It’s a no-brainer that nowadays, every company should be active on social media. Yet, some SaaS businesses still hesitate to invest in their social presence, mainly because of the misconception that these channels aren’t as powerful for B2B as they are for B2C.
In fact, according to a survey by the IDC, 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level/vice president (VP) executives use social media to make purchasing decisions. Still not convinced? Let’s dive into why SaaS companies use social media and explore how to build a winning strategy.
Why SaaS businesses should use social media
Not many SaaS businesses achieve direct sales via social media, but social media does influence buying.
According to the former survey, B2B buyers that are most active on social media are more senior, have bigger budgets, and make more purchase decisions. B2B buyers use social media to gain greater confidence in their choices and to support their purchase decisions with management.
In other words, social media is a powerful part of your top-of-funnel marketing strategy. The top-of-the-funnel refers to the very early stages of the buyer journey - when customers are seeking information about how to solve their business pain points.
From interesting blog articles to testimonials, videos, interviews, and other marketing content, social media users consume endless amounts of business information every day. Therefore, the goal of your social media strategy, is to plant a seed about your company in the prospects’ minds that will eventually create a strong enough connection to make them buy.
But content marketing and social proof compose only one side of this golden coin. It turns out that social media advertising can be one of the most powerful lead generation tools.
Now let’s understand the difference between paid advertising and organic (meaning free) content, and how you should use them in your marketing.
Understanding paid campaigns vs. organic social content
As a B2B SaaS company, your social media publications aim to position you as an expert in your field, showcase your product and its capabilities, and build trust in order to ensure better lead conversion.
As mentioned, your social media campaigns can be either paid or organic.
Organic social media is any social media activity without a paid component to boost views or actions. This includes posts about new features, blog articles, users’ testimonials, press articles mentioning your company, interviews, tips, fun content, and even staff updates. There’s no real limit in terms of what you can publish organically. Take a look at our LinkedIn account for some inspiration.
On the other hand, paid social campaigns are posts that you promote with money. You can boost posts for awareness (like videos or blog articles) or create direct ads with the immediate goal to generate leads. In the second case, aka direct advertising, the best practice is to include a call to action in every paid (or sponsored) post, such as an invitation to view a demo or a request to sign up for a free trial.
We won’t explore every promoting option - like increasing followers on a page, generating video views, or increasing link clicks - but you get the main idea: You pay to achieve a certain action.
Not sure what to use? Here’s a list of benefits for organic and paid social media:
Benefits of organic social posts
- Price: Organic posting is free.
- Customer relationship: Social media channels help you manage your customer relationships. You can reply to their complaints and compliments in real-time.
- Monitoring: Via your social media, you can collect feedback about your product and brand easily. You can also monitor what your competitors are doing.
- Community building: Social media is one of the most powerful tools to build a community with your customers.
- Authority and brand building: The content you share with your followers helps you convey your brand identity and position your company as an authority in your field.
- Hiring enablement: By sharing staff pictures and company events, you can showcase your office culture and attract new hires.
- Trust building: You can use user-generated content to build trust. It can be reviews, testimonials, or interviews with your users.
Benefits of paid social media
Investing in paid social media can help you reach a much wider audience, in addition to other benefits. Paid social media is:
- Targeted: You can define the exact audience you want to target according to relevant parameters: location, age, profession, company size, interest, etc.
- Cost efficient: In most cases, you only pay for the action you define as your goal: leads, clicks, views, engagement, etc.
- Insightful: You can collect detailed analytics about your campaigns to optimize your marketing.
- Precise (Retargeting): You can retarget people according to their past actions - like visiting your social accounts, website, and more. We will elaborate more about this point later on in the article.
How to build a winning social media strategy
It’s imperative to have a social media strategy in place before and after you’ve launched your SaaS business.
Before you launch
You can start your social media campaign before your launch, but preferably after you have developed a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). In the weeks and months leading up to a SaaS business launch, spend your time establishing a network, determining your tone, and fine-tuning your marketing messages.
1. Do some research
Do some research on social media to get inspired by other companies and understand what your competitors are doing. What would you like to change? What would you want to keep? Write down notes that you’d be able to use when starting to create your content.
2. Pick your assets
Once you’ve done your research, you need to start thinking of the different kinds of content that fits your brand and that your followers will enjoy. It can be:
(Click to see an example)
- Blog articles
- Interviews of industry experts
- User testimonials
- PR releases & announcements
- Company life posts
- Product updates
- Marketing videos
- Webinar, and live Q&A sessions
- Checklists, Ebooks & white-papers
- And many others...
Once you pick your weapons, it will be much easier to create a social calendar.
3. Create a social calendar
Create a weekly calendar by deciding what kind of content you’d like to post each day and on which network. You don’t want to have boring channels with the same kind of content every day. In addition, you should think ahead of important dates like holidays, celebrations, special days, and events that you’d like to jump on - Women's Day, Halloween, April Fools Day, etc. Pick the ones that are relevant to your brand.
4. Decide which channels to use
There are many social media channels you can use to promote your business, but LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Quora are the preferred channels for SaaS social media marketing.
LinkedIn is focused on business professionals and can target display ads to reach prospects based on job title or industry. It’s also a great social network to share professional knowledge and position yourself as a thought leader.
Facebook is the most used social media platform in the last decade. A mix of business-specific and customer-orientated content makes it easy to reach large numbers of prospective clients.
Instagram is a visual platform and not the obvious choice for SaaS businesses, but it has excellent marketing capabilities and can be helpful when building up an audience. That said, most B2B companies will usually use it to show the “Behind the Scenes” of their office for employer branding purposes.
Twitter is about news and conversations. You can hijack competitor or prospects’ posts to start a meaningful conversation or offer an alternative view. You can also create hashtags (or use existing ones) around common pain points that you solve and become more discoverable.
YouTube is a great channel that can showcase what you do using informative or marketing videos. You can create a promotional video and target viewers with remarketing ads that encourage them to take action.
You can set up Quora to monitor topics and industries related to your business and your prospects. Look out for any questions relevant to your business posted on the site. You can respond and showcase your experience and expertise on a topic. It’s a great way to start interacting with potential customers.
During the launch phase
Once you feel your strategy is in place, it’s money time baby!
Here’s a few best practices to make sure your launch is fruitful.
Polish your channels covers
Once you’ve decided the channels you want to use, it’s time to open them to everyone. Make sure to create a short bio conveying your message, design a cover and profile picture for each of your accounts, and fill up the relevant information the different social platforms will require from you.
Don’t hesitate to invite friends and contacts to start building your community! Most platforms offer you this option automatically. But this is only the first step of building your network.
Build networks and audiences
Taking part in meetups and online forums connected to your target audiences and industries can go a long way towards raising awareness about your brand and solution. Start posting news, infographics, thought leadership articles, and other content relevant to your company on LinkedIn groups, Facebook, or other channels.
Create some buzz
Create buzz about the new product you are bringing to the market. In SaaS, it’s always better to show than to tell. Create short videos of new features as they roll out and demonstrate how your product will solve pain points for specific industries. You can combine some good PR and apply on Product Hunt to ensure you make maximum noise. It worked for us!
Start building audiences and advertise your product directly to them. This will help you bring leads and learn about their preferences.
Try and optimize messages and formats
Social media is an excellent gauge for your marketing messages. Always test your messages and track which posts, images, infographics, and topics resonate best with different audiences.
Once you know which messages and formats deliver the best results, use these insights to make continuous improvements to your content.
After you launch
After you’ve launched your product, you have more insight into your audiences. Use your newly acquired knowledge to tailor and refine your social media content.
Retain, educate, and entertain
You can use social media to keep your solution front and center for existing users and potential customers. Share tips and tricks to make the most of your product. Thought leadership articles would start meaningful conversations.
Popular means of engaging a B2B audience are Live Q&A sessions, webinars, or Clubhouse sessions. This will help position your company as an industry leader.
In addition, keep the discussion open with your followers to understand how they feel about your brand and product.
Make them identify with your brand
Now that you’ve collected enough feedback and insights during the launch phase, it’s time to use this information to your benefit.
What problems do your customers face? How can the solution you are proposing solve them? Point out how your SaaS product can help them resolve their issues in ads, blogs, and social media posts.
More than that, once you’ve understood what’s your typical customer profile, you can create more generic content that they would identify with. If they’re marketers, design posts about wider marketers’ pains. The more they’ll identify with your brand, the easier it will be for you to build a relationship.
Create and promote social proof
Once you’ve launched and started signing customers, compile and promote testimonials and case studies on your social media channels. Remember to tag companies and decision-makers featured in your testimonials.
Tagging others will help you reach similar companies and your decision-makers' networks.
Remarket your visitors
Remarketing or retargeting is an effective complement to inbound marketing techniques. Remarketing show targeted ads to people that have already visited a site or social network. A snippet of code from the social media site is used to place a cookie in the user’s browser once they’ve visited your site. The cookie informs your remarketing platform to serve specific display ads based on the actions they’ve taken on your site.
Remarket web visitors with posts promoting product tours, blogs, and infographics. Always add a call to action that includes an invitation to schedule a demo.
Remarketing helps bring back customers that didn’t sign up for a free trial or an appointment. Most social networks offer a remarketing pixel so that you can serve targeted ads to visitors that have left your site. Use this to remind them to come back for more information, a special offer, or an appointment.
Bonus tip: Drive leads to product tours
Product Tours are another way of keeping your existing and prospective clients intrigued and engaged. Create detailed product tours that explain the essential features of your solution, the features that clients tend to overlook, and how to use your product optimally.
Embed these tours on a landing page on your website and use social media to drive prospects to try them. This is a great way to warm leads for the sales team since they already experienced your product.
And again, learn and optimize
The beautiful thing about the internet is that you can constantly collect insights and data. This way, you’re able to make sure to constantly optimize your content and improve your social media strategy.
If we need to summarize these tips in a few words, your social media presence has two main goals: generate leads and make them feel connected to your company. Or in other words, bring new prospects while ensuring they trust - and love - your product and brand. There is no shortcut; it requires a lot of work and learning. The social iceberg is a deep one.
If you manage to catch some leads using these tips, you’re invited to make sure your demos will convert by personalizing them with Walnut - no coding needed. At the end of the day, the goal is to convert the leads to clients with exciting demos, and that’s exactly why we’re here for you.