Is Social Media Advertising or PR?
Many people will say that social media belongs in the Public Relations category. Well…they wouldn’t be wrong. I mean we are using the “sender/receiver” model through a non-traditional media channel so it MUST be PR! For a long time I thought this too, but have you ever noticed that every time you’re on social media SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE is trying to sell you something? Yeah well that’s where advertising comes into play! Both PR and advertising make up the social media world.
According to Inc.com, the use of PR in social media is crucial to a company’s success because “social media is a real-time, open dialogue between company and customers.” Wendy’s is notorious for their consumer engagement on social media. Their blunt and direct humor works well for their image. Many companies need these kinds of social media gurus to handle their PR and relate their message to the public.
Social media is always evolving and it’s turned into a great placed to advertise and sell products to an array of target markets. Many companies are focused on producing measurable results and “as investment in social [media] increases, return on investment will become an increasingly important metric.” A lot of companies put big bucks into their social media marketing because the ROI (Return on Investment) and sales have skyrocketed.
So is social media AD or PR? It’s both! Companies looking to just get their message across and communicate with their publics are taking more of the PR road, while other companies looking for sales results are using advertising to their advantage. Both are interchangeable at times, but play a crucial role in the failures and successes of many corporations. Which one is better? You’ll have to be the judge on that!