Before a significant number of people had internet access, the dominant media communication was 1:n. In “one to many” communication, one media owner (newspaper, radio, tv, advertisers) broadcasts a message to a big audience, who normally do not or cannot respond directly.
n:n communication was mainly personal conversation between a small number of participants. Rarely did word of mouth overschadow 1:n communication.
For more than 10 years now, has n:n communication increased and achieved a volume, that was unthinkable in pre-internet times. It is safe to say, that in the diagram, which shows the cloud of noise and its division into 1:n and n:n the blue line has constantly moved north to the benefit of n:n communication.
1. You are using social media to have a share of voice in the n:n part of the cloud of noise and to keep control of your share of voice level.
2. Neither you nor your competitors are using social media and the share of voice in the n:n part of the cloud of noise is controlled exclusively by your target group.
3. Your competitor is using social media and you are overall losing share of voice.
4. Your target group is criticizing your product and you have an urgent need for listening or for reputation defense, because your 1:n communication is negatively overshadowed by the target groups n:n communication (and your competitor is potentially adding fuel to the fire).
If you are not represented by number 1, think about the relationship between share of voice and cloud of noise.
Further reading: The Social Media Marketing Concept in 7 Logic Steps