Why SMS Marketing is Like Facebook Marketing, But Better

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sms marketing vs facebook

Facebook is a popular place. According to Statista, they had 1.44 billion active users in the first quarter of 2015. It’s no wonder then that businesses are flocking to advertise there. But big isn’t always better. SMS marketing is similar in many respects to Facebook advertising, and for some uses it is actually better. Let me explain and see if you agree.

You can target your market

One of the wonders of having 1.44 billion people at your disposal is that you can pick and choose who you want to see your ads. You can select by country, gender, occupation, hobbies, and just about anything else because Facebook keeps track of all that for every single user (scary, isn’t it?).

So while you can select the qualities you want the people who see your ad to have, you still get a random set of people. And I use the word random because they may or may not have any association with you prior to seeing your ad. It’s like having a big bowl of marbles all the same size, and that are generally blue, but mixed with other colours too. But you want only solid blue marbles so you stick your hand in and try to pick them all out. Mostly blue doesn’t count, or it might count occasionally. But in general, you’re looking just for solid blues (I know people aren’t like solid colour marbles, but stick with me on the analogy ok?).

Hopefully you’ve picked the right qualities, and matched your ad to those qualities, so your ad converts and gets the attention of all the solid blues. But it’s a lottery really, at least when you first run your ads and before you know what will work.

Human resources, CRM, data mining, assessment center and social media concept - woman looking for employee represented by icon.

In SMS marketing though, once someone has opted into your list, they are pretty much guaranteed to be a solid blue. Sure, you might occasionally get one that turns out to be more purple than blue and they unsubscribe. But overwhelmingly you’ll have a list of people that are exactly your target market. And you have them as a fairly captive audience. You won’t be competing for their attention on their Facebook feed. Instead, you send them texts right to their personal phone. As of now, I don’t think Facebook ads can do that.

Data, data, data

Big data is getting a lot of attention these days. And for good reason. Data helps you understand things, find patterns and make predictions. Facebook collects hundreds of terabytes, or more, of data every day (one terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes) which it then sorts and aggregates into its advertising platform. That’s the reason you can target your ads to just people in Zimbabwe who like to watch science fiction movies, for example. But it’s all aggregated in to one big clump as far as the advertiser is concerned – you could never pick out a single person.

Word Cloud "Big Data"

When you market to your own SMS list though, it’s your customers and your data. You may not be collecting or examining it yet, but the potential is there for you to learn a lot more about the specific people who buy from you. That means you’ll be able to better target more marketing and get even higher returns.

For example, say you have a store that sells clothes for both men and women. When you send out specials for women’s clothes, certain people will respond. Maybe different people respond when you send out men’s specials. If you keep track, you’ll be able to predict which ones are more interested in, and more likely to buy from, each offer. You can target your next campaign to just the one group and probably get the best results you’ve ever achieved.

That’s because you save money by not sending SMS messages to everyone on your lists, just the ones you knew probably wanted a men’s pair of trousers for 50% off. And because that list had the most likely buyers, the percentage of buyers would probably be high. Overall, that means a higher ROI because your data is the most informative and most targeted.

And because it’s your data, you can keep sorting and sifting it to see what else you can learn from it. Maybe those same people make different buying decisions around the holidays when they are shopping for others. Maybe there are other trends and insights you can gain to use in growing your lists. It’s all up to you really.

So which is better?

These are a couple of ways that Facebook advertising and SMS marketing are similar. But I also point out how SMS marketing can be better for certain reasons. Now, I’m not saying Facebook marketing isn’t good. It all just depends on what you’re trying to do and the budget you have to do it. SMS marketing offers a lot of benefits for businesses – especially small businesses that are trying to grow sales. So if you’re considering where to put your marketing resources, take a good look at what SMS marketing can do for you when compared to other options.

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