Traditional advertising refers to paid media advertising which includes television, radio, outdoor billboards, print media (such as magazines, newspapers and direct mail). Traditional advertising has been around for a long time, in fact, the print medium is the oldest kind of advertising.

Social media has become an indispensable part of our daily lives as it helps us connect with one another. Its importance and benefits to business are enormous as well. Social media advertising, birthed from the use of social media, is being used today by businesses to create brand awareness, promote products and services. Social media refers to web technologies that allow creating and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression through virtual communities and networks. Examples are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat, blogs, your website and so forth.

What both traditional advertising and social media advertising have in common is their goal: to drive sales of products and services through persuasive communication tactics to influence human behaviour and stimulate sales. Get ready to dive in and explore the core differences between traditional advertising and social media advertising, and to know which one is best for the promotion of your business in the quest to achieving your marketing goals. Read on!



Metric, (also called analytics), means a standard form of measurement. In traditional advertising, there is no provision for accurate measurement of the success and the performance of your marketing efforts, but in contrast, social media has provision for measuring the success and performance of your marketing efforts. This is probably the biggest advantage of social media advertising over traditional advertising.

A popular saying by John Wanamaker, a proponent of advertising and a ‘pioneer in marketing,’ (according to Wikipedia), illustrating how difficult it was to measure the response to advertising goes, “half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” I think he was referring to traditional advertising as it was difficult to measure response of people to ads, but thanks to the advent of social media ads technology which comes with provision for analytics, lets you know how many people were reach and their response rate. Twitter, Facebook, and Google offer highly informative insights for advertisers to collect and analyze the performance of their online advertisement, and that’s a good thing. You analyze results, know the ad campaigns to continue or discontinue.


The cost of advertising on billboards, radio, newspaper or TV is much higher than the cost of advertising on social media. The metric used for cost assessment is CPM, (i.e. Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions). The CPM for social media advertising is less than $3; that is so much cheaper as opposed to traditional advertising which is not so cost-efficient.

For instance, the cost of advertising on one of the top Nigerian TV stations for 60 seconds on all their platforms is about $195, (morning section), and a whopping $1,117 (as at February 2017), for 30 seconds on a late evening news. It would cost a whopping $800 to do a quarter page advert on one of Nigeria’s most popular newspapers. Hence, the fact speaks for itself here; the cost difference is just too wide.

In the old days, you either had to buy expensive advertising or beg the media to tell your story. Sadly, many organizations don’t realize that they have a much better option—they can tell their story directly to an interested market.”  ― David Meerman Scott, World Wide Rave: Creating Triggers that Get Millions of People to Spread Your Ideas and Share Your Stories.

 Where would you rather advertise or tell your story?



Advertising on social media gives customers the opportunity to interact and communicate directly with a brand, thereby creating an avenue to start a relationship with both potential and loyal customers. In traditional advertising, communication is usually slow; for instance, waiting for 2-3 business days to get a mailed reply from an organization. There’s no pressing 8 to speak with a live customer care representative. But social media advertising, potential customers can easily be converted to loyal customers; brand loyalty is improved when there is a proper engagement with your audience on social media; customer complaints are received and taken care of without hesitation; sales of products or services are improves as well.



When you do a television or newspaper advert, it gets broadcasted to everyone who needs it and everyone who doesn’t need it, and that justifies John Wanamaker’s point that I mentioned earlier that he wastes half of his money on traditional advertising, because there is no provision for targeting the right audience who need the products or services.

Social media allows targeting of local and international audiences. For instance, you can target 2,000 persons in Lagos, Abuja, Pretoria or Accra (or maybe a 20 km perimeter round your shop), who love to read motivational books, within the ages of 16 and 62, if you so wish. My example may not even be what you want but that gives you an idea of how precise you could be with your ads. With audience targeting in social media advertising, your resources are not wasted as you can select the precise geographic, demographic and psycho-graphic market that you want to advertise your products or services to, ones who are interested in what you are offering. Isn’t that a great thing?



You can make provision for different types of contents on your social media platforms and your audience can choose the type of contents they prefer. Content type here means text, audio, image and video. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter support one or more of the mentioned content types. Most of the traditional media only support one content type. Newspapers can only take texts and images; direct mail can only have text; thanks to the inventors of electronic billboards. The major point here is, traditional advertising doesn’t give the audience a choice of content, so they take what they are given. Some blogs can provide all the types of contents listed here.



The good thing here is, you can reach a very large number of audiences through the various social media platforms available today. Facebook alone has more than 1.8 billion registered users, Google is worldwide; Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter are growing fast, so this provides an opportunity for your business to reach a large potential and target audience even beyond your business location which will result in relevant ads being served and higher and measurable ROI. Most traditional media do not cover wide geographically, hence, it’s limitations.



Social media advertising knocks out traditional advertising in a lot of ways.

On the on hand, traditional media has its own advantages because internet methods are subject to clients having access to internet and are internet savvy; but on the other hand, social media advertising is easier to implement, cost-efficient and highly effective, therefore, it is recommended for businesses of all sizes. However, if you are convinced social media advertising works better, why not make the switch from to social media advertising today.

At Auspicks Media, we can help you develop and implement effective and efficient digital marketing strategies that will help you achieve your business goals to make this year your most profitable year to date.

To find out how this can apply to you, call us on +234(0)9068610099 or send an e-mail to and take your first step towards a successful social media marketing switch.

Have you tried the two forms of advertising before? Which do you think is better? When and how did you know it was the right step? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.



  1. This is really cool…. An eye opener. Can’t imagine going with the traditional after reading this or maybe it’s gonna be ‘if you have money to waste, try traditional advertising’. Kudos auspicks


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