- Earned Media includes organic coverage about your brand on television, radio, blogs, video sites, etc, because you did something particularly newsworthy or you have a talented PR person.
- Owned Media includes your company website, corporate blog, magazine, email newsletters and so forth. You have complete control over these properties, hence the term owned.
- Paid Media refers to purchasing advertising or sponsorships to create awareness with a specific audience for a set time period or number of impressions.
To make this more relevant to Social Media, here is how the concept roughly applies to Facebook:
- Earned Media includes users who purposely became a fan of your page or who clicked the Like button on your website, shared a blog post or story about your brand on Facebook, or suggested your Page to their friends.
- Owned Media is the brand’s page and the content published by the page administrator, but not any of likes, comments or wall posts by fans (I’ll get back to this in a minute).
- Paid Media is self-explanatory and includes Facebook ads used to generate more traffic to your page in hopes of growing your fan base. Promotions or giveaways typically require a media spend as well, regardless if you are only targeting non-fans or existing fans.
While Earned, Owned and Paid Media encompass a significant amount of activity for brands on Facebook (ignoring gaming for the sake of this argument), there is a fourth type of media that is the key to understanding how to prepare your brand for being socially relevant: Shared Media.
Shared Media is the documented engagement between a brand and a user where that engagement is reflected in both of their networks and not fully owned by either entity. In layman’s terms, when you like or comment on a brand’s Status Update or post on the wall of a brand’s Facebook page, a physical record of your action now exists on both the brand’s Page and your personal Profile. The brand doesn’t exclusively own the content, nor do you. The content is partially owned and partially earned. Since that gets a little confusing, it’s better to think of that content as now being Shared Media.