How Social Media is Saving Old Media

I’ve come across many social media enthusiasts who believe that the new media will spell doomsday for old media. I, for one, beg to differ. As much as I love social media for the innovation and flexibility that it offers, I’m also a huge fanboy of conventional old media techniques. I’ve always maintained that social media is NOT a replacement for old media.

Social media and old media go hand in hand. They are meant to compliment each other and not to replace each other. Critics may argue that there’s a lot to learn from social media and old media now has a bleak future. On the contrary, I believe that social media is passively promoting the cause of old media. As a savior, social media is saving old media from dying down its natural death.

Social Media Augments Old Media

Let’s face it – old media is irreplaceable. For example, consider a business that wants to launch a press release about its latest innovative product. While social media offers some fantastic ways of promoting the press release on the internet, it cannot replace the old school way of issuing press releases.

Social media has transformed the way PR agencies operate in today’s modern age of Web 2.0. Communication happens at lightning speeds over the internet and offers an unparallel reach to massive audiences. You create a press release, publish it online and then spread the word about it through leading social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

While old media had a limited audience, social media has taken it to an altogether unprecedented reach.

More Platforms = More Readers

Social media is a ubiquitous experience. It is not limited to just computers and can be accessed using several other means such as mobile phones, Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) and IP TV. While old media was largely limited to print media, social media opens up new avenues by offering unconventional modes of communication.

The easier it is for people to access the information, the more the readership – as simple as that!

Two-way Communication

While old media was by and large one way traffic, social media adds a new dimension to it by allowing the customers to engage in meaningful conversations with your business. People just love to talk back and old media offered limited opportunities to do so. With social media joining the fry, customers have a great opportunity to speak their minds and provide feedback to businesses.

Social media therefore avoids the one-way traffic approach of old media and leads to numerous untapped opportunities.

Self-sustainable Media

Critics often point out that cost is a major deterrent when it comes to old media. It is simply not self-sustainable. On the contrary, most social media services come at the best possible price – Free! Therefore, social media offsets the cost factor associated with conventional media techniques and helps create a self-sustainable hybrid model of advertising that leads to best of both worlds.

Social media is NOT meant to replace old media. Rather, it’s a savior and promoter to the noble cause of preserving the time tested old media techniques. As a business organization, you should concentrate on getting the maximum benefits out of the lethal combo of old media and social media.

What do you think about it? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment here.

Join the Conversation


  1. Derek       Reply

    Definitely agree with you here – social media won't be the executioner of old media. But if companies and agencies don't integrate social media into their mix, then their old media pushes might become almost invisible to their audiences.

  2. Douglas Idugboe       Reply

    Right-on Derek. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Dino Dogan       Reply

    New media Vs. Old Media. I duno…while emotionally I tend to agree, rationally I think our age is showing itself here guys.

    I was re-reading The Long Tail over the weekend and was reminded how 16 yr olds spend only few hrs per week watching TV and only to watch Tivo'd shows. They listen to no radio, they dont read traditional newspaper….whats left? lol

    I dont think things will get better for old media…only worse.

    Now, dont get me wrong…in terms of prestige, old media rocks…for now. Also, old media is still able to propel you forward in one large leap forward. But its losing ground, inch by inch…every day.

    So in summary…my emotional brain agrees with you guys and wants to cling to the old, but my rational brain is telling me the old media's days are numbered. Sorry old media :-)

  4. Douglas Idugboe       Reply

    Very valid points Dino. The old are always the foundation for new ideas and technologies. Based on available stats and user evolution facilitated by new media, if any member of the old media guard refuse to see the opportunity to grow using the incredible tools made available by new media, such media house should be planning for its funeral.

    As noted recently though by Nielsen, most of the most visited news source sites today are pedigreed in old media. This shows that many members of the old guard have come to recognize the opportunity new media brings and they are leveraging to a great advantage.

    As the old saying goes, “innovate of die!”. If as a media company you decide to stay still and remain comfortable with the old and refute the new, you will experience the pond syndrome – you begin to stink; no one likes stinking stuff. Hence, to remain fresh and relevant in the new world that's before us, you must continue to flow into the ocean of opportunity presented us by new media by not stubbornly remaining part of the old and embracing the new.

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  8. James Starkey       Reply

    100% agree with this post. I don’t think social media as a platform could even survive on it’s own. To be effective it should be used as a supplementary body for old media and until social media makes a huge number of steps forward I don’t see this changing any time soon. 

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