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SMS vs Social Media Marketing: Harnessing the Best of Both Worlds

 BONUS MATERIAL: The Psychology of SMS Marketing

When it comes to sharing your marketing message, it’s essential to use every platform that your ideal customers use. Considering that 70% of Americans are on social media, you definitely can’t overlook a social media strategy. 

You also might not realize that 96% of Americans own cell phones — more than is on social media! Using text messaging, better known as short messaging service (SMS), for marketing is one of the most impactful outreach strategies available.  

The most successful companies do both. When you’re active on both social media and SMS, you can reach almost anyone. This allows you to emphasize your message and share your marketing in multiple ways, building brand recognition. 

How can you use both marketing methods? Here’s what you need to know.

The Pros and Cons of Social Media Marketing

Social media has a variety of benefits for companies of all sizes. However, marketing through social media isn’t foolproof — there are drawbacks as well. Let’s look at both to help you determine how digital marketing using social media fits into your strategy.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

One of the key benefits of social media marketing is the sheer reach of social media, as we mentioned earlier. Social media adoption spans all ages, races, and locations throughout the U.S. and the world.  

No matter who you’re targeting, they probably have a favorite social media platform. For instance, 76% of 18-24 year olds use Facebook, while 35% of teens rate Instagram as their favorite social network. In the U.S., 15% of men use Pinterest, while 42% of women do. 

Social media platforms also allow you to target ads to specific parts of their audience. If you’re looking for people in one particular demographic and local area who are likely to move in the next year, Facebook has you covered. Promoted pins on Pinterest show up in the feed like regular pins and garner the same attention. Best of all, paid promotion on social media is very affordable for a company of any size. 

Finally, social media provides a built-in platform for engaging your followers. Not only do you speak with them, but they can share with each other as well. This gives you the ability to create organic reach well beyond your own network.  

The ability of social media to reach a lot of people and still allow you to target specific demographics is unmatched.

Drawbacks of Social Media Marketing

Of course, social media outreach isn’t perfect. There are various disadvantages to using social media for marketing, and one of the top ones is the difficulty of catching attention on a fast-moving platform.  

Organic reach is declining significantly as platforms focus on “pay to play” models. That doesn’t mean you’re helpless, but you don’t have much control over what’s seen in your audience’s feeds if you don’t pay for promotion. 

There are also a lot of competitors on social media. People are as likely to see a message from your biggest adversary as they are from you. Finally, there’s just a lot of content on social media overall. It can be hard to cut through the noise, even when you pay to place a post in a user’s feed. People also trust social media less than they used to, thanks to online fake news.

The Pros and Cons of SMS Marketing

Like any other outreach method, there are benefits and drawbacks to using SMS for marketing. The good news is that many of SMS marketing strengths fill in the shortfalls of social media marketing, and vice versa. That’s what makes them such a great pair.

Benefits of SMS Marketing

The biggest benefit of text message marketing is that almost every message is read — and quickly. Industry studies show that 98% of messages are opened within a few minutes of being received.  

There are also excellent engagement rates from those who receive messages through text. Text marketing has a click-through rate of 29%, and almost half go on to make a purchase.  

Finally, the reach is unmatched. People who own cell phones — which is almost everyone — have it with them all the time. They don’t have to log into a social media account to see messages or view ads. Instead, your message reaches them instantly.

Drawbacks of SMS Marketing

What could be wrong with SMS marketing? This most significant challenge is getting people to enroll. Sharing your cell phone number to receive text messages is a big hurdle for many consumers. A cell phone number is more private than an email address or social media account, and many users fear spam. 

Secondly, you can engage with the user one-on-one, but there’s no community participation. People don’t usually forward text messages to friends and family, and no one can comment on someone else’s text.  

Finally, text messages are very short. Creating effective marketing in 160-character snippets can be challenging for even the most creative marketer. You can’t use detailed images or videos to share your message.

Get the Best of Both Worlds: Use Social and SMS Together

As you can see, social media marketing and SMS are great ways to connect with your target audience. They both have downsides, but their benefits fill in the drawbacks of the other method in many ways. 

For instance, social media allows you to have a more media-rich and community-focused experience with your followers, while text messaging gives you immediate and direct reach with excellent conversion rates. 

When you use social media and SMS together, you get an incredible synergy that gives you reach, targeting, and excellent return on investment. There’s no reason not to get started with this powerful strategy today.

Frankie Wallace
2020-10-01 00:00:00 UTC
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