Commentary

Is Paid Media Killing Social?


Is paid media killing social marketing? Panelists at MediaPost’s Social Media Insider Summit don’t think so, but paid, they all believe, is necessary to guarantee scaled reach. Take the case of HowFarAmIfromSharksRightNow.com-- a recent campaign for Travelocity, and concocted by McKinney, which wanted to ride the fins of “Shark Week” by telling people anywhere around the world exactly how far they were from sharks. (From the mountains of Tahoe, Raw Blog is currently 290 miles away from some big fish swimming in Capitola, CA.) Anyway. Clever as the tie-in was, however, McKinney didn’t leave its success to chance. Rather, they executed an elaborate outreach effort, including influencers (shark-lovers, in this case), TV-conversational targeting on Twitter, and other paid efforts. “An idea needs to be valuable,” Laura Suchoski, Social Media Manager at McKinney, said on Thursday. “But unless it’s seeded well, no one’s going to notice it.” That said, “If you don’t have paid media to flesh out an idea, you can be very creative” -- and find success in the process -- Suchoski added.

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