It’s never that easy.
A popular model to describe today’s media landscape is to classify different media channels as paid, owned and earned.
Crystal clear, right? Well, enter social media. These types of channels defy classification in an almost elegant way. Allow brand activities on Facebook to illustrate this:
Facebook (paid): When you advertise your brands, products, and services on Facebook, it falls under marketing (i.e. programmatic advertising).
Facebook (owned): When you “own” a Facebook Page and publish editorial content, it falls under communications (i.e. social media publishing).
Facebook (earned): When people talk about or with your brand and share your messages among themselves on Facebook, it falls under communications (i.e. community management).
As a consequence, many brands struggle to decide who’s responsible for what when it comes to digital marketing and communications. And, to make matters even more complex, some experts now argue that we need a fourth type of channel class, borrowed:
The argument is that you’re only “borrowing” your Facebook page since Facebook can decide to change the game whenever and however they want. Given Facebook Zero, this makes some sense.
However, I’m not completely convinced. Yes, there’s a difference in platform control between a social account and a web page, but is this enough to warrant changing an otherwise beautiful model?
Do you think it’s a good idea to add “borrowed” to the model — or are we just adding unnecessary complexity? Please share in the comment section.