social media marketing

Social Media Marketing vs. Traditional Means of Marketing

Marketing is an integral part of any business. You can’t reach people and they won’t know about you if you don’t put your brand out there. While every business is unique, some put more focus on social media while some on traditional means. 

Which method is better and which one should you try? We will find that out in this article. We will take you through the pros and cons of both so you can decide for yourself. 

But first, let’s try to understand what both forms of marketing imply! 

What is Social Media Marketing? 

As the name suggests, social media marketing is the act of promoting a brand through social media. It uses channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. When you see an ad on Facebook or YouTube that promotes a brand or tells you about the latest collection in stores, that’s social media marketing.

Brands market their products through posters, videos, articles, and blogs, etc. Many even pay influencers to endorse and introduce their products on social media. When you see a celebrity or any other famous figure, endorsing a brand on their social media, it is a way to gain customer trust and to attract more clients.  

What is Traditional Marketing? 

When you see a sale advertisement on a billboard or when someone hands you a flyer of a new product or brand launch that is what we call traditional marketing. It involves many practices that are quite old and aren’t that common nowadays, yet some still exist. 

Internet isn’t used for such marketing and it mostly takes place through a tangible medium. Some common examples of traditional marketing include:

  • TV and Radio commercials
  • Flyers
  • Banners and billboards
  • Newspapers and magazines 
  • Mailed coupons, postcards, informational packets, etc. 

Pros and Cons of Social Media and Traditional Marketing 

Below are the pros and cons of both forms of marketing to give you an in-depth idea of the two.

Social media marketing can be less costly

Printing flyers, placing ads on billboards, and running ads on TV channels can be very costly. Let’s say, you want to distribute flyers. You will pay a company to make the flyers and will pay employees to distribute them. That will cost you a good amount. 

On the other hand, social media marketing is cheaper in most cases. While hiring a marketing team is a bit costly, you can choose less expensive methods and make simple videos, write articles and use social media posts to market your brand. 

According to Moz, if you place an ad in a newspaper for $32, you may reach 1000 people but through a $0.25 Facebook ad, you can reach the same number of people and save 128x the cost!. So when you save that much cost, you can spend more on marketing

For social media marketing, you can outsource to social media marketing companies in Pakistan, India, the Philippines, Malaysia, etc. These are regions that offer high-quality services at very reasonable rates. 

But the thing to understand here is that it’s not a clear rule that social media marketing is always inexpensive. The spending depends on your business and your goals!

Traditional marketing strategies are easier to understand 

While the younger generation is hooked to screens for senior citizens, find it hard to understand social media. To make sure that the older audience doesn’t get left behind, one can opt for traditional marketing as it’s easier for the older generation to understand. 

For the older generation, traditional marketing tactics are easier to understand in general and thus they are less prone to getting misunderstood by most people regardless of age. 

Social media marketing is more measurable 

With traditional marketing, when your ad is delivered to someone, you know exactly where it went. Plus, you can keep the banner or flyer and revisit it as well. But you need to keep a manual record of your marketing strategies because they may get lost. 

On the other hand, social media marketing is also quite measurable as you know the number of people the post reached, the number of clicks, likes, comments, etc. You have stats that you can use to make data-driven decisions for the future and you don’t need to add data manually in a register. 

Social media marketing makes engagement easier 

With so many people using social media channels each day, marketing on these channels thus becomes a great idea. When you know that most of the people are online and are using these platforms, you can market where people are already present. 

You can connect to your audience in real-time and keep them updated about your brand and its events. You can organize live sessions so your audience feels more attached to you.

For traditional marketing, you can place ads on mediums that many don’t even use now. Many don’t watch TV anymore and spend more time online.  Many people don’t read newspapers or magazines as they stay updated with all that’s happening in the world through social media. Because of that, many traditional methods have now become obsolete and are not that effective anymore. 

Customer targeting is easier on social media 

As mentioned earlier, people spend so much time on social media that it’s easier to target them on these platforms. Plus, social media platforms provide data analytics to account holders with which they know their target audience, their age, location, and gender. 

With that information, you can make better decisions and can easily target any group of the audience as you wish. On the other hand, traditional marketing allows you to target a very small audience through flyers and banners.  As people continuously see billboards as they travel, they are reminded of your brand. 

Social media marketing is continuously evolving while traditional marketing is simpler 

A good and a bad thing about social media marketing is that it is continuously evolving. As it changes with time, many things improve and help your business grow but keeping up with the trends can sometimes be very hard. 

For people, who are new to the field, it can take a lot of time to understand the dynamics of social media marketing, and staying up to date with trends can take a lot of effort. The continuous effort and constant notifications from the platform can lead to anxiety for the marketer at times. 

As for traditional marketing, the work and effort are still great but the constant effort and 24/7 involvement are not needed. Traditional media is much more stable than social media marketing as it doesn’t change like Social Media trends.


In this article, we went through a comparison of both traditional and social media marketing to understand which one can be a better choice for you. Social media marketing is less costly in most cases, it makes targeting easier, and is more measurable. 

It also helps in engaging with the audience better and knowing their needs to make better future decisions. On the other hand, traditional marketing is great for an older audience and to target a smaller region like a town or a city through banners. You can also distribute flyers in a region and reach customers that are not that much connected to social media. 

In the end, your choice depends on your business. You can use a mix of both or use one based on which pros you want and which cons you want to avoid. 

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