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Comparison: Marketing with SMS or social media?

The problem with social networks is their widespread use: a message or advert on social media has a life expectancy of around 18-20 minutes.

When it comes to promoting an article, product, or simply spreading the brand image, a company has several different options. Two marketing strategies that are functioning very well at the moment are: advertising on social media and SMS messagingto mobile devices.

8 minutes of reading
Publication: 02.11.2019
Última modificación: 01.23.2020
Categories: SMS Marketing

Both systems have their pros and cons. Let’s take a look to work out which one would be best for you.

Comparison: Marketing with SMS or social media?


One of the first points to look at is reach. This analysis supposes that we have the same number of followers on Twitter as in our list of contacts.

At first glance, it seems as if social networks win. We rarely share an SMS sent to our mobile ones, even less so if the message is advertising. However, people often share a promotion they see on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

If, for example, you send your campaign to 10,000 people and 10 of them share it, you’ll considerably increase your reach.

The problem with social networks is their widespread use: a message or advert on social media has a life expectancy of around 18-20 minutes. A message can essentially disappear before it’s had any success. A wide reach means nothing unless the message is there for some time.

With SMS, it’s a different story. The message will always be waiting for the user on their mobile when they want to read it, and it won’t disappear unless it is manually deleted.


A little more than 10 years ago, everybody was used to constantly sending and receiving text messages, but now SMS are relatively rare.

If we get a notification through, say, Twitter, it’s nowhere near as interesting – in fact, maybe we don’t even bother reading it. However, if we receive a new SMS message in our inbox, we will read it immediately. Although we know the message is advertising, the fact that it’s not a bulk message broadcast on social media is sure to pique the recipient’s interest.

Nearly 40% of messages on social networks aren’t read. In comparison, 99.8% of all SMS messages are read by their recipients.


Automation is a system which consists of sending SMS messages programmed by the user. Normally you do a first segmentation of the market, to understand what type of message to send to each client according to their age, location, and likes etc.

Although, you can automate messages through social networks and through mobiles, there is a ‘but’ to consider.

Social networks monitor much of the sending of bulk messages, and can even restrict your account if unusual behavior is detected.


Suppose you want to exclude certain types of clients from your marketing strategy, whether it’s because you know the message won’t interest them, or because they are no longer customers. The bulk communication of social media makes this possible but relatively difficult, even though you might have already segmented the market.

With an SMS strategy, if you don’t want certain clients to receive your publicity, the only thing you have to do is take their number off the list.


Companies usually promote their products or services on social networks believing it to be cheaper. In fact, to publicize lots of content online you don’t have to pay a cent… but this doesn’t mean that people will read it.

There are several promotional platforms, such as Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads, which you would have to use to achieve a certain level of customer reach.

Although initially the cost of an SMS can be higher, over time this will end up significantly less than investing in social media campaigns. And when you think about the high percentage open rate of an SMS, we’re talking about a fast return on investment.

With these key points, if you have to choose between SMS or social networks, we would strongly recommend that you invest your time and money in the former.

Our team advises you

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