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Social Media and Text Message Marketing: Which is Better

March 27, 2017 6:36 pm by

Experts reviewing the trends of marketing channels speculate that text message marketing is overtaking social media marketing as a more popular — and possibly more effective — medium. Is there any truth to that? Let’s compare the two in a battle to see which one is the better marketing channel.


First, let’s compare the reach of social media and text message marketing. What are the most important elements that affect your reach?

  • Access
  • Impression 

Access is the number of people who simply have access to a particular marketing channel. The impression is how many people actually see or read it. So, let’s compare the access and impression of social media and text marketing. 

Most people own an SMS-enabled device, providing a much wider reach than social media.

With social media, not everyone has access due to several different components. First and foremost, they need to have an account on the social media platform you choose to use. Then, they need to follow you or actively search out your social media profile and/or posts or you have to utilize paid marketing campaigns to reach them through targeted ads. 

So, now they have access, but that does not guarantee that they actually see or read your post or ad. The algorithms on social media platforms continually change, and not every post you send out is read by even a majority of your followers. For example, the NewsFeed on Facebook now personalizes each person’s feed based upon how they have interacted with posts in the past. This could mean that your followers might miss out on certain posts, especially if they do not continually interact with your company’s page.

Now, text message marketing has a much wider reach. First and foremost, almost everyone has access to texting. Most American adults own an SMS-enabled cell phone. That is all they need to receive texts from you. Then, out of those who sign up to receive your texts, you have the capacity for a near 100 percent impression. This is because 98 percent of text messages are actually read. The texts go right to the person’s phone, increasing the chance they will actually see it.

So, who wins reach? Text message marketing has a much high potential to reach a much wider audience.


Another important element of marketing is the engagement with customers. Customer engagement encompasses many different features, including: 

  • Interaction 
  • Customers sharing their experiences 
  • Fosters brand loyalty 
  • Humanizes your brand 
  • Keeps customers happy 
  • Makes the customer experience easier 


Both social media marketing and SMS marketing provide many ways to engage with customers. Social media offers more direct ways for customers to interact with your company, including liking, sharing, and tagging you in their own posts. You can also offer customer service through social media. 

Text marketing might not allow for customers to directly interact with your company in the same way, but it is a two-way communication channel with which customers can interact with your company. It is also a highly popular way for customers to contact companies with customer service issues. 

The winner? If you are looking for a way to have a conversation and multiple social interactions with customers, then social media is the winner. Text marketing has the potential to offer some of the same engagement, but there are some things that thrive better on social media.

Conversion Rates 

Engagement also impacts the conversion rate for posts and ads. However, when looking at direct conversion, social media falls far short compared to text marketing. Social media has conversion rates around one or often less than one percent when considering direct traffic. 

However, social media marketing’s true benefit is most likely more significant than it appears. It provides an invaluable place in bringing people into the sales funnel and providing ways for them to engage, building a relationship with the company. This all ultimately leads to conversions, but it is indirect. Therefore, conversion rates from social media will inherently be lower than its true value. 

Text marketing, on the other hand, has the potential for a much higher direct conversion rate. Reports on text marketing reveal that 32 percent of recipients respond to offers, and 50 percent of those who receive branded SMS messages will make purchases. This is significantly higher potential for conversion compared to social media. 

The winner? Hands down, text marketing has a much higher potential for conversion.


One important element to assess when choosing which marketing channel to run a particular campaign is the competition. Social media channels have become flooded with businesses looking to connect with customers. This makes it difficult to ensure that customers even see your ads or posts over that of the competition. Even if people follow you, the algorithms make it so that only a small percentage actually sees the post. It is also dependent upon the time of day that a customer might access social media. This makes it easy for your posts and ads to get lost among the many other posts from your competition. 

Get your message through to your customers with text marketing.

Although many companies are starting to add text marketing to their marketing strategies, it remains a much less utilized channel than others. In fact, there is less than one percent of spam messages in text marketing. It is also a subscription-based service. This means that people only receive messages from companies they actually care about. Because fewer companies are sending messages, your message competes with significantly fewer other messages. This provides your messages with a much higher impact — and a much higher chance of being seen.

The winner? Text marketing. 

The Overall Winner?

Social media and text marketing both have their strengths. Social media won a few categories, and text marketing won a few. Overall, if you have to choose one, then it is important to consider what type of reach you want, what type of engagement is most important, as well as the competition and the type of conversions you want. Additionally, you should consider the demographics and psychographics of your customers and choose the medium they prefer. The ultimate winner is the one that will reach your customers and help you reach your objective.

No one marketing channel is the “be all and end all” of marketing. Although social media and text message marketing each have their own advantages — and their disadvantages — ultimately, the real winner is using both together in an integrated omnichannel marketing effort that also includes other digital and print marketing efforts. 

Try GroupTexting for free and get started with integrating text messaging with your marketing strategy.

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