Over the past ten years, the use of social media has steadily increased. Statistics indicate that as of 2018, 69% of Americans use social media. And what is more, close to 80% of social media use is on a mobile device.
Already, text message marketing is renowned for its effectiveness. Thousands of businesses are exploiting the power of SMS marketing to enhance their customer relationships. The reason is evident: 90% of text message recipients get to open and read them within 3 minutes of receipt. Besides, they have an open rate of roughly 98%, much higher than the 20% open rate for emails.
Consider this too: 91% of all U.S. citizens have their mobile device within reach 24/7. As a marketer, no doubt these statistics speak volumes to you. And you can only expect these trends to increase in the future. As this attachment to mobile phones continues to increase, businesses need to take advantage and utilize this opportunity to enhance their marketing. One way to do so is to integrating social media and text messaging. How?
If you're not sure where to begin, here are five ways to start combining social media with your SMS marketing today for increased customer engagement and sales:
1. Build your customer database using Social Media
Probably you have a huge following on social media channels. Tap into them and convert them into potential customers by inviting them to join your SMS marketing campaign. Using social media platforms, share your coupons, text-to-join, text-to-win, and other text messaging campaigns directly on your Facebook Fan Page and Twitter handle. Such techniques will promote your SMS marketing initiatives.
Additionally, you could leverage on mobile keywords by pasting them to your social media networks. These are specially formulated codes that your customers can send on a shortcode number which identifies your business. When they do that, your customers are automatically added to your customer database.
Take for example the keyword “Text BURGER to 12345 to get a free burger on your next visit.” You can post such on your Facebook page, and when your fans text that keyword to the shortcode, they are automatically added to your customer database and opted-in to receive future messages from your business.
This method has a high approval rating among customers because it is unobtrusive and customers opt-in voluntarily.
2. Expand your social media following using SMS marketing
Conversely, if you already run a successful SMS marketing campaign, you could build on it to grow your social media following especially if you never have started-out on the latter. This is vital in this digital age because analysts tell us that 76% of American's internet subscribers use social media.
Digital marketing trends clearly show Facebook dominates the social landscape globally, with nearly 70% of social media users in America using Facebook. Three-quarters of Facebookers use the platform daily. So you definitely want to have a presence on social media platforms because that’s where the people are. How could you go about this?
Offer incentives to your customers via SMS for viewing, liking, following, and sharing content in your social media pages. These incentives could be coupons, discounts, or even freebies. When the customer feels the incentive adds value for them will motivate them to join your social networks.
Also, you could include a Call to Action statement at the end of a video telling people to send an SMS to your shortcode to sign up for SMS from your business.
3. Use SMS marketing to draw attention to your social media pages
Besides utilizing SMS marketing to build your customer database, you can use it to inform your recipients of additional content that you want them to know about but is way too lengthy for an SMS. Such content could be video, graphic, audio or important changes and updates about your business that you have posted on your social media pages. This is how you do it:
Simply compose a text message that briefly explains what new content deserves their attention and conveniently provide a link for them to click on and redirect them to the social media page of interest. For example, if you’re announcing a new product or service that you’re offering, you can send a text message to your users with a link to the full announcement on your Facebook page.
Integrating social media and SMS marketing in this way can be very effective because your text messages are delivered quickly and instantly. More than 76% of Americans report that they are more likely to read a message sooner if it’s an SMS than any other media. Additionally, you can be sure that at least 29% of those recipients will click on that link.
4. Utilize Social Messaging Apps to interact with your customers
As opposed to social media which is more of a content publishing platform, people use social messaging apps for private chats and group messaging among family and friends. And no marketing executive can afford to ignore the power of these apps in revolutionizing communication on this side of the decade.
Social messaging is a blend of social media and traditional messaging apps and is an ideal way for marketers to integrate the two channels to reach a wider audience. Why so?
Consider this: As of July 2018, Facebook Messenger was ranked first among social messaging apps in the U.S. with 110.95 million unique users. Snapchat was ranked second with over a 52 million-strong audience in America.
It’s obvious, therefore, that having a presence in these social messaging apps is availing yourself to your customers at their fingertips. What is more, it will enable your customers to get equally the support they’d get on social media, but in a more interactive, conversational way. Successful businesses have deployed these social messaging apps to build customer loyalty and to get vital feedback from consumers.
5. Leverage on Social media and SMS to keep your ears on the ground
Did you know that 65% of customers expect businesses to offer customer support on social media? Consumers rank social media as the number one preferred customer care channel.
In keeping with this trend, numerous businesses have risen to the occasion and now connect with their customers in a way never imagined before. Social media enables engagement with your customers in an informal and personal level. Customers feel they can get the attention of the management of companies in a way that couldn’t have been possible face to face. Additionally, customers get a feeling of being a community with a common purpose.
Leverage on these social platforms to increase sales and customer engagement, generate leads, and to build brand loyalty. As your customers interact with each other, sharing their experiences about your products or services, you are provided with valuable insight into your business’ strengths and weaknesses. This information is invaluable.
Moreover, you could enlist the services of social media management tools to generate reports that could help you better understand your customers’ behavior and market trends relevant to your business niche. To be sure, these tools, such as Hootsuite, Agorapulse or SproutSocial, come at a premium. But they can be extremely useful to your business in gauging what topics and trends your customers are interested in and use that information to target and personalize your marketing efforts.
Embrace the Perfect Couple That Social Media and Text Messaging Are
Undeniably, social media networks are the perfect way to reach more and more potential customers. But think about the unmatched success you could make for your marketing campaigns when you combined these social media networks with the ever-glowing SMS marketing?
You get to leverage the best elements of text messaging and social media. Indeed, it’s the perfect couple as far as marketing strategies are concerned!