Traditional vs. Social: How Television & Social Media Stack Up


Traditional vs. Social: How Television & Social Media Stack UpWhen you think of traditional media, the biggest behemoth of them all is television! It’s also the one that has been most affected by the new kid on the block of digital media.

To television’s credit, it hasn’t waived its fist and said “get off my lawn” but instead has tried to adapt to and compliment digital media. Hey, television knows that 86% of its viewers always skip through commercials, but that’s what pays the bills, so innovation is a big deal.

Television still needs and wants advertisers and there is no denying that when you have a great TV spot that’s well placed, your bank or credit union can reach a lot of potential customers in a big way. There is a hefty price tag on that though, so it’s no surprise that a new study reveals that nearly 40% of banks and credit unions are reducing or stopping their television advertising. Is it possible that social media can promise you the same thing for a lot less money?

Speaking of innovation, is it possible that social media can promise you the same results for a lot less money?

Let’s look at Facebook ads in particular. Can the case be made that a great video on Facebook can do the same job (reach a lot of people in a big way) for a smaller budget and higher ROI? Let’s take a look.

Can the case be made that a great video on Facebook can do the same job (reach a lot of people in a big way) for a smaller budget and higher ROI?

How Television & Social Media Stack Up



  • Broadest sensory appeals and creative opportunities
  • Defined demographics
  • Reach a lot of potential customers

Facebook Ads:

  • Engagement
  • Ability to make edits in real time and easy A/B testing
  • Easy to track conversions and calculate ROI
  • Dynamic ads include click-to-buy, lead generation, video views, and more
  • Highly-targeted based on demographics
  • Relatively inexpensive

The strength of both TV and social media is in their desire to inform, entertain and be visually appealing. It seems obvious to me that the two should go hand-in-hand.

If your bank or credit union is running a TV campaign, think through from the beginning how the video can be used on social media. At the minimum, get a digital copy of the spot for social posting. If possible, run Facebook ads to mirror or compliment your TV campaign. Maximize your video production and get the most mileage out of your efforts.



  • Passive messages
  • One-way communication
  • Declining viewership
  • Expensive

Facebook Ads:

  • Time investment – set-up, monitoring, analytics
  • Potential to waste money if managed poorly
  • Complex setup

In 2017, there are a lot of reasons why you really don’t want to invest in television (do you remember that “skip the commercials stat above?). The most important one of all is cost. Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns even generate a positive ROI. That could be too risky for a tight budget, especially when you know you can reach a great demographic with a commercial message on Facebook for a LOT less money. Plus you get the immediate interaction of social media. When we yell at our TV’s, it’s not as effective.

Give It A Try

TV is definitely not for all banks and credit unions, but if you have the budget and a compelling campaign, be smart and plan your digital to go hand-in-hand. In fact, most commercial packages have digital add-ons to make the most of each campaign. Take that all the way to social media and run complimentary ads to really maximize your reach. Planning ahead to make all of the pieces fit is the most important thing to do. Good luck!


About Author

Laurie Heard

Laurie Heard is President and co-owner of Move Digital & Our Valley Events where she handles the day to day business of a busy digital media agency and consults with local businesses about how to maximize their marketing efforts. When she isn't at a computer, Laurie loves to travel (she's seen the entire British Royal Family- pre Kate) and read (fiction and non-fiction). And she loves chocolate.