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When to Use SMS Marketing vs. Social Media

Dec 29, 2022

Mobile marketing is indispensable when it comes to reaching customers on the go. SMS (Short Message Service) and social media marketing are significant in any business’s digital marketing strategy. Both have numerous advantages and can be tweaked to optimize almost any advertising or customer outreach campaign.

Since smartphone users can access both SMS and social media, are there occasions when one channel offers a better return on the investment of your time and marketing dollars? Let’s find out. 

when to use social media marketing vs when to SMS marketing

Read 15 Text Marketing Trends to Watch For (2023 Update)

Reaching Your Target Audience

To increase conversation rates, the first essential step is to reach your target audience. Both SMS and social media platforms present massive opportunities to reach large audiences. In fact, eight in ten Americans say they use social media channels, while 85% own smartphones.

8 in 10 Americans use social media channels. 

85% own smartphones.

To advertise effectively, you must craft campaigns for the channels your target customers use most. For example, many brands use SMS to communicate special promotions, new products and updates to their customers and use social media to build brand awareness and share long-form content.

On Facebook, the second most popular social media channel, the median engagement rate across all industries is 0.08%, with 35% of marketers reporting successful influencer campaigns. 

On the other hand, SMS is so personal that users open as many as 98% of SMS messages within three minutes of receipt. 

Engaging Your Customers

A good measure of a marketing campaign's quality is its ability to keep clients’ attention and get them to interact with your message. 

70% of Facebook users claim they visit the site daily, with 49% checking the platform “several times per day.” Conversely, SMS messages have proven to evoke better customer responses. 

SMS campaigns have average click-through rates of 19.3%, and 66% of Americans check their mobile phones roughly 160 times daily (25% within a minute of waking up!). So while smartphone users are connected to their mobile devices 24/7, social media users have to visit their accounts intentionally.

66% of Americans check their phones 160 times per day, on average

Customers expect different kinds of content on social media than on SMS. Use SMS for quick, informative messages and save videos, photos and longer content for social media posts that can grow SMS subscriptions – a win-win!

Conversion Rates

The ultimate aim of any marketing campaign is conversion. Conversion goals vary from one business to the next and are defined by their business strategy. For some, conversion is simply signing up for an account; for others, conversions involve making a sale.

Even when a conversion goal is simple brand awareness, you can use either SMS or social media marketing. So which is more effective?

When retailers use SMS text messaging strategies featuring a strong call-to-action or a time-bound offer, they have experienced conversion rates as high as 47% from engaged users.

In comparison, the average Facebook ad conversion rate across all industries is 9.21%, while Instagram conversion rates hover around 1.85%.

SMS conversion rates are as high as 47% from engaged users

Market Penetration

Marketing promotions involve a fair amount of preparation and groundwork. Their outcomes can also be affected by competition in the same market. How much competition exists for your target audience, and how does social media marketing compare with SMS in helping you achieve easy market entry?

If you run an SMS marketing campaign, you will have a list of contacts already interested in your brand. They are also more likely to be ready to buy your product and participate in promos and special offers. SMS marketing involves short, direct communication with customers, reducing the chances of “turning off” consumers with too much information.

On the other hand, social media presents a dynamic environment fraught with marketing messages from competitors. If you are new to the market, you will compete on a platform already dominated by known brands. Creating your network and nurturing it to the degree it takes for your brand to stand out is a much more significant challenge. The need for content that can attract the right followers is critical.

SMS marketing vs. social media infographic

Choose Textedly For Winning SMS Marketing Campaigns

Receiving and opening an SMS message doesn’t require much effort beyond owning a smartphone. While most people have a social media account, the additional steps it takes to stay connected might make the average SMS marketing campaign a better strategy. 

Choosing SMS or social media marketing depends on your business goals and marketing strategy. Sometimes it’s a clear-cut choice, and sometimes it isn’t. However, when used together, SMS texts and social media marketing can create a synergy that’s any marketer’s dream. 

Textedly makes it simple to start sending text messages to your customers. Our user-friendly texting platform has extensive features, like auto-reply texts and two-way SMS, to help you stay connected with your customers whenever they need you.

To learn more, sign up for a free trial of Textedly today.

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