Mass Media

Social Media Marketing: Sorry, Still Mass Media

I’m currently taking a professional development course at Portland State University called “Social Media Marketing” to brush up on the latest trends in social. It’s part of their Digital Marketing Strategist professional certification. The focus has thus far been how social media has usurped mass-media. Traditional forms of mass media have changed. It’s now social, spanning various digital mediums and social networks, and most importantly, there is now a conversational component. Everyone has a voice. The proposition is that mass media is no more. It’s social media.

Many examples were given about how Coke or Ford or Pizza Hut have created these amazing social media campaigns that have increased sales and brand awareness.

The sales pitch for this new form of media is that it’s better because it’s more social. The dialogue is more two-way. In class, we’re talking about how you can create a social media campaign to assist in reaching your big business goals. Lots of digital marketing consultants are talking about how content is king;  How creating a mix of various types of media, such as case-studies, interviews, videos, white-papers and webinars can really push the needle on engagement and drive towards your goal.

I’m also hearing a lot about the importance of community. “This company reached out to their community”; “That company promoted a contest with their community”. “Their community is 139,000 strong”.

And the term “engagement” is the big buzzword. “”Photo images improve engagement 54% over text posts”. “Videos increase engagement 32% over text posts”.

But just how social is this type of media? Is “community” really the right phrase to describe fans? And what does engagement really mean? (more…)