Billboards vs. Facebook Ads

The article from Hoffman, D.L. and Fodor, M. (2010) discusses if companies are able to measure their ‘’return of investment’’ of social media marketing. In the article they discussed some social media objectives and how you can use those objectives as a measurement of the effectiveness of a companies’ social media effort. I found these very interesting cause the authors categorized it into three objectives (brand awareness, brand engagement and word of mouth) and explained how a companies’ social efforts could be measured. So this article suggests that there are a lot of ways different kinds of companies can use different kinds of applications  to measure their social media efforts.

After reading this article you get a better perspective on why social media marketing is better nowadays. But is it always better? What are the disadvantages of social media marketing?

Based on these points, I searched for an article that gave some insight about the disadvantages of social media marketing. I found a newspaper article that discussed a couple of disadvantages of using social media as a marketing tool. They started with the point that the social media approach takes a lot of time and commitment. A small nail-salon might encounter difficulties if they want to engage with customers on their social media page, cause they would have to keep satisfying the need of customers online on their Facebook page while also managing the nail salon. A bigger company like Apple most definitely has a whole department that only deals with social media advertising so they might encounter less problems. Another disadvantage of the social media approach is that it might feel intrusive to some people. Sometimes when I shop online and put something in my online shopping cart I see an ad on Facebook that gives me the exact same product that I put on my shopping cart. Many people see this as a violation of their privacy and this might give the company a bad image. Ads on television or radio might be annoying, but they don’t feel intrusive as ads on Facebook or LinkedIn. Another drawback of this approach is the fact that it doesn’t acquire new customers as fast as people might think. Of course it attracts loyal customers very easily, but new customers might not even know about the ads of a brand on social media. For example, I like the brand Nike so I follow it on every social media platform but my good friend Jason is more of an Adidas guy so he doesn’t follow Nike whatsoever. Let’s say that ,even though he really likes Adidas, he wanted new Nike sneakers but they are not available in the Netherlands yet. If Nike would put an advertisement on their social media platforms about new sneakers in the Netherlands, Jason would not even be aware of this cause he doesn’t actively follow those social media pages. But the chances might be bigger if he sees a random advertisement on the television (where you can’t actively select which brand you’re able to follow) (Abrons, R., 2011).

An (in my opinion) important point is the lack of feedback control with the social media approach. A news article from Miranda Brookins (Demand Media, 2011) gave the argument that if a customer had a negative experience with a brand, he might compelled to share this experience on the social media page of that company which can activate negative word of mouth.

So this begs the question, should companies ALWAYS advertise digitally or should they find a balance in digital and traditional advertising? What works best for what company? Is traditional advertising dead? What do you guys think? Leave a comment 😉



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