The collaborative aspect of the internet has completely changed the way we do business.
It made it easier than ever for us marketers to reach out to our target audiences with more accurate messages.
On the other hand, it gave our prospects and clients a public place to share their thoughts about the brands they use.
Of course, that includes b2b SaaS businesses too.
If your services and/or products deliver on your marketing promise, you can, in turn, expect to read great things about your company.
If, however, some of your users and clients encounter unexpected roadblocks, they’ll speak their mind on review websites — thus affecting some of your prospects’ purchase decisions.
Positive, or negative, you cannot ignore online product reviews. In this blog post, you’ll learn how you can use them to grow your SaaS business.
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Why managing online customer reviews matters SO much
94% of consumers check online reviews before they decide to buy something. Without knowing your business, they need what we call social proof.
Leverage social proof
Social proof is a powerful social bias that’s affecting all of us, without us even noticing.
Say you’re walking in the street, looking for a nice café. You end up facing two places. One (A) filled with people, and the other one (B) empty and desperately looking for customers.
Social studies say that you will – most likely – head to Café A because the amount of people sitting in there is proof that it’s worth it. On the other hand, Café B is empty because it’s probably delivering bad service. It doesn’t have to be true, but that how our brains work.
This means that the more people say they use your service, the more it will look like a good service. In short, you need to show how happy people are using your service.
There are many ways to do this. We identified the three that – we think – will make a big difference for your SaaS business.
Keep an eye out for social media“praises”
Whenever you encounter positive social media reviews about your brand, products and services, and/or your customer service, save them.
You can then display them on your website as reinsurance items or share testimonial posts on social media.
A good social listening tool will make this very easy.
With Mention, you can flag relevant messages as Favorites and get back to them later.
Fuel your Use Cases with Success Stories
Success stories are the most advanced proof of concept of your service(s). They show your potential customers how you already help other businesses to reach their goals.
Reach out to your happy customers and ask them if they’d be willing to open up about their experience with your service. In most cases, a happy customer will say yes – and feel flattered by you asking.
Once you do have a couple of relevant and inspiring success stories, share them with your audience on social media!
Have clients write expert blog posts
If you have a blog on your website, offer your happy users and clients to write a post to share their expertise:
- It shows you value them (a customer that feels valued will likely remain a customer a lot longer).
- It provides your audience with high-quality content.
- It contributes to reinforcing your SEO rankings.
Now, if you don’t have a blog (yet, because you should), look for niche blogs in your industry that would be willing to share expert content with their audience.
If you can’t find a suitable niche blog to publish such a post, an alternative is to publish a sponsored (or paid) post on an industry blog.
Deal with negative reviews
You shouldn’t ignore negative reviews. Take the bull by the horns and turn them to your advantage.
This is something that Slack does particularly well on Twitter.
1. They always respond, and they do it quickly
There are two types of SaaS out there. Those struggling to exist on social media (or the vast majority of SaaS), and those with huge notoriety.
With 415K+ followers on Twitter (as of February 2020), and 10M+ daily users, Slack falls in the second category.
Now, the bigger the brand, the bigger the challenge. But the folks at Slack manage this very well and respond to those raising issues within a couple of hours.
2. They take responsibility for their actions
Bugs and crashes are inevitable.
If someone raises an apparent product use issue on social media, take responsibility for it. “Oh shoot, this happened, it shouldn’t be like that, what can we do?”
3. They are being helpful
From your perspective, helping a user fixing a problem shouldn’t be too hard. You know your product and what it can do after all.
Now, from a user perspective, things can be very opaque as to “how to solve a problem”.
So, asks for help, always try to be as helpful as you can. Provide guidance (and be nice).
Why you shouldn’t waste your time with trolls (and how to recognize them)
Sadly, the internet is not only populated with well-intentioned folks. It’s also a home for trolls, who won’t hesitate to pick anything to unleash a lot of dirt on your brand.
We find that answering trolls only feeds their claims. Not only it will take so much of your time and energy, but it can seriously hurt your brand as you’re giving them credit by paying attention.
Here’s an example from MailChimp, not hesitating for one second to terminate the account of a user that’s not respecting their terms and condition of usage.
After this, MailChimp both received support and faced some serious backlash from angry Twitter users. Now, as per usual, haters tend to be louder than the usual social media user.
This is all great (trolls), but Mailchimp Terms and Conditions of Use do say that they “may suspend or terminate your account” if their service is used to share Hateful Content.
“(…) any statement, image, photograph, advertisement, or other Content that in our sole judgment could be reasonably perceived to harm, threaten, promote the harassment of, promote the intimidation of, promote the abuse of, or promote discrimination against others based solely on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, disease, or immigration status (…)”
The bottom line is: do not get intimidated by trolls, especially if you are 100% in the right.
Pay attention to what people say about your brand
Brands can’t fully control their brand reputation anymore. Ultimately, it’s tailored by your audience.
This is why it is capital that you pay attention to everything relevant that’s said about you.
Doing so, you’ll be able to leverage positive reviews to support your sales, and try to turn negative reviews into positive use cases, thus showing your clients and potential clients that you care.