How SMS Messaging can Boost your Social Media Marketing
You’ve got a great team in place creating great content for social media. You’ve got a healthy number of followers and the number is going up. But when it comes to engagement, it seems your message is falling on deaf ears. In this article, we look at how you use SMS messaging to drive customers to your social media with a joined up approach.
Social media – a noisy space
On the whole, social media remains an incredibly powerful and growing force in the world of both personal and business communication. Few businesses can get away without having a presence on social media, whilst for many, it is now their number one marketing channel. Each platform such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram has its own specific format, and each of these brings with it platform-specific advantages. Facebook, for example, is more friendly where lengthier copy is required, whilst the short, sharp SMS-like approach of Twitter encourages businesses to focus on getting a succinct message across. Instagram, like Pinterest, is image based and great for marketing from a visual perspective.
One thing all social media platforms have in common is powerful customer profiling and segmentation possibilities, allowing marketing campaigns to be highly targeted. The downside, however, is that anybody who is anybody in marketing has now learnt how to take full advantage of this, meaning that users are constantly blasted with content, often to the point that they switch off. The net result – your voice becomes drowned out in a sea of noise, and engagement figures start to sink, even when the content truly is great.
So how can you engineer a turnaround on this and draw customers back into your social media, with a view to increasing conversions? SMS messaging offers a simple answer.
Why SMS messaging still matters
Since it’s inception in the 1980’s, SMS messaging has always retained a very personal touch. Perhaps it’s because as humans we identify with the possession of a mobile phone as an object, or maybe it is simply that having one’s own telephone number gives a sense of uniqueness. There is also the argument that because a mobile phone is held in the hand, we experience the bond of touch far more strongly than with other technological devices such as laptop computers.
Why does this matter? Because the result is that almost all SMS messages are read; the majority instantly. Think about the last time you received an SMS alert on your phone – you almost certainly read the message, and probably within about three minutes of being aware. If you didn’t, the chances are that this was due to more pressing matters of urgency or other external factors and not a lack of inquisitiveness on your part.
Compare this to your email inbox or social media accounts. We would hazard a guess that even if you don’t use automated filtering to decide which messages you care about seeing at a given time, you perform a raft of mental filters every time you log in – some of them subconscious: Disregard messages or posts containing ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ in the subject line, ignore content with the words ‘X’, ‘Y’ or ‘Z’ in the sender address. Filter only for notifications that appear to be related to this or that… Few people would agree that they view, read and digest every single piece of information that comes their way. Far more would confess to quite the opposite.
There are of course techniques for improving the response rate – using personalised greetings and tones, adding carefully selected images for visual impact and such like. But as we’ve already discussed, if everybody is doing this the end result is no better.
When it comes to SMS messages, the evidence suggests that we don’t employ the same type of filtering (unless it’s Mother-in-Law, perhaps). As individuals, we are far more selective about who we choose to share our mobile number with and why we do so. This means that we work under the assumption that anybody who chooses to send an SMS message is considered to be a pre-screened, existing contact. As a consequence, we are already satisfied that the information we receive by SMS is likely to be relevant and to our interest. In essence, we feel that we have performed the filtering process at the time of handing over our number.
How to tie SMS messaging and Social Media together
Let’s look at two examples of how you might tie SMS messaging and Social Media together.
Our first example is based on an event. For example, you are the organiser of a wedding show and have a reasonably large following on your various social media channels. So far, the reach on your campaign has been respectable, but you’ve had little feedback as to whether or not people are planning to attend. You’ve decided that Facebook Events is a great way to build and monitor interest.
In order to encourage more people to respond, you might run an SMS campaign that looks a little like this:
Ella, we’d love to see you at the A1Brides Wedding Fayre! Confirm your attendance on FB to enter our draw! More at facebook.com/A1Brides
The message is personal, it makes the recipient feel that they matter, and the CTA and link to social media are simple and clear.
With this approach, timing is of the essence. Ideally, at the time that any messages are sent out, the relevant content on the Facebook page should be the first thing people land on so that no searching is required.
The second example is a voucher promotion on Instagram. The idea behind the promotion is not unlike that adopted recently by big names including Jeep and EDF energy – encouraging users to submit their own selfies to boost engagement. User participation will be incentivised by a money-off offer such as discount vouchers.
For this campaign, the SMS message might read:
“Claire, there’s still time to enter the SupremeSkin Selfie competition on IG & win big! Upload your selfie now at instagram.com/SupremeSkin”
As in the previous example, the message is personal to the recipient and has a clear and provocative CTA that is linked directly to the social media campaign. The wording also creates a sense of urgency.
The beauty of both these approaches is that even if the customer has completely missed the update on social media, they now have a chance to participate. Provided that there is a genuine and relevant campaign underlying it, then it is likely that the customer will be glad to have received the message and perceive in much the same way as a gesture from a friend. This not only drives engagement but even more importantly fosters brand loyalty.
Fastsms are the UK’s leading business SMS platform, offering some of the UK’s lowest priced SMS bundles, a versatile range of sending options and a fully supported API integration. On top of this, we are famous for our exceptional 24-hour customer service. We pride ourselves in ensuring that all of our customers get to talk to a fellow human, no matter what.
If you are not sure how your business can make the most of SMS messaging, call us now on 0800 954 5305 and we’ll be happy to put you in touch with the right person for your sector.
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Most car dealerships and garages already have almost everything in place to start an effective SMS marketing campaign. When customers go into a car garage to have a service or a MOT done, they almost always give the dealership their mobile phone number. The reason for this is simple: if a customer is bringing their car in to get checked and they don't want to wait around for any work to be carried out, they'll simply head into town or run a few errands, until the garage gives them a call on their mobile to let them know the work has been done. That means most garages will have a healthy amount of mobile numbers already in their database, but quite often a garage will overlook the potential that their database of contacts presents.
With the continued rise of different and more diverse technologies in the social and mobile web, it would be easy to dismiss the potential benefits of SMS marketing - and that’s exactly the reason you shouldn’t. An SMS is the unexpected visit of a familiar friend, and there’s one demographic that embraces an old trusted ally in this new, noisy digital world more than anyone else: the millennials.
SMS marketing is not quite like most other marketing. You have such a limited space to get your point across, just 160 characters, more or less. It’s not unlike having to create a print advert for a small space, but somehow it can seem more intimidating. That’s why sometimes it seems like marketers forget one basic rule about writing offers: Always lead with the offer! Sounds simple, right?
Almost any business, or even a not-for-profit company, can take advantage of the frenzy of sporting events, like The Olympics. Especially when you combine it with mobile marketing. That’s because there are plenty of fans, and their devices, here in the UK.
In my last blog I looked at five reasons you want to use SMS messaging in your business. In this blog we're looking at the same topic, just from the consumer's point of view. For example, how do you really know your customers want you to send them messages via SMS? Isn't email or a phone call good enough? Is it worth your time to learn how to use SMS messaging in your business?
In a previous blog post I shared how getting my movie tickets delivered to me via SMS made going to the cinema with my family easier than it’s ever been. I signed up to the company’s SMS marketing list too and I want to share the process with you because it was so easy, so seamless for me as a consumer, that it makes a great example for others to follow.
My family doesn’t go to the cinema often, but when we do, I dread the ticket line. So I almost always purchase my tickets online if we plan to go during a busy time, or for a newly released movie. Paying for the tickets is always easy, but getting them at the cinema can be problematic. Enter SMS.
Are you looking to grow your business? Get more customers? Have larger profits? Of course you are. Isn't every business looking to improve, grow and generate more sales? More and more businesses are realising how SMS messaging can help them do all those things. But it's nice to have some facts to back up what most people seem to assume is true.
In a world where your competition can be found in just a few seconds, instilling brand loyalty in customers is a greater challenge than ever. One way to proactively reach out to customers is via SMS. The personal nature of SMS messages, combined with high read rates, gives you the opportunity to develop relationships with each customer.