SMS stands for short message service, and is one of the most effective marketing tools available to small business owners and marketers. Essentially, the practice of texting your consumers or having consumer text you. If you're not already using SMS marketing in conjunction with your social media marketing campaign, you may be missing out on valuable promotion and outreach opportunities.
SMS is one of the quickest ways to reach mass groups at once, is relatively inexpensive, requires less technical know-how and is proven to be successful in increasing sales. In fact, Juniper Research has reported that 97% of text messages are read by the phone owner, and 90% of those phone owners read the text within the first six minutes of receiving it. If you're not sure where to begin, here are five ways to start integrating SMS marketing with your social media campaign today:
1. Text-to-Win Contests
Text-to-win contests are one of the best ways to integrate your social media campaign with an SMS marketing campaign. With a text-to-win contest, you'll put a keyword, as well as a short code (the number that users will text), directly on your social media page, be it a Facebook page, Twitter page, or other social media platform. When users see the short code and keyword, they'll send the keyword message to the short code number. For example, "Text IWANNAWIN to 5566778 Now!" Those who send the keyword to the specified short code will be entered into a contest.
2. SMS for Sweepstakes Promotion
As opposed to the above strategy where users view a short code and keyword on your social media site and must text-to-win, you can also use SMS marketing to send an SMS code to the user directly on their phone, which when clicked, redirects the user to your social media site where they can enter the code to be entered in a sweepstakes, giveaway, contest, etc.
3. Use SMS to Ask for Subscriptions
SMS doesn't just have to be used to promote a contest or a sweepstakes; rather, you can use SMS simply to offer incentives via text for liking, following, sharing, etc. Because reading a text message is much more convenient for the user and reaches the user instantly (rather than the user needing to login to a social platform first), an SMS to gain followers or promote a call to action can be very effective.
4. Use an Automated Reply Text
When people text a keyword to your code (as in #1. Text-to-Win Contests), don't consider your job finished. Instead, use that opportunity to reply back to the user by automated reply with a link referring them to a page that's important to you. Maybe it's your latest blog, more details about the content or your Twitter account (which you hope they'll start following).
5. Keep in Touch
Finally, you can use SMS marketing in conjunction with your social media campaign by sending out an SMS message about important changes or updates about your business or social media platforms. For example, if you're announcing a whole new product line, you can send an SMS message to your users with a link to the full announcement on your Facebook page.
SMS: An Effective Tool When Combined with Social Media Marketing
When combined with a social media campaign strategy, SMS marketing can prove to be a smart collaboration. By using SMS for text-to-win contests, sweepstakes and giveaways, to ask for subscriptions, to direct users to links using automated replies and to share valuable information with your audience, you can attract more followers, grow your business and engage customers efficiently.