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SMS Marketing vs Social Media. Which Comes Out on Top?

Mar 30, 2022

Both SMS (Short Message Service) marketing and social media form a significant part of digital marketing campaigns for many businesses. Both have numerous advantages and can be tweaked to optimize almost any advertising or customer outreach campaign. So when it comes to an SMS vs. social media marketing strategy, which is better?

When used together, the marketing outcomes from SMS texts and social media marketing create a synergy that is any marketer’s dream. But, what if you could only choose one? Will a battle of benefits see social media marketing or SMS on top? Let’s find out. 

Reaching Your Target Audience

An essential first step toward increasing conversion rates is reaching your target audience. Both SMS and social media platforms present massive opportunities to reach a large audience. However, while seven in ten Americans say they use social media channels, 85% own smartphones.

Social media usage statistics graph from Pew Research CenterSource: Pew Research Center

You must craft social media advertising campaigns to target the social media channels your target customers use most to be effective. 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. 

Verdict: If your goal is to send out marketing messages that reach their intended targets, then SMS is the winning option.

visual representing a target audience

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 phones 160 times per day on average (25% within a minute of waking up!).  While smartphone users are connected to their mobile devices 24/7, social media users have to visit their accounts intentionally. 

Verdict: Higher click-through rates make SMS text message marketing the obvious winner.

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, this can be achieved using either SMS marketing or social media marketing. So which is more effective?

When retailers use proper SMS promotional 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. The average Facebook ad conversion rate across all industries is 9.21%

Verdict: SMS marketing maintains the upper hand for achieving higher conversion rates than social media marketing. 

graph visual showing exponential growth

Market Penetration

Marketing promotions involve a fair amount of preparation and groundwork. Their outcomes can also be affected by the amount of 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 are running an SMS marketing campaign, you would have a list of contacts interested in your product. They are also more likely to be ready to buy your product and participate in promos and special offers. In addition, SMS marketing often 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 messages from competitors. If you are new to the market, you will be competing 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.

Verdict: SMS presents an easier method to get the attention of your target audience and has been proven to be a winner. 

Choose Textedly For Winning SMS Marketing Campaigns

Receiving and opening an SMS message doesn’t take much extra effort beyond owning a smartphone. Smartphones are everywhere, and while most people have a social media account, the additional steps it takes to stay connected might be what makes the average SMS marketing campaign a better strategy. 

Final Verdict: While combining both methods will guarantee better results, SMS marketing stands out as the easier and better way to make your marketing campaign a success.

Textedly makes it simple to start sending text messages to your customers. Our user-friendly texting platform has an extensive list of 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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