Social media marketing is duplex, not broadcast, communication. What that means is that traditional advertising makes use of broadcast communication technology. Broadcast communication is one way – the members of the audience do not have an option of what to listen to or watch. So a broadcaster can set advertisements at appropriate places, in the knowledge that a certain number of people will see the ad, and so sell traffic to companies wishing to promote their products.
Social media on the other hand uses duplex communication, a consequence of being based on Internet communication technologies. Duplex communication is two-way. Both the parties involved in the communication process can choose to either send or receive data. The Internet is capable of communication in either a broadcast or duplex mode. Duplex communication technology allows a consumer of information to select what to watch/listen to, rather than depend on a broadcaster.
What this means is that one has to understand the context in which the marketing activity will be carried out – broadcast or duplex communication. Each has its strengths and merits. For example, a sports game, an entertainment show, a live tutorial demonstration, etc, are the types of activities that require the audience to be present to enjoy the full benefit of the spectacle. Traditional advertising in these contexts using broadcast communication will work very well. On the other hand, personal leisure, research for information about products, and using the Internet as a work tool mandates that the user select the information to be consumed by himself/herself. In this mode of use, methods used to market using broadcast technology may not work very well, since the social media surfer may be looking for information that is different from what is being presented in the broadcasting-style advertisement.
Another thing to take into consideration is the type of markets that respond to broadcast and/or duplex communication. Certain types of events, for example sporting events or music entertainment shows, tend to draw large audiences. As such, goods that require a high volume to create a large profit, such as sugar and candy, respond well to broadcast advertising. On the other hand, using the duplex communication capability of the Internet is a result of the user actively seeking specific, possibly specialized information. Thus, marketing on a medium capable of duplex communication provides a better investment if the market volume is relatively low but the return on a single investment is sufficiently high. For example, a doctor who performs specialized surgeries for a condition that does not afflict many people would have a better return on investment marketing on the Internet, where potential patients will seek out the doctor, rather than spending a lot of money broadcasting a message to millions of people, none of whom require the doctor’s services.
In the same breath, given that the Internet is also capable of broadcast communication, it is possible to host an online event on a social media site, which may draw a large audience, and strategically broadcast advertisements to the audience.
Social media sites are primarily duplex communication mode systems, with the primary objective of the users being entertainment. Therefore, to market on a social media site, it is desirable to adapts one’s marketing strategies to fit the objectives of users of social media sites.
The challenge of marketing on social media sites is therefore to present one’s products and services in a manner that entertains the user and at the same time invites the user to learn more about one’s products and services.
A more detailed analysis on social media marketing using duplex communication techniques is beyond the scope of a concise ezine article such as this one, or a concise web page. For your convenience, a more detailed analysis is provided in the form of an e-book that can be purchased via ClickBank. Reading time for moderate to fast-readers is approximately a little over an hour.
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