Voting and polling with SMS mobile texting has become popular because it’s easy, inexpensive and fast. The voting-by-text online systems are already set up, and with no hardware or software to purchase, can be accessed anywhere and activated quickly.
Here are some insights on how the voting-by-text and SMS (short message service) programs work and why they have become so popular with television producers, cultural and sports organizers and many other institutions.
The best way to show you how voting-by-texting works, it to give you a couple of examples:
EXAMPLE 1: Let’s say that a highly anticipated college game will be held tonight. Over 20,000 excited fans will pack the stadium, cheering for their favorite college football game. In the fourth quarter, the giant scoreboard asks the fans who the MVP should be. It would say:
VOTE FOR THE GAME’S MVP
Text your vote to 12345
Text A for Mike Brown (14)
Text B for Chris Hopkins (87)
Text C for Sean O’Connell (22)
Text D for John Smith (36)
Fans can pull out their cell phones and vote for the player of their choice. Results can be instantaneously displayed as they come in and fans are delighted to be included as part of the game.
EXAMPLE 2: A huge outdoor stadium rock concert features Madonna. The audience is wowed and the performance memorable. Near the end of the show, the giant scoreboard says:
SONG FOR MADONNA’S ENCORE?
Text your vote to 12345
Text 1 for Holiday
Text 2 for Like a Virgin
Text 3 for Vogue
Text 4 for Bad Girl
Exuberant fans text their votes in and see the results in real time on the scoreboard and are ecstatic that Madonna is performing a song they wanted to hear.
Those are just two of thousands of examples where text voting can help you engage and interact with your audience, customers or constituents. And with the help of online text voting service bureaus, the process is simple and fast. You can easily reserve your “keywords” (A, B, C, D, or whatever keywords you want) and you can get your short code (that’s the address like 12345 that people text to.)
Why is voting by SMS text becoming so popular? Two reasons:
1) The vast majority of people now have a text-capable mobile cell phone they carry with them at all times. In fact, people are now using their cell phones more for texting than for talking. Texting is convenient, fast and users can communicate discreetly. If a cell phone user can accomplish the same thing by texting in 30 seconds, that would otherwise take 5 minutes in a phone conversation, that person will always choose texting. For those under 30, texting is, by far, the preferred way to communicate.
2) Voting-by-text services have sprung up and have enabled organizations, large and small, to tap into established texting systems. Anyone can create their own system, but it is very expensive, takes months of approvals and there is a chance the cell carriers will deny the application. It is not an easy process. On the other hand, outsourcing the voting and polling technology to a professional service bureau is, by comparison, much less expensive and can be started within hours.
Overall, you’ll begin seeing more and more text voting applications as the technology becomes more pervasive and popular. Even the senior citizens will be voting by text soon!