Up until today
Up until the 21st century, traditional media was the only formal mode of consuming and providing information. Nobody considered the possibility of the industry is on its way to becoming obsolete because of its large consumer reliance on every single piece of information.
At the break of most mornings, newspaper vendor stands spilt curious people reading headlines of newspapers. In perspective, almost every community had daily or monthly subscriptions where moving vendors deliver newspapers to consumers religiously. Fast forward, today, most of these vendors are out of business because of the need to evolve as human beings which is the whole point of the internet, thus the birth of social media.
By far, social media has become not only the fastest way to receive and deliver information, but it is also the most convenient way to consume information and network.
Traditional media includes television, radio, newspapers, and Billboards. No doubt that once upon a time, these forms of media bridged the gap between the people and the information. However, as man’s insatiable need to know and connect more increased, traditional media became a little too slow to match the pace of our desires.
An advertiser’s best bet in modern times is to invest in social media to reach consumers because they are aware that every single target has a piece of internet within reach which allows them to consume information easily. While the newspaper goes through the process of printing, distribution and set for release the following day, social media has already gone ahead to release the same information with just a click. The thing with traditional media is that it is set in stone. Once published, it cannot be reversed or edited. But social media allows room for corrections and afterthoughts where one can easily edit the information online without completely taking it down.
For millennials, consuming hardcore news can be daunting hence the internet provides the appeal to make it look consumable. To a very large extent, millennials indirectly and unknowingly dictate trends which ultimately translates into money for the advertiser. As much as traditional media have been helpful in the past and still is, social media will always be the preferred choice, of course, because of factors such as convenience, proximity, appeal, security among many others.
A recent poll conducted among 349 participants on social media revealed that 94% gets the information first on social media before any other channel. This poll was spearheaded by Whoopro, Ghana’s premier influencer marketing app that connects brands with social media influencers. This poll basically indicates that people would rather consume information from social media at the expense of traditional media because once again, the world is moving as fast as time moves. Social media has created room enough for consumers to reach information even under the most inconvenient situations.
Nonetheless, has traditional media become useless today? It could be but, in the meantime, news editors and outlets are beginning to understand the shift in attention. It has become imperative to join the winning team to help them remain relevant which is why every media house has a place on social media today. They recognise the fact that people no longer have the patience and convenience to catch the 7’oclock news. Hence, creating websites and news blogs on the internet is not a choice but a requirement to thrive as a media house.
The juxtaposition of traditional media and social media will not make any sense since they serve the same primary purpose. It won’t be out of place to say that these two media outlets will be useless without each other in these times.
Social media provides on-the-go information which reaches millions of people in a split second. But even so, there is still a substantial percentage of older folks who still rely on traditional media for their dose of information every day. To them, any information from social media could not be the truth. It is for that reason this form of media may not be completely out of style. In the same breath, millennials rely on social media for everything beyond information.
As humans, we evolve every day, sometimes without even trying so hard. We have a constant craving for information, hence the existence of the media. At the end of the day, we never stop looking for answers and until the last man dies, both traditional and social media will continue to feed and fan the flames of our curiosity.
>>> the writer, Ijeoma Naa Adoley Nnadi, is a Digital Media Executive at Whoopro.