In this day and age, a business that wants to experience growth and success would be remiss to not include social media in their marketing campaign. Social media marketing is all about creating and sustaining buzz. Part of its success revolves around the use of various types of social media to reach a larger and more diverse audience. While most businesses now consider Twitter a critical part of any social media marketing strategy, many businesses don’t consider texting or SMS-short message (140 or 160 character) service to be a viable part of a comprehensive marketing campaign. If short message content like today’s special is, I am at the this location or text 090909 to signup, in your mindset, you may be missing out on more sales, referrals from loyal customers and a regular increase in business growth that can be achieved by adding text marketing into the mix.
According to the New York Times, text marketing was used repeatedly during Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. Approximately 2.9 million people registered to receive breaking news on who Obama’s running mate would be before anyone else found out. Although news leaked out and CNN aired the news first, the technique proved to be one that could effectively engage a large number of people not reached through other methods. For example, Google has incorporated SMS as part of it search and other mobility features. Within one year, text marketing had caught the attention of businesses around the world. Even sports teams started using text marketing to increase ticket sales. Not surprising, Beijing Residents Sent One Billion Text Messages in a Single Day and there was close to 15 trillion text messages sent in 2011 and probably 20 this year. If you’re considering added texting to your social media marketing plan, it’s important to know (and follow) these important rules:
- Do It Legally. Believe it or not, there are those who employ firms or contractors to hack into texting infrastructure to access and contact millions of consumers via text. This kind of bottom-feeding activity isn’t legal and is likely to turn people off while getting you in trouble. Check out Ez Texting for a list of case studies to see how others have been successful. A better option for reaching an audience most likely to respond to your efforts is to use a web-based service such as 8Coupons or iPhones MobiQpons to automatically locate consumers within the area of your business so you can send your coupons or texts to them.
- Make Texting Part of Your Campaign, Not the Only Campaign.Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium used a combination of billboards, in-store signs, commercials with their phone number and commercials with a text code for people to use to enter a contest. The advertisement with text code resulted in a number of responses that was greater than the other methods combined. But, all of these methods together resulted in a greater response, which ended up turning into more ticket sales and patronage. A three-prong approach is always wise when it comes to marketing. Use at least three marketing methods together to reach more potential customers. The old rule of “three times from three sources” is still valid as a marketing algorithm rule-of-thumb.
- Have a “Giving” Mindset. When it comes to attracting new customers a giving mindset is one of your best assets. Offer something your customers need or want, or ask their opinion on something. Special discounts or free add-ons for customers who text in regularly will engage your customer base and keep you in the forefront of their minds.
- It’s All About Relationship Building.Text marketing is not about sending out the occasional text. Although overkill isn’t good either, text marketing should be used to build a relationship with your customers. Offer deals and specials for text customers only. When Armani in New York offered special promotions for exclusively for their text marketing clientele, they reached record sales figures and consistently had lines forming outside the door.
- Don’t Cross Any Lines. Too much of a good thing can quickly turn sour. Don’t text more than once a week (unless users signup for alerts more often or emergency updates) and provide valuable, useful content each time you text. Avoid text slang, such as “4 U” instead of “for you” and opt for verbiage that your customers can take seriously.
- Incorporate Search & Social. Text marketing is just another form of marketing that can consume resources and budget.
Understand you demographic, SMS is almost an exclusive means of communication for certain age groups. Probably initially driven to this behavior because of expensive cell minute charges is now unlimited feature in most cell plans. It is for many teenagers the preferred way to banter back and forth messages, texting. Sexting is sending potential nude/naked/sex and other explicit pictures via SMS and of course is not an effective mode of business communication. However, what you can learn is to use pictures, illustrations and other visual images when appropriate to explain your product or service. Follow the rules and laws where applicable to incorporate text marketing into your social media marketing campaign in a way that draws more customers and increases sales, instead of turning people off. When used right, text marketing has the power to help you create and sustain a buzz that brings your business to the next level.
Last but not least, may we suggest you add in to your text messages “don’t text while driving.” Most states and localities are adding laws to make texting while driving illegal and it is just a terrible practice which causes so many accidents and unnecessary deaths. As you would never-ever want to be the cause of harm to another person as a result of your text message.