I’d like to quote an article dated, May 30, 2010

Pratap Singh, Head (Marketing), HomeTown (Future Group) said,

“The primary difference between traditional media and new media is that the former is channels for brand communications and the latter for consumer conversations.” Source: Khabar Media

I’d like to differ here. It would be ignorant to say that Brand communication happens only through traditional media and social media is just about consumer conversations. Both tradition media and new media are channels for brand communication. The difference being that, traditional media is a one way communication channel and social media stands for a interactive, two way channel. Both forms of communication cannot exist without either the brand or the consumer. It’s easy to manipulate information or do selective reporting in the traditional media typography as it is influenced by a select few individuals. In a traditional media environment, brands enjoy the status of a celebrity, everything they do is cool (of course, a lot of strategy goes behind it), everything they endorse becomes a trend (there are exceptions as we all know) and most importantly, they have a ‘no comment’ option.

In social media on the other hand, brands are like people, a unique individual you might be friends with or bump into – they have a unique mix of characteristics that shapes their personality. They dress up in a certain way and communicate is a certain way. Every profile page on facebook is a brand. You post certain pictures, make certain comments, update an interesting status – all to get people talking, commenting, getting a reaction. It’s about conversations, yes, but there’s always a brand and an audience is the picture. The day marketers realize this, the turmoil between traditional marketing and social media marketing will be over.

How to succeed in a social media scenario? Let me deal with this issue in a separate blog post.