Having a solid strategy for social media marketing for SaaS startups is crucial for success. Here are 8 tips to help you do precisely that.
With over half the world on social media, it makes sense that your new SaaS startup should be on social media as well.
But where do you begin? Facebook can be crowded, Reddit can be downright confusing, and LinkedIn is usually best suited for B2B conversations. Finding a way to stand out from the crowd can be exhausting, assuming you have a strategy in place to begin with.
Social media is where the customers are in control, so to succeed in social media marketing for SaaS, you have to meet them where they are. The tips below will help you do precisely that.
Learn the social media platforms
In the 20th century, the phrase “social networking” was a virtual unknown. Today, there are dozens of social media sites (if not hundreds) that crop up every single day, hoping to gain a share of the market and your attention.
Realistically though, anywhere from 10 to 15 social media sites are worth your time — and even then, only if they suit your needs. Facebook is the resident juggernaut, followed by YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. WhatsApp is one of the main platforms in European and Asian markets.
Scale your efforts back even further, though. Instead of trying to learn all of the social media platforms, focus on one and learn everything about it. The obvious choice for this would be Facebook since it boasts nearly 3 billion active users, but if your brand requires video, think about using YouTube or Instagram.
Experience is the best teacher when it comes to learning a platform, but you should also look into taking free online courses that can help you understand each outlet’s capabilities. StuDocu, for instance, offers a number of online educational materials and learning resources that anyone can access to expand their knowledge about a specific platform or social media marketing for SaaS.
Focus on social media awareness
Although social media can be utilised across all parts of the SaaS marketing funnel, it’s best used at the TOFU (Top of Funnel) stage. At this point, your only objective is to generate as much awareness as you possibly can. You should look to inform your audience about the various products and services you offer and the values that your brand strives to achieve.
How you do this is contingent on your capabilities and your resources. Status updates are given on sites like Facebook and Twitter, but you can also utilise long-form blog content to teach your customers how to use your software or educate them about the industry. Professional tips and tactics are also welcome.
Another effective content type is user testimonials. Even as a startup, you should have a few generous reviews from your current customers, so create some graphics that highlight the various strengths of your software and publish them to your channel.
This technically counts as user-generated content, which describes any piece of content that is not developed in-house. On occasion, your employees may assist with creating UGC, but it always works better when the potential customer hears or sees the product in action from other customers. Be sure to tag whoever created that content for you in the comments or in the caption to help expand your reach.
Invest in high-quality visuals
when it comes to social media marketing for SaaS, It doesn’t really matter which platform you use; visuals are important.
They can also be the most challenging. Infographics need to be detailed, and the statistics need to be verified. Gifs need to be visible on the platform, not a link that takes you to a third-party website. Pictures should be high definition, not grainy photos that look like they were taken through a potato.
All of this costs money, whether you’re paying for a graphic designer or spending staff resources to create these images. But, once you do, the ROI is there; social media posts that include high-quality images typically get 650% higher engagement than those that don’t. Plus, you can repurpose these across multiple platforms.
But creating images is the easy part. The real question is what the content of those images looks like.
Most businesses choose to focus on video rather than still images, which is perfect for your SaaS startup. Live video, in particular, works really well. You can have a live question and answer session, a behind-the-scenes tour of the product and its capabilities, and panel discussions from various industry experts. This type of video shows your brand’s vulnerability and authority.
SaaS explainer videos work really well, too. It doesn’t necessarily need to be professionally produced. Still, a well-done video that shows your product and services in action can help customers visualise it in their own lives, which can go a long way.
Content is king. Blog articles, newsletters, or even investing in a podcast platform to share interviews and expert advice — all of it can be enhanced with a few high-quality images or videos.
The very nature of social media is that it is collaborative. Forming communities and participating actively in groups strengthens our sense of belonging, so it makes sense that creating partnerships with complementary businesses will only benefit your startup.
To get started, identify a few brands that complement your business. These may be in the same industry — or even a competitor — or they could be in a completely separate niche. A lawn care company, for instance, may partner with a home cleaning service to provide bundled services to both audiences.
Alternatively, you can share your resources with other businesses to increase visibility. For example, you could hire a writer to create long-form content for your SaaS product, then give it to other companies (as long as you get the link in the credit) to give to their audiences. Just make sure that it benefits everyone, or else the reputation of everybody involved will suffer.
Sponsorship is also a great way to give your business a quick, initial boost. Reach out to a company whose audience is in your target market, and offer a free trial of your product. You may have to pay for the initial placement, but if done correctly, you can create a valuable partnership that benefits everyone.
It’s important to remember that business relationships should not consist of one-off benefits. Instead, look to form collaborative relationships that you can harvest for years to come.
Leverage social media industry influencers
In years past, marketers typically referred to influencers as endorsers, but the concept is the same. Your company is paying somebody else to share your product with their audience for a small fee. Obviously, the larger the audience, the more you’ll have to pay for their endorsement, so make sure you find the right influencer that will help you have the broadest reach.
Instead of automatically paying for top talent, consider looking for mid-level influencers with a wad of engagements with their current market. Often, these influencers are eager to have sponsorship deals because it gives them added credibility to their audience. Moreover, if these influencers reach more people in time, you’ll have a relationship with them already that you’ll be able to leverage down the road.
Influencers work well because of the so-called “halo effect.” This theory argues that if someone likes a certain aspect of something — their speaking style, fashion choices, or political beliefs — you subconsciously assume certain other things about their character. If they speak well, for instance, they must also be intelligent. If they are attractive, they’d have to also be funny.
By the same token, if people associate positive feelings toward an influencer, they’ll transfer those positive feelings to your brand. That’s just one of the reasons that influencer marketing is expected to multiply exponentially over the next several years, just as it has in the past. Utilise it correctly, and it can be one of the biggest boosts to your SaaS startup.
Utilise social media paid ads
If you really want to push the envelope with your early-stage social media SaaS marketing, paid ads are hard to beat. Facebook has made the bulk of its fortune by harvesting and sharing important demographic data with advertisers, and other platforms have followed suit.
Since social media’s organic reach has dropped over the past couple of years, marketers have been forced to use paid advertisements to enter communities that they wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. The key is developing an audience that you can communicate with consistently, then retarget them with offers for your products and services.
In the beginning, you may not have a budget for social media marketing for SaaS or even an audience to work with. Start with low-budget awareness ads that simply announce who you are, then use that data to create your custom audience. You’ll also develop crucial insights into what kind of messaging your audience does and doesn’t respond to, which will transfer to other platforms.
Offer customer support
Social media is the perfect intersection between businesses and customers, so it makes sense that customer service could be one of the use cases for sites like Facebook and Reddit. After all, if people log on to social media to complain about a product or service, it’s in the business’s best interest to respond on that same platform.
The research backs this up. 54% of survey respondents said they had a more favourable view of a specific brand after seeing them respond to complaints on social media. Failure to respond to comments at all can lead to a 15% churn rate for your customers. Those are two numbers that any SaaS startup needs to pay attention to.
Customer requests can also be a gold mine for market research, especially in the early days. When you’re just finding out which aspects of your product and messaging work and which don’t, getting near-instant feedback from your customers is invaluable. This shapes your brand to respond to what customers want, not what you think they want.
The reactive nature of social media has prompted many SaaS businesses to also use their platforms as a storefront. Businesses can build their profiles to include in-app checkout, tags for various product categories, and links back to their main page. Copy AI builds on this idea by creating Instagram posts that share tips and offers on their products, like a sentence rewrite.
“Done is better than perfect”
Two things matter the most when it comes to social media marketing for SaaS: consistency and intentionality. Every venture into a new platform needs to come with a strategy parallel to it – one that you plan on following through to the end.
For that reason, worry less about taking the “right” step and focus on taking a step in general. Get present, get active, and start trying to reach your audience where they are.