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SMS vs. Social Media: How to Pick the Right Channel?

sms vs social media marketing

We frequently find ourselves in a difficult situation when it comes to promoting our business to customers, whether to use SMS marketing or social media marketing methods.

SMS marketing is like having a direct line into your target consumer's wallet. Social media marketing, on the other hand, is a dynamic and vibrant playground where billions of users connect and share.

SMS allows you to interact with your clients on a more personal level by sending targeted messages directly to their mobile phones. It's a great approach to get people's attention and get them to take action right away.

On the other hand, social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn allow you to develop a community, communicate with your audience, and demonstrate the personality of your brand.

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What is SMS Marketing & Social Media Marketing?

SMS Marketing

Consumers are more at ease connecting with businesses via mobile devices. They frequently expect to be able to contact businesses by messaging or SMS.

SMS marketing is a practice in which businesses send promotional or informative text messages to opted-in subscribers. It has a high open rate, enables for instant connection, and allows for targeted and personalized messaging. It enables businesses to reach clients directly on their mobile phones and can be used to offer time-sensitive information, promotions, and updates, among other things.

Social Media Marketing

Brands gain exposure by creating relevant content that people will share with their own networks. When used as a recruitment tool, it also broadens their reach to fans, potential consumers, and even future workers.

The use of social media platforms to promote businesses, products, or services is referred to as social media marketing. It involves generating and distributing information, interacting with users, and running targeted advertising campaigns to reach and engage with many people. It assists businesses in increasing brand awareness, interacting with customers, and driving traffic to their websites.

Difference between SMS Marketing & Social Media Marketing

The following are the key differences between SMS marketing and social media marketing:


Return on Investment (ROI)

Social media isn't a quick-fix marketing tool. To see any returns, your organization will need to commit a significant amount of time and resources. And once you're up and running, you'll need to keep an eye on your accounts to ensure you're engaging your followers and keeping the ball rolling.

When compared to social media marketing, SMS marketing has lower costs and can drive immediate actions, leading to higher conversion rates and creating the chances of generating higher business revenue for the company.

Gaining Market Access

When we examine why individuals use social media, we can see why it is not an efficient marketing tool for businesses. The name itself gives the game away: social media. People use their accounts to interact with friends, read the latest news, and share the latest funny videos that have gone viral.

This is not a problem with SMS marketing. You may be confident that your text will be sent and read by your intended audience because most customers own a mobile phone.


Another difference between SMS marketing and social media marketing is that SMS has far greater potential than social media due to the vast amount of mobile phone users worldwide. Smartphone users check their phones more than 150 times every day, and 86% check their phones within one hour of waking up.

When it comes to social media, approximately 46% of Twitter account holders check their account once each day, while the average time spent on Facebook is 20 minutes.

Pros & Cons of SMS Marketing & Social Media Marketing

SMS Marketing

SMS marketing, often known as text message marketing, offers both benefits and drawbacks. While it can be a highly beneficial tool for businesses to communicate with their clients, its limitations and potential obstacles must be considered. Let's look at the pros and cons of SMS marketing.


  • High open rates and immediate communication.

  • Targeted audience for personalized messaging.

  • High engagement rates for time-sensitive promotions.

  • Increased conversion rates with immediate call-to-action.

  • Direct and personal connection with recipients.


  • Character limitations for concise messaging.

  • Opt-in requirement may limit audience size.

  • Costs associated with SMS service providers.

  • Regulatory compliance and anti-spam laws.

  • Limited content format, no rich media.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has become an integral component of digital marketing strategies for organizations of all kinds. It involves employing social media platforms to market products or services, communicate with customers, and raise brand awareness. Let us look at the pros and cons of social media marketing.


  • Broad reach and audience diversity.

  • Engagement and interaction with users.

  • Increased brand awareness and visibility.

  • Cost-effective compared to traditional advertising.

  • Analytics and insights for performance tracking.


  • Intense competition for attention.

  • Constant algorithm changes affecting content visibility.

  • Time and resource-intensive.

  • Potential for negative feedback impacting brand reputation.

  • Dependence on platform policies and potential disruptions.

Which one is Better for your Business - Social Media or SMS?

Choosing between SMS marketing and social media marketing is influenced by your personal objectives, target audience, and available resources.

  • SMS marketing is subject to strict rules, such as gaining recipients' explicit agreement and complying to anti-spam laws. Guidelines and policies for social media marketing exist as well, but they are often less stringent. Both solutions need strict adherence to legal regulations.

  • Social media marketing allows for more interactive interaction. Users can like, remark, share, and join in discussions, which can help promote brand loyalty and a sense of community. SMS marketing, on the other hand, offers a more personalised and direct mode of contact but with limited engagement.

  • SMS marketing frequently results in increased conversion rates due to its direct and personal character. SMS texts have greater open rates than social media posts and can prompt instant actions such as completing a purchase or visiting a website. Social media marketing can be useful for increasing brand exposure and engagement, but conversion rates might vary.

  • Because billions of people utilize sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, social media marketing helps you to reach a larger audience. SMS marketing, on the other hand, allows you to directly engage with people who have opted in to receive messages, making it more targeted.

  • When compared to traditional advertising tactics, social media marketing can be cost-effective. Many platforms provide free organic reach, and paid advertising can be targeted to your specific needs. SMS marketing may necessitate a larger investment because it requires SMS service providers or campaign management tools.

  • A combination of both tactics can often create a well-rounded marketing approach.


SMS marketing increases at direct and rapid communication, social media marketing gives a platform for brand visibility, interaction, and reaching a bigger audience. Both approaches offer advantages and disadvantages in terms of audience targeting, content formats, compliance, and interactivity.

The decision between SMS marketing and social media marketing is influenced by specific marketing objectives, target audience, resources, and desired level of engagement and reach. Businesses should explore merging both tactics into their total marketing efforts to maximize marketing effectiveness, leveraging the benefits of direct messaging and a large social media presence.

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