How Communities Use SMS Keywords in Two-way SMS Communication

Business SMS has become ubiquitous in marketing to consumers. Companies big and small have joined the two-way SMS revolution and now use bulk text messaging services to offer new and returning customers promo codes, announce sales, manage campaigns, and curate a loyal customer base.

While SMS marketing has changed the sales and marketing landscape, communities around the country have discovered that business texting isn’t just for businesses. Features within community text apps – particularly two-way SMS communication and SMS keywords – are improving community engagement by changing how people interact with their municipalities, local nonprofit organizations, HOAs, community response organizations, and other local entities.

Two-way SMS and SMS Keyword Examples in Community Texting

As a consumer, you’ve likely engaged in two-way SMS communication with at least one business. Whether you entered your phone number to receive a discount or to request more information about a product, received an SMS confirmation for a purchase or a shipment, or opted in to receive occasional updates and promotions, you’ve received SMS communications from a business text messaging service.

Another way you’ve probably used two-way SMS is through a contest or giveaway. If you’ve ever texted “VEGAS” to win a free trip to Sin City or responded to a promotional text with a specific word to enter a local giveaway, you’ve used two-sway SMS and Keywords to do so.
Likewise, if you’ve ever voted for someone on “The Voice” (or some other TV competition show) by texting the contestant’s name to the show, you’ve used Keywords to cast your vote.

SMS Keywords are used for a whole host of purposes – and can be instrumental in facilitating real-time, two-way SMS conversations between community organizations and their members.

How Municipalities Use SMS Keywords

Local municipalities around the country now rely on a community texting app like Pidj for two main purposes: to quickly and easily disseminate important information and to improve community engagement. SMS keywords play a big role in both objectives.

People want to be involved in their local governments and community planning, but the day-to-day busyness of life makes seeking out this sort of information difficult. In fact, one of the biggest hurdles for sustained community engagement in local elections and community initiatives is simply getting the word out. That’s where a community texting app and SMS keywords come in.

For municipalities looking to send out general announcements and reminders, a simple SMS keyword campaign can encourage community members to sign up for regular alerts sent straight to their phones. SMS keywords can also be set up to deliver real-time reports on road construction and street closures, up-to-date schedules for community events, reminders about local city council meetings, or calls to action for community members to get involved in a local initiative.

Municipality SMS Keyword Examples

“Text UPDATES to 989898 for Hwy 1 construction updates.”
“Reply FAIRDAYS to receive a daily schedule of events for the upcoming state fair!”
“Text INFO to 989898 to receive city council updates, meeting times, and meeting agendas.”
“Want to get involved in your community? Text SIGNUP to 989898 to see all the ways you can volunteer today!”

How Non-emergent Community Response Organizations Use Two-way SMS and Keywords

Also called a neighborhood emergency response team (NERT), a community emergency response team (CERT) is a coalition of community service organizations – such as the fire department, police department, and other public service departments – and citizens trained to respond to local emergency events and crises. When disaster strikes, these teams have fast and effective ways to communicate with each other and the community at large. The national Emergency Alert System, for example, is useful in reaching community members across many media platforms (think radio, television, email, and text).

Likewise, municipalities, community leaders, and other local stakeholders need a fast and effective way to communicate urgent (vs emergent) information to residents. For instance, if a broken fire hydrant has flooded a heavily trafficked street, you’d want to get that message out ASAP to help redirect traffic and clear the area for response teams to handle the situation.

Using a community text app with SMS keywords and two-way SMS features, nonemergent community response organizations can keep the public up-to-date with important information and directives, and respond to individual inquiries, as needed. SMS keywords can be set up to route inbound text messages to the correct department and two-way SMS allows community response managers to respond to inquiries in real time. Likewise, SMS keywords can also be set to trigger auto-responses for common questions, freeing up much-needed time and resources for community leaders to take care of the situation as efficiently as possible.

Strengthening Community Communication through SMS

Towns and cities across the country have turned to community text apps like Pidj to drastically improve community engagement and streamline communication between the public and community leaders. From helping facilitate community response teams and organizing community initiatives to informing the community about upcoming events, Pidj features like SMS keywords and two-way SMS help strengthen community communication and connection.

Easy, instant texting.