10 Ways To Grow Your SMS List Using Social Media
List Growth

10 Ways To Grow Your SMS List Using Social Media

Laura Serino

June 30, 2022

Reading Time: 6 minutes

It’s hard to believe now, but at one point in time, brands were nervous to start using social media. 

What do I post about?

How will I get people to follow?

Will customers even want me in their feed?

But now, brands can’t afford not to have a social media presence. Not only does it build a loyal following, but it helps brands engage with their audience and create a community.

If you’ve got a solid social media presence, you should be tapping those followers to join your SMS list, too. They’re more likely to opt into text if they’re already sending you DMs or commenting on your photos.

Here are 10 easy ways to compliantly promote your SMS program on every social media channel.

Create an Instagram Grid Post

First, hit up the gram to find new SMS subscribers. While stories only last 24 hours, grid posts remain until you remove them. You can use these posts to promote a giveaway, sale, or VIP club

Invite followers to click the short link in your bio or text you a specific keyword to subscribe—and receive entry into a prize drawing, a special discount, or first access to exclusive sales and product launches.

With an Instagram grid post, you want to make sure you're including compliant opt-in language in the post description and the image (if the image also features a CTA). As a reminder, that language is:

*I agree to receive recurring automated marketing text messages (e.g. cart reminders) at the phone number provided. Consent is not a condition to purchase. Msg & data rates may apply. Msg frequency varies. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. View our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

As with most efforts on social media, consistency and repetition are key to success with driving SMS opt-ins via Instagram.

For more details on using Instagram grid posts to grow your list—as well as example posts—check out this help article.

Create an Instagram Story

Instagram stories provide a more seamless opt-in experience for mobile users, as they allow you to leverage your opt-in short link via an Instagram sticker link. So, when users on a mobile device tap the link, it will launch their native mobile app with an opt-in message pre-populated.

If you don’t want to use a sticker link, you can also use the more classic keyword approach in your CTA (e.g., “Text VIPJOIN to 54321 to sign up.”). Again, make sure you’re including the necessary compliance language!

Here’s an example from Ekobo, a brand that consistently promotes their SMS club using stories. 

Ekobo IG Story - SMS Opt-In


This story from Simple & Dainty jewelry is saved as a highlight on their Instagram profile page. That way, followers who are poking around can easily access the details about their SMS program anytime.

Simple & Dainty Jewelry - IG Story - SMS Opt-In


Simple & Dainty Jewelry - SMS Opt-In - IG Story

Because stories are more casual—and are only up for 24 hours—you can use them to regularly promote your SMS program, whether it’s by simply highlighting the benefits of joining or by reminding followers that SMS subscribers will be the first to know about an upcoming product drop.

For more guidance and Instagram story examples, take a look at this help article.

Create a Facebook Post

Similar to Instagram posts, Facebook posts are great for driving opt-ins with either keywords or your short link. And on Facebook, you can incorporate your link directly within the post description.

If you’ve built a solid community on Facebook, this is definitely a place you’ll want to promote the benefits of joining your SMS list—and even offer incentives for opting in. Keep in mind that as with any other opt-in point, you must include the necessary compliance language alongside your CTA.

Here’s an example where beauty brand Kosas includes a few different options for opting in.

Kosas Facebook Post - SMS Opt-In

For more Facebook tips and best practices, see this help center article.

Run a Facebook Ad

If you don’t have a large organic audience on Facebook, you’ll probably need to put some money behind your efforts in order to drive subscriptions.

If you already use Facebook ads to drive sales, then it should be a cinch to set up a few ads dedicated to driving SMS opt-ins. Need a quick refresher? Check out this help center article for quick step-by-step instructions on setting up a Facebook ad.

Add an Opt-In Link to TikTok

If you have (or are growing!) a strong follower base on TikTok, then you’ll definitely want to leverage it to grow your SMS subscriber list.

That being said, there are some limitations on how you can use TikTok for promotional purposes. For that reason, we recommend refraining from:

  • Posting your short code or toll-free number in a video or live broadcast (including the description). TikTok actively flags media containing phone numbers.

  • Including your short code or toll-free number in your TikTok bio. TikTok actively flags accounts that display phone numbers.

  • Saying your short code or toll-free number in your TikTok bio. You guessed it—TikTok actively flags accounts that say phone numbers as part of their video or live broadcast.

To keep your brand on the right side of the TikTok law, we recommend creating a “link in bio” experience (e.g., Linktree or other alternatives). In other words, add a link to your compliant opt-in landing page alongside your other links. This ensures that every subscriber has viewed the compliance language prior to opting in.

Once you have a link in your bio, you can absolutely shout out the opt-in opportunity in a video or live broadcast. For example: “We're getting ready to drop some really exciting products over here. If you want a sneak peek, join our VIP SMS club. We've got a link to sign up in our bio!”

For more information on using TikTok to grow your subscriber base, refer to this help article and this comprehensive TikTok blog post.

Create an SMS Plan for TikTok

Once you’ve added your short link to your TikTok bio, start brainstorming ways you can work a mention of it into your content over the next several weeks and months. If you’re super active on the platform, you probably don’t want to call it out in every single video—just the ones where it makes the most contextual sense.

For example, if you’re giving folks a sneak peek of a new product, let them know they can subscribe to your text messages using the link in your bio to get early access to purchasing it before it becomes available to everyone else.

Get more great TikTok content ideas—with a specific focus on using TikTok in tandem with SMS—in this blog post.

Promote Your SMS Club on Twitter

Though not the most visually stunning of all the social media platforms, sharing information on Twitter is fast and easy—and it’s a great way to connect with customers if you already have an audience there.

Tip: Consider using hashtags that are relevant to your industry on Twitter to make your tweets go a little further.

Here are four strategies for growing your list with Twitter.

Similar to TikTok, we recommend leveraging your Twitter bio to display your opt-in short link. For example, you might include a line that reads something like, “Join our SMS club for exclusive access to sales and new product drops! [Insert Link Here]”

You likely rotate out your pinned tweets throughout the year, but be sure to make space—whether now or later—for a pinned tweet prompting followers to subscribe to your texts via the link in your profile. If there’s an incentive involved, encourage them to retweet to spread the love!

Even if you don’t want to dedicate a pinned tweet to driving SMS opt-ins at this particular point in time, you can still fire off an SMS-centric tweet—or schedule out a series of tweets—to get the opt-in train rolling now. Encourage retweets to gain more visibility!

Tweet a Keyword Image

Last but not least, create an image displaying a keyword-driven opt-in CTA and tweet it out to your followers. Tweets with images are about 35% more likely to be retweeted compared to those without—so it’s worth putting in the extra creative effort. If you’ve already created images for Instagram or Facebook, you can likely repurpose them for Twitter.

For more guidance on growing your list with Twitter—including the compliance requirements—check out this help article.

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Now is the perfect time to focus on growing your SMS list before the holidays hit. In fact, the summer portion of our Ultimate BFCM Planner for SMS Marketers is almost entirely dedicated to subscriber acquisition. You can download your free copy here.

Laura Serino

Laura Serino

Senior Content Marketing Manager

Laura is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Postscript. She has spent the past decade working in ecommerce. When she isn't writing about her favorite topic (marketing) or listening to podcasts about her other favorite topic (ecommerce), she's hanging out with her two sons on an island off the coast of Maine.