To reach your customers through the easiest means, it can be difficult to choose between social media marketing and SMS marketing. Both marketing avenues are effective in reaching a large number of potential and existing customers. However, one is always more effective than the other, depending on where your target audience is.
Social media marketing focuses on getting your product and service in the faces of your customers on social media platforms. SMS marketing, on the other hand, doesn’t rely on any social media platform but depends on the permission of your customers to get your product or service in their faces
This article will help you make the right choice between social media marketing and SMS marketing. You’ll also know the pros and cons of each marketing avenue, to help you reach an informed conclusion.
Social Media Marketing – An Overview
As the name implies, social media marketing is marketing through social media. With the increasing reach of audiences on social media throughout the world, businesses have continued to leverage different social media platforms to reach their target audience for engagement and data acquisition.
For every product and service, there is a target audience, and with the numerous social media platforms that are available today, including Pinterest and Reddit, there are different categories of audiences on them. Social media marketers keep inventing tools and techniques to improve their connection, and interaction with their target audience, promoting their products and services and acquiring these customers’ data for a well-refined targeting.
Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest are only a few of the common social media marketing platforms. Each of these platforms has its uniqueness and its major audience. Social media marketers aim to reach their target audience through these platforms through advertisements, social media influencers, and active channels or pages.
Social media is a relatively cheap means of marketing but it requires a good schedule and efficient marketing plan for better results. Since the social media platforms are different in their approach to showing content – text, videos, and images – you’ll have to make your content fit the right social media. Also, you should be able to know the platforms where your audience hangs out, or else, you’ll be wasting your resources.
Pros of Social Media Marketing
- You can reach a wider audience with social media marketing.
- You’ll spend less on social media marketing compared to some marketing channels.
- You can approach your audience through different methods on social media.
- Your audience can interact with you on social media.
- You can easily measure the efficacy of your marketing efforts on social media.
Cons of Social Media Marketing
- You need to understand the algorithms of the different social media platforms.
- You need to tailor your marketing efforts to suit the social media platforms and your audience.
- You will need different content formats for each social media platform.
SMS Marketing – An Overview
SMS marketing is another marketing avenue that allows you to reach your target audience via text messaging, SMS. It is geared towards communicating time-sensitive promotional information, alerts, offers, and updates to your customers who’ve agreed to receive such from you.
Since marketing is more cost-effective when it’s targeting a multitude of people at once, you’ll need to send a bulk SMS to your target audience, and they don’t need to reply to such an SMS unless you provide a link in your text message.
SMS marketing is considered to be one of the cheapest channels for marketing. However, its success depends on how well your audience is familiar with your brand, products, and services.
SMS marketing has become an important marketing avenue as people have become more attached to their phones. Its importance as a marketing channel is demonstrated in how text messages have a higher opening rate compared to promotional emails. However, you can’t send a text message to audiences when you don’t have their numbers. Therefore, it requires some effort to get your target audience’s mobile number, and get permission to reach them via SMS.
It’s also important that you include the necessary features of an SMS marketing template, such as your brand’s name, your offer, and contact information.
Pros of SMS Marketing
- It has a higher engagement rate compared to some other marketing channels.
- It is relatively cheap in comparison to other marketing channels.
- You have direct contact with your end users, leading to higher lead conversion.
- You can use the same text message format for your campaigns at different times.
- It requires less effort compared to social media marketing.
Cons of SMS Marketing
- You will require permission from your target audience before you can send them any text.
- You may need a customized number to send your text messages from.
- It’s easy to replicate your message format and send out false promotions to your audience.
Which Should You Choose: Social Media Marketing or SMS Marketing?
While social media and SMS marketing are efficient at reaching your target audience, confusion on which to choose may occur.
Due to their importance, it is advisable to combine social media marketing and SMS marketing as they can serve similar but different purposes.
Social media marketing requires that you have a good knowledge of how each social media platform you’ll be using works. You also need to research which social media platform where your audience hangs out on. By posting relevant content and engaging your audience on social media, you are building your brand awareness. From social media marketing, you can position your business to earn your audience’s trust, and get their phone number and permission to reach them via SMS.
SMS marketing can serve as a supplementary marketing channel that you use to reach your audience directly, to inform them of promotions and offers that may expire soon. Because of the brand awareness you’ve created on social media, your SMS marketing will experience good results.
While different businesses can try to paint one marketing channel as being better than the other, using both social media and SMS as marketing channels will always produce better results.
Social media marketing or SMS marketing has been a constant marketing channel battle title in many business owners’ minds. While one has some advantages over the other, you’ll have better results from combining both marketing channels.
But say you have a tight budget and can only afford one of the two, choose SMS marketing. It is affordable and more targeted.
Further reading: 10 Benefits of SMS Marketing