Is SMS Marketing Like Social Media?

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social media and sms marketing

The easy answer to that question is no, not really.

While there are similarities (both can be considered in mobile marketing for example), they offer completely different ways to communicate.

Social media consists of various social networks. The big ones are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and a few others. There are many, many smaller networks, as well as new ones popping up all the time.  But all the networks basically offer a one to many form of communication. It really is much like traditional advertising in that respect. The difference is there’s an opportunity for the audience to interact with you.

SMS messaging though, should be considered a one to one form of communication. This is true even though you may send a single message to many people. Why? It’s because an SMS message gets delivered in a personal way – just to the one person reading it on their mobile.  While there is a way for the recipient to respond to you, there usually isn’t the type of interaction you’d see in social media.

How you use them in marketing is different too.

How And Why You Use Social Media

Raise brand awareness – Pew Research says over 75% of online adults use social media. The number climbs to almost 90% for the younger generations. If you want people to notice you, social media is a great place to be.

Accelerate word of mouth advertising – The sharing mechanisms social media uses make it easy for your happy customers to tell their friends (remember unhappy customers can do the same).

Improve search engine rankings – Google takes into account Google+ sharing in its rankings. For a time many thought the other social networks were taken into account too. Earlier this year Google seemed to say the other major networks aren’t influencing rankings. But Google changes all the time, and sharing certainly can’t hurt.

Engage with many people at one time – You can share updates, discounts, or other relevant information with many people at once to get the word out fast.

Learn from your followers/customers –  The comments or posts people leave is feedback directly to you about your brand, product, customer service – anything they contact you about. Also important is what people are saying about you, but not posting to your brand page or account.

How And Why You Use SMS Messaging

Provide specific information to one person – You can send account status, bank balance, package arrival, or any short message relating to your business and the receiver.

Quickly reach customers, employees, parents – anyone – with important or timely messages – When you need to make sure someone gets the message, SMS is the right choice. Delivery is almost immediate, and over 90% are read in the first three minutes.

Simple and easy to implement – Unlike social media, much of the process can be automated – even replies can be sorted automatically using keywords. Once established, there is much less management than maintaining social media engagement.

SMS is universal – Whilst a lot of people can access email and some social media platforms on their phone we are still a long way away from access being universal. With SMS messaging however this restriction doesn’t exist. Every phone on the planet can receive SMS messages which adds a different dimension to messaging.

As you can see, both SMS marketing and social media have their own purpose. Which one you choose will depend on what your marketing objectives are, but many brands are including both in their marketing plans.

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