Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses have seen exponential growth. In fact, they generated a whopping $72.2 billion in 2018.
But the competition is fierce.
Today, SaaS marketers face a double challenge:
- Standing out from the noise.
- Marketing to the overly empowered consumer.
This is where social media marketing comes into play, and helps you above and beyond to resonate with your consumer.
After all, most of your target consumers are likely to use social platforms.
In this blog post, I use hard data to prove the benefits of going social, and further share how five SaaS businesses are killing it on social media.
So let’s get started!
Why social matters so much for SaaS
It’s easy to find success stories about how McDonald’s or the NFL are using social, but can SaaS companies really benefit from social media?
Of course they can!
In fact, there’s a lot of reasons why you should go social (customer research, lead gen, etc.).
About that, here are the three reasons I think are the most relevant to implement social media marketing for your SaaS business:
Reason 1. Your target audience is definitely on social media
The Global Digital 2019 report revealed that the internet is growing at an average of one million new users a day, with social media currently at 3.48 billion internet users.
These sobering statistics points out to the fact that a massive chunk of your target is social, and if you’re not social, you’re most likely going to hold your business back.
Reason 2. Social communication is highly effective
Social media is a direct channel to consumers.
This one-on-one form of communication is a great way to connect with your target on an individual level (which is key to build a loyal following).
For instance, Shopify uses Twitter to share success stories and empowers its target audience (read: entrepreneurs):
Picture: Shopify’s tweet
Reason 3. Great source of reliable data
Another advantage of going social is the massive amount of data that can be collected from each campaign (think: Facebook retargeting, etc.).
- How many users leave positive (and negative) comments?
- How many users view your posts?
- Who are the influencers engaging with your brand?
- Which posts are the most effective ones? And which ones are not?
This data holds key customer information that can be used to fine-tune your strategy and improve the value proposition of your SaaS that will, in turn, decrease churn rate.
Reason 4. Social media is highly collaborative
If you’ve done your research well, you’ve most likely come across influencers i.e., people with a solid following.
These influencers are highly collaborative and work great as brand ambassadors.
What’s more, collaborations allow brands to build a solid image on social media without putting in a lot of resources.
Pro tip: You can use social media monitoring tools to find influencers that are already talking about your brand.
Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s dive into how you could make a better use of social media to grow your SaaS business.
4 SaaS social media strategies that actually work
“Doing” social media marketing isn’t about shouting your message and hope that someone, somewhere, is actually listening..
It’s a strategy of leveraging a platform (read: Facebook, Linkedin, etc.) to engage better with its users.
Strategy 1: Collaborate with (relevant) social influencers:
Over the last few years, brands have seen great success by working with social influencers.
It’s no surprise influencer marketing has grown to a whopping 10 billion dollar industry.
Influencers work great in the SaaS industry where users rely on recommendations to make buying decisions—and what better than an influencer giving them this recommendation.
Here are a few best practices for SaaS influencer marketing:
- Partner up with influencers your audience know and follow.
- Avoid one-off features. Instead, build a collaborative relationship with influencers (see below).
- Be open with the influencer about your goals to ensure you get the most out of each collaboration.
Case: Moz’s smart collaborations
Moz (a top SEO tool) worked with Cyrus Sheperd, a well-known SEO expert to create a long-form content guide.
Source:: Moz’s valuation guide
This article went viral across multiple platforms.
In fact, many of Cyrus’s followers ended up retweeting this post that amplified the reach of this post
Strategy 2: Create high-quality visuals
A recent study by Hubspot found that visuals are a preference among social users.
In fact, more than 60% of respondents wanted more social images from brands.
On another note, Venngage (an infographic SaaS tool) studied visual content and found that infographics, data visuals, and videos are highly engaging.
Picture: Venngage Visual Content study
Visuals are particularly great for SaaS brands as it allows them to break down complex products and technologies via compelling visuals that their target can understand easily
Here are a few best practices when creating visuals for your SaaS:
- Use a tool like Canva to easily create high-quality visuals for social platforms.
- Create infographics that break down your SaaS value proposition. For example, a use-case scenario infographic.
- Leverage other forms of media (think: video, eBooks, etc.) to give your social campaign an extra dimension.
Case: Estately’s “Map-o-graphics”
Estately is an online real-estate search engine that helps people find the best home and agents in a specific area.
They leverage their data (read: user queries) to create a rad ‘Map-o-graphic’ based on user-generated content.
This visual went viral across their social media and attracted backlinks from over 160+ referring domains, such as high authority magazines like FastCompany:
Source: Fast Company
Now, that’s link building done right!
Strategy 3: Go social with your customer support
The overly empowered consumers of 2019 dread slow customer support.
Instead, they live in an instantaneous world and love instant support.
This is where social media comes into play and offers a direct channel of communication (for both brands and consumers).
Moreover, studies have shown that solving customer issues on social media cost are extremely cost-effective:
Picture: Social media today
Here are a few best practices when going social with your customer support:
- Delegate social account management (think: Virtual assistants) to ensure timely communication.
- Use AI-powered chatbots to automate standard customer support, but make sure there’s an option to contact a real
- Create social groups (think: exclusive facebook group) so that users can post queries and get complex issues solved by asking the community.
Case: Monday’s prompt tweet support:
Monday.com is a SaaS productivity tool that implements rad social media marketing strategies.
But recently, they had a retargeting issue with google ads that resulted in users continuously seeing their ads.
Picture: Monday’s tweets
They received quite a bit of backlash for this mistake.
But they were quick to respond (even to their internal users), but I’m not quite sure what that lamb gif is about. Do you? 🤔
Strategy 4: Repurpose existing content
As the adage goes, “less is more,” and the same is the case with marketing.
Thing is, most brands think they need to regularly churn out new content, but this couldn’t be further away from the truth.
Instead, you can simply use your existing content and repurpose it into other forms like infographics, or even full fledged drip campaigns using nifty email automation tools.
Basically, you’ll amplify your marketing without working longer hours!
What’s more, repurposing content breathes new life into old work, saves time and maximizes ROI by getting the most out of your existing content.
Here are a few best practices when repurposing SaaS content:
- Audit your customers, find what mediums they like (or where they hang out) and repurpose existing content to those mediums to maximize reach.
- Convert strong points of blog posts into tweets to increase referral traffic to your website.
- Add content upgrades (think: CRO pages, ebooks, etc.) to your top-performing content for lead-generation.
Case: Copyblogger’s SlideShare presentation
Copyblogger runs one of the most popular content marketing blog that’s well-known for its top-notch content.
They’re also no stranger to repurposing content. For instance they transformed a 2014 blog article “The 3-Step Journey of a Remarkable Piece of Content” into a slideshare presentation:
That SlideShare presentation has been views over 70,000 times to date!
Social media is here to stay
There’s a ton of benefits from going social with your SaaS., but don’t expect it to be easy.
Remember, Social is an on-going process that you continually improved based on customer data.
Yes, it’s a lot of work, but there’s a ton of data that links social media with high ROI and heaps of campaign success stories—and with the right strategy—yours can be among them.
Do you implement social media marketing for your SaaS? What are the issues you’re currently having? Any big wins? Feel free to share below.