Supporting SMS Marketing with Twitter

Entry By Jason Brick

Twitter-and-smsIn many ways, Twitter and SMS marketing are the closest of media cousins. Both engage instantly using short blurbs rather than long-form content. Both rely on links and responses to deliver your full marketing message. Both provide instant feedback that lets you adjust your plan in real time. If your small business runs SMS marketing campaigns and maintains a Twitter account, consider taking on one or more of the habits below. If you use text messaging but don’t have a Twitter account, go get a Twitter account (it's free) and start following these instructions.

  1. Use a scheduling program like HootSuite or TweetDeck to broadcast most of your SMS messages on Twitter as well, timed so they come in at close to the same time.
  2. Only Tweet some of the deals you offer on a text broadcast. When you offer text-exclusive deals, Tweet with an announcement and an invitation to join your SMS subscriber list. Do the opposite as well, making Twitter-exclusive offers with a text invitation to follow your tweets.
  3. Make people famous by tweeting photos and other key responses to your SMS contests or polls. Get permission first, but most people will love seeing themselves "in print."
  4. Share the love. If you see a particularly awesome tweet from somebody you follow, tell about it in your next SMS message.
  5. Use those hashtags. The symbol # before a word tells Twitter to file that tweet under the heading after the #. Thus #StarWarsBuyout will create a category about the recent George Lucas sale and include all tweets with that tag within the category. Whether you name it after your business or a specific product, own a hashtag and use it in both your tweets and your SMS messages that refer to Twitter.
  6. Hold a Twitter challenge by sending an SMS broadcast offering fabulous prizes to the Twitter follower who gets the most retweets of your material over the next 24 hours.
  7. Brainstorm tweet and text ideas in the same session, then link both channels thematically. This works especially well when calendar events put the same topics on everybody's minds...such as summer heat or holiday shopping.
  8. Compile and analyze statistics for both forms of media. If one thing is working well on one, try it out on the other. If something seems to work on only one channel, look into why and make the best adjustments you can.

What about you, readers? What have you done to combine the forces of your Twitter and SMS campaigns? Tell us your success -- or horror -- stories below. When everybody shares, everybody wins.

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