If SEO get more sales than Social Media, what about SMS? Here are some things to think about.

I was reading an article that started out like this:

If you’re counting on social media to be the answer to your sales woes, you might want take a step back and examine the problem you’re trying to solve. The truth is, social media as a strategy doesn’t account for much in terms of sales generation — certainly not when compared with direct online searches. Fast-growth businesses who sell online frequently ask me which I would rank higher — SEO or social media?  It might surprise you, that social is not the silver bullet its staunch proponents want to believe it is.

I have never been a fan of social media for marketing. The whole thing is too intangible and unless your product or brand is one that appeals to the younger pop-culture society, where customers are happy to have their identities defined by your brand/products (lucky you), then to me social media is a bit of a yawn. Great if you have a business dealing in promoting and providing services in that sector, and a lot can be argued with the magic of numbers, but can also be argued down by cutting through the smoke and mirrors of it all.

PLUS your posts have to be seen. No matter what social media platform you examine, posts are like flotsam after a tsunami, a river of ‘stuff’ floating past you all clamoring for your attention.

SEO, as the article points out is far more refined. It instantly puts your product in front of people looking for the type of product/service you offer. Again there is an industry devoted to getting you to a position on the search results, but now even number one becomes number three or four as Google pushes paid ads to the top of the page. Great if your marketing budget will support it. SEM and SEO are uncomfortable competitors and each has its pros and cons.

Email – I get almost as many spam emails each day as I do legitimate emails (I know some who get far greater spam that legitimate, often as a result of their online activities) and even of the legitimate it is easy to miss stuff. Open your email after an overnight or break of several hours and your automatic filtering of urgent and not urgent comes into play. It’s not hard for emails that you could have an interest in, like a great offer from a company you like, slipping down the screen and out of sight.
So what about SMS? Text messages have two great advantages of all other forms of marketing to your existing, opted in customer base.

  • Timing. Yes you can send an email now, but there is no guarantee it will be read soon. If someone is away from their computer, it is unlikely it will be read till they check their emails when next online. This is not useful if you have an offer that lasts for today only.
  • People will see your text – SMS gets read. Unless they are quick and see the preview when the message first arrives, people need to open the message to see it. They may not respond to your offer, but compared to all other forms of marketing and advertising, the read rates are huge. So are response rates. This could be a return phone call to the number you put in the message  to make an appointment or take up an offer, a return text to get the business to ring back, or a link to take the person through to you main or mobile website page that has the offer and fulfillment process.

Yes, sending SMS does cost money, but on an hourly wage rate compared to the time taken to maintain a social media presence, or the cost of engaging an SEO expert or paying for SEM, the returns for SMS text marketing places this oft-overlooked form of marketing in a prime position.

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