Social media vs SMS marketing: Which is better for your business?

In our day and age, mobile phones have taken over as the primary method of communication. It’s predicted that by 2025, 95% of the UK will own a smartphone

This is why communications channels like social media and bulk SMS marketing have become prominent options for companies that are looking to broaden their reach, improve engagement levels, foster automation, boost profitability, and increase conversion rates. 

If you’re debating between these two popular marketing methods, we’ve compiled a list of comparisons to help you make a decision. 


Social Media 

Since the social media boom began in the early 2000s, platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become mainstream sources of entertainment, culture, and advertising, bringing in millions of visitors each day. Around 78% of the UK population are active users on social media, but it’s worth noting that they won’t be concentrated on a single channel. 

So while you may have access to a wider range of people, you’re also competing with more brands. 


An incredible 95% of UK adults own a mobile phone, making this arguably the most accessible method of communication available to marketers. Unlike social media, SMS doesn’t rely on an internet connection – they will always be received as long as the recipient has a network connection. 

Not only this but a whopping 98% of all SMS messages are opened and read within the first three minutes of them being sent. Furthermore, text messages are easily opened and managed by individuals across several generations whereas social media may require a more tech-savvy customer. 


Social Media 

The popularity of social media has meant that it’s become overcrowded with thousands of brands trying to get their message across simultaneously. Even if you craft an amazing piece of content, its reach could be hindered due to the channel of communication you choose. 

Depending on the industry, the average reach for a Facebook post is around 8.6%. Engagement rate is around 1.4%. 


SMS is a powerful tool because it’s a direct and personal form of communication. Individuals are less inclined to give their phone number away, so when they do, you can rest assured that they will receive and engage with your message. After all, Brits check their phones every 12 minutes on average.


Social Media 

Automating messages on social media has proven to be difficult. This is mostly because many platforms will flag this behaviour as suspicious, and some may even restrict your account. A restricted account can cause many issues to your marketing campaign, which will cost you both time and money in the long run. 


Text message automation is an integral part of any SMS marketing campaign. It allows you to segment your database, personalise your messages, and connect with your customer on a more profound level. Depending on their age, location, or preferences, you can send targeted rewards, offers, and news that delivers conversions.    


Social Media 

One of the greatest things about social media is that it’s accessible to all. There are no fees associated with creating an account or generating content. Boost your reach and likelihood of being seen by the right audience by paying for promotional ads such as Facebook ads, which can cost anywhere between 50p to £10. 


On the other hand, SMS marketing is directly tailored towards your database. The high open rate of this service coupled with a bespoke database offers greater returns on investment. Around 45% of SMS campaigns generate a positive ROI. Combine this with other strategies, like social media, and you can see this ROI grow to over 50%.  

Conversion Rates 

Social Media 

Conversion is a goal that sits at the heart of most marketing strategies. Generally speaking, social media conversions are difficult to quantify because there are so many platforms and metrics to analyse. 

However, Shopify argues that Facebook holds the highest conversion rate for all social e-commerce traffic at 1.85%. Overall, the average social media conversion rate for e-commerce is 2.2%.


Around 32% of recipients respond to offers sent via SMS. Plus, online coupons sent via text are 10 times more likely to be received than traditional coupons. 

Forbes has also noted that SMS has a proven efficiency when encouraging customers to engage with new product launches, seasonal sales, abandoned shopping carts, and customer service inquiries. 

Social media vs SMS: Final thoughts

Overall, it seems as though SMS marketing holds a greater ability to impact, engage, and convert leads. It provides businesses with a fantastic return on investment and boasts of an incredibly high open rate. If you’re still debating whether social media, SMS, or a mix between the two, is better for your business, we hope this guide has helped you make your decision. 

Want to learn more about SMS and how it can fit into your marketing and communications strategy? Reach out to us today.