SMS Marketing, Twitter Marketing and Everything In Between

    by Paul Shuteyev


    Twitter and SMS Marketing

    Many marketing professionals inquire about the difference between Twitter and SMS Marketing, and which one is more effective.

    If you ask us the answer is both. We would also recommend adding Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, blogging and other tools to complete your marketing arsenal.

    SMS Marketing and Twitter are similar as they both engage customers in communication, which is strictly spam free. You can use CRM pulled-based marketing, break thru the clutter and reach the customer by the phone or e-mail.

    Twitter represents is a micro-blogging, social media-type of application.  Micro meaning that it’s a 140 character space blog. It is also social because people contribute to the conversation.   Twitter is more closely related to Facebook than SMS Marketing, because of its social aspect producing more success by gaining loyal followers. For instance, media broadcasting has been very successful, but if you are considering a Twitter strategy it may be more effective as it is more personable. Many people follow NFL but it would be cool to get a tweet from Adrian Peterson after a touchdown.  Twitter is social so think about why people would follow you versus what marketing message you want them to read.  Become friends first, which a good rule for all social media.  Search engines, like Google, also search tweets, which makes Twitter an important part of your SEO strategy.

    SMS Marketing is a Digital Media first and a Social Media second. SMS Marketing activates your traditional advertising and engages your customer wherever they are.  The social part isn’t a conversation, but there is a viral, word of mouth connection when someone forwards a text message.

    By incorporating a text offer into traditional media commonly known as a push marketing, you can capture customer data and use behavioral marketing to send them offers in real time (pull marketing).  This push/pull combination is the real power of SMS Marketing and makes your advertising dollar work harder.  For example a pizza company incorporates a text offer along with their tradional print coupons would be push.  When a person responses via text the contact will be saved in the database.  Then a week later the pizza company sends a text message at 4:45 pm on Friday for, “Friday nite, Family nite! Buy 1 pizza get 1 free 2nite from 5pm to 8pm. Show message for discount,.” will be considered pull marketing.

    Retail example:

    A young 20-year old lady is at the cosmetics counter at a well known department store.  The cashier says, “you can save 10% today and once a month we will alert you to sales if you text STORE to 95495.”  Will the customer join? You bet because she has the coupon that is redeemable on the spot.  This is a business relationship, not a friendship. She buys makeup and wants to know when it’s on sale.  Text messaging is an easy way for her to know when to shop. With Twitter she will have to get in the car, go home, log on, go to Twitter and follow. Then get back in the car, get back in line and show the message for the discount.  Is that going to happen?  No.  But, let’s say she is at home at night and looking for friends on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, and checking out her friend’s funny video on YouTube.  Should the department store have a Twitter account so they have the opportunity to capture her information? Absolutely.  Twitter should have make up and going out tips.  SMS Marketing should have the discounts and sales that drive traffic.

    Another real example, today my client First String Sports has a free t-shirt text offer in their Fresno Bee ad.  They have to text in to get the free t-shirt offer and show it at the store to redeem. Last week 70 people responded to the same ad.   Would they response in a similar fashion to a “follow us on Twitter”?  No.   And, now that these people have shown their interest in our product, we can use behavioral marketing and real time offers to build our relationship with them and increase traffic and sales.

    More examples:

    SMS Marketing activates print, radio and TV ads
    SMS allows advertisers to deliver coupons on electronic media
    SMS helps businesses track the effectiveness of their advertising
    SMS allows advertisers to interact with fans at a ballgame, concert or event
    SMS allows for Text2Win and Text2Vote campaigns

    Conclusion: Twitter and SMS Marketing are similar but yet different.

    There is one other application that is in between.  This is when people go online to sign up for text offers from a business.  This doesn’t make sense, and it’s asking the customer to jump through too many hoops.  If the person will go online for a discount then they will probably follow you on Twitter, or just give them a discount on your web site or Facebook. But that’s another story…

    Written by:
    Paul Shuteyev
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