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How Social Media and SMS Messaging Work Together

Pop! Did you see that? Yet another social media platform was just born.

Not really, or maybe it was. They pop up so frequently it’s hard to keep track. And if you’re doing any mobile marketing, it can really create some confusion about what to do and which platform to do it on. And usually, until you get to know a particular social network, it’s really hard to make headway – or see any ROI from it.

This blog isn’t about choosing a social platform, but it does address how focusing on social and SMS marketing together – but differently – can lead to greater success in your mobile marketing.

SMS is the money maker

Social media has come a long way from something businesses once did because they knew they should, but didn’t know what they got from it. Basically social media efforts were marketing experiments. As you expand into the social platforms on mobile, a similar thing can happen. It’s likely to leave you asking the question, “Is this making me any money?”

In an article about mobile social media on Techshout, the author makes the following observation,

“It’s easy to be sucked in by the shiny new features of social media platforms but don’t be fooled into thinking that this is the only game in town. While it’s great to build and improve your relationship with your customers, SMS marketing is a more targeted and tangible way of trying to earn money. People like to read and respond to text messages, giving SMS good open and click through rates and a solid ROI. No one should allow social media to turn their heads to the extent that they ignore other facets, particularly those that deliver good returns. In many ways social media expands the traditional horizons of marketing and mobile marketing – but SMS still does the important legwork to bring in the money.”

Social media is shiny in the land of mobile marketing, offering new ways (or at least new apps) to connect with customers on the go. But when it comes to generating income, SMS is still more reliably profitable. Successful campaigns often have an ROI in the hundreds of percent – sometimes even thousands of percent.

One well-known example is a campaign run by Avenue, a women’s fashion retailer. They achieved a 6,600% return on an SMS messaging campaign. They sent messages that encouraged customers to come into their store for special deals. The increased foot traffic and sales that came from those messages account for their huge ROI – not uncommon among retailers using SMS marketing (results vary of course).

Working together

If there’s one thing marketers have learned in the last few years, it’s that customers want a consistent brand experience. That’s certainly a challenge for just about every business. It can be made easier though, by realising that both SMS and social are inherently mobile solutions these days (the exception given for the few who still hang on to their laptops).

Just the effort it takes to consistently cross promote can improve ROI on both channels. Share your SMS opt in campaign on your social channels. Advertise a special deal only available to those who sign up using the right keyword found in your social messaging. Promote a contest or social sharing activity to your SMS list and get them to follow and engage with you on social media.

In the 2016 State of Marketing Report from Salesforce, the annual survey found that companies that integrated these channels (and others too) saw greater ROI overall and more successful marketing in general (you can read this blog for a short review of it).

Doing both SMS marketing and social media is a lot of work for a small business, and requires lots of coordination in a large one. But whether you’re big or small, it’s worth the investment in both.

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