Change on the internet is so rapid that our vocabulary battles to define ever new phenomenon in the networks and this is hindering our ability to really describe what is going on.
I saw an example of this today in an article by Seb Joseph:
“Social has always been about authenticity whereas advertising is a means to get people’s attention.”
The difference between social and advertising is an interesting choice of comparison.
I always thought that advertising was a push notification to let people know about a product, whereas social is a type of distribution mechanism.
Doesn’t advertising use social as a means of reaching people?
Advertising is a type of content that’s largely controlled by the product maker or brand, whereas other content on social is created by individuals who’ve got something they want to say.
Individuals, unless they’ve got serious money, can’t use the older channels such as scheduled TV to create distributable content. Advertising is pervasive and paid for.
Other content, which has only been around since the internet developed the mechanisms to distribute it, is made by us in our own time and is generally free to distribute.
Unless I’m missing something, these distinctions have been there since the beginning of the web.
I guess the question is should we conflate social ie the distribution channels and the content? Does it help marketers understand what’s happening as the social media networks multiply and behaviours adapt and morph?
I think it does matter. Very much. A lot of discussion around what is happening in marketing is impenetrable. The language that is being made up to try to capture the change is so technical or ‘in-speak’ that it is almost incomprehensible, or its just plain gobbledygook, which means many are being shut out of the discussion altogether.