages of social media advertising for a small business owner is the low cost of promotion compared to most traditional marketing methods.

Plus, unlike traditional media where the audience reach is undefined and cannot be accurately measured, social media advertising can be measured through specific metrics such as website traffic. In this way, a brand’s marketing methods can be defined and polished more through a well-executed social media marketing strategy.

Like we previously mentioned, digital marketing agencies like Shelten, LLC can help businesses increase brand awareness with their social media presence. Since social media sites are a great way to reach new customers, a good social media campaign can definitely boost a brand’s reach. Social platforms are some of the best ways to help expand businesses, in part because of the sheer number of users who shop, read, browse, or create content on these platforms every day. 



So, which is better for your business—social media advertising or traditional marketing? 

The answer to that question may not be as straightforward as you think. It really depends on a variety of factors, such as the demographics of your target market and how well each type of marketing resonates with those consumers. 

However, if you’re looking for some general guidelines, social media advertising may be more effective if you want to reach younger customers who are active online, while traditional marketing channels could work better if you’re targeting an older demographic who isn’t as engaged with digital platforms. 

Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, so it’s important to consult with an experienced marketing team to get tailored advice. In some instances, it’s even recommended to use a mix of both types of advertising.

For help with marketing your business, get in touch with Shelten, LLC today. We can’t wait to bring more awareness to your brand and help take your business to the next level!

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