When you hop on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter to manage your brand’s awareness and digital community, that in itself is social media management.
Well, there’s a little more to it. In my many years of experience as a social media manager and coach, I can personally attest to how strategic social media management is often overlooked in the b2b world. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, defining a clear plan just isn’t a priority in the digital marketing strategy for a lot of b2b businesses… but it should be!
Particularly in the SaaS industry, there’s a huge need to educate your audience before they’ll trust your brand with their hard-earned income, and social media is the perfect, most cost-effective place to regularly speak to their pain points and share how you can solve their problems.
Even better, 71% of consumers today expect companies to deliver personalized interactions in marketing. So, it’s time to take advantage of what’s available to you and start driving market share, growing, and building a loyal community online.
Why Social Media Management Matters
It’s easy to take a bunch of free apps lightly, but with 91% of B2B marketers using social media to distribute content organically, there’s obviously some major value coming from the platforms. Here’s a few examples of what different SaaS brands are doing:
A few SaaS Examples
- Shopify has grown a decent following on Pinterest—the fourth most popular social media platform in the US—where they provide valuable resources for eCommerce brands.
- Hootsuite repurposes all of their long-form blog content to be posted on various social media channels like Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
- Gong, a revenue intelligence platform, has built a community of over 200,000 by going all in on LinkedIn, posting 10-15 times per week.
So how can you grab social media by the reins and reap the benefits for your business? That’s exactly what I’m about to lay out for you. Let’s start with the three main reasons social media management matters for the SaaS industry (ie. some of the benefits you can expect):
1. Increased Brand Awareness
When you use social media management strategically and consistently, one of the best things that comes from it is an increase in brand awareness.
To understand how this happens, let’s first cover the basics of a social media algorithm.
An algorithm is built to show you content you’re most likely to like, comment on, or share with others.
So, when you post content with a specific audience in mind, using strategic keywords and hashtags, the algorithm categorizes that post accordingly, pushing it out to people who have historically engaged with similar content on the app.
The more people who engage with it, the more it will continue to get put in front of new eyes, along with your brand name attached to it.
Boom — you now have an organic increase in brand awareness!
Now, that’s an incredibly simplified version of the algorithm, and of course, nothing in marketing really is as easy as it seems, but there are a few things you can do to optimize your chances of having your content picked up and taken by an algorithm’s current:
1. Use strategic keywords in your captions: Social media platforms like TikTok are gradually becoming search engines for younger generations. Keywords are a way to tap into the SEO of the platform and properly categorize your content so it lands in front of the right people.
2. Be strategic with hashtags: This is one of the most controversial topics in social media management. And now I’m starting to see them used interchangeably with keywords. Basically, they help categorize your content for the algorithm to properly distribute it.
If you’re going to use them, you need to be hyper strategic about which ones you add to your posts. Using a ton of popular tags like #business or #tech with multiple millions of uses will just drown out your content, resulting in very little chance of it helping new people find you.
Instead you want to use a combination of niche, location-specific, industry-specific, and post-specific hashtags that make sense for each individual piece of content you put out into the world.
3. Tap into the power of social proof, UGC and influencer marketing: Social proof is the physiological idea that a person’s decision making is influenced by the decisions of others, which is why UGC (user-generated content) and influencer marketing ties so nicely into it.
88% of Gen Zs and Millennials use social media to research products they’re interested in buying, and the higher the social proof available to them, the more reason they have to follow through with the purchase.
You can probably agree, there’s no bigger turn off than when someone constantly talks about themselves, and the same goes for businesses managing their own social media presence.
The workaround here is using other people’s opinions to promote yourself. Engaging content in this category can look like reviews or testimonials, paid or organic UGC, endorsements from the field, or case studies that showcase success stories.
NOTE: While all of these tactics can lead to an increase in brand awareness, that isn’t a metric that’s directly trackable in your analytics. Look at insights like “reach” to show you how many new eyes saw your posts or visited your social media account.
2. Community Building
I always tell my clients, follower count doesn’t mean anything if those followers don’t engage with you.
Think about it this way: You could have 10,000 followers, but if only a handful are liking, commenting, and messaging you, there’s a good chance the other 9,995 aren’t purchasing from you. In fact, there’s a good chance new visitors to your page are actually thinking you bought those followers BECAUSE they aren’t engaging with you.
Hootsuite says the average engagement rate for the tech sector is anywhere between 0.96% and 1.53% depending on the platform. Engagement rate differs based on the platform you’re working on, but to find yours, you’ll generally divide your total engagement (likes, shares, comments, etc.) / total reach or followers x 100.
So while a large community might feed the ego, what you should be focused on instead, is building a social media community of engaged followers.
This is where a good social media engagement strategy comes into play.
There are two ways to engage within your social network:
- On your page: This involves responding to any comments on your social media content or messages that come through your DMs. You might do this already, and if you don’t, this is the easiest way to kickstart great engagement practices!
- On other people’s pages: This is a much more manual and time-consuming effort on your part, as it involves finding potential customers within your ideal demographic, and personally engaging with their content. Luckily, it is easy to do, and you’ll definitely get out what you put into it.
Whether it’s genuinely engaging with 10 new and 10 existing members of your target audience per day or just on the days you post, this practice gets your name in front of new people, shows them there’s a human behind the business, and hopefully generates enough curiosity about who you are that it leads them back to your page.
TIP: If you’re a business owner looking to hire a social media manager to help build and execute your social media marketing plan, stay away from anyone who leads with follower count as their key metric for success, and anyone who wants to add you into an “engagement pod” to increase your engagement rate. These are serious “icks” in the social media world.
What you can do is follow Slack’s engagement-focused approach, where they actively engage with users and promote user-generated content on their social media accounts. They also run Twitter threads where they showcase user experiences, answer queries, and share helpful tips, all of which are beneficial practices you can implement for free!
3. Customer Service and Feedback Loops
SaaS businesses thrive on subscription models, and having an open line of efficient communication might just mean the difference between a customer leaving you for someone else and giving you a second chance.
You can use social media to engage with existing customers, answer FAQs, and gain valuable feedback to improve your product or service. Just ensure your social media manager is well equipped with the information and decision-making power to provide timely responses. The last thing you need is someone messaging you who has had a serious issue with your software, only to see the social media manager has left them on ‘read’ for over 24 hours because they’re talking to a higher up about what can be done.
Monitoring what people are saying about your brand on social media, AKA social listening, can also help you identify areas for improvement, gain customer feedback, and hop on trends.
Netflix is just one example of a brand that has used social listening tools to respond to consumers in their marketing campaigns. This video was made in response to the well-known “Netflix & Chill” concept coined by their audience. In it, Netflix showed users how a “bold idea” can be turned cozy, to optimize time spent watching your favourite shows.
How To Drive Growth With Social Media
Lead Generation and Conversion
While I’ve talked a lot about how beneficial social media is for brand awareness, you should know it can also be a powerful lead generation tool! In fact, Salesmate reports that 66% of marketers generate quality leads by spending 6 hours per week doing social media marketing.
By posting high-quality content with CTAs that direct traffic to strategic landing pages, businesses can convert social media followers into leads and, ultimately, paying customers.
BONUS: by utilizing tools like Facebook Pixel on your website, you can go one step further than organic analytics, and actually track real-time conversions from social media on your website.
Collaborations and Partnerships
If you’re open to a little collaboration, social media is a great way to launch strategic partnerships between multiple brands.
Spotify and Uber’s “Soundtrack to your Ride” campaign is a great example of how two brands with overlapping target audiences came together to offer a mutually beneficial service.
The benefits? I’ll focus on the two biggest:
New revenue opportunities: The nature of the partnership rewards users who subscribe to Spotify Premium for a more controlled Uber soundtrack experience. Spotify generates revenue from Uber riders who subscribe, and by offering a superior ride experience, different from any other rideshare, Uber is able to increase loyalty and build a bigger fan base over time.
Combined reach: In the US alone, Spotify and Uber have a combined audience of over 11 million people — and that’s just on Instagram. So you can imagine the immense campaign reach they’d have if they were to promote the partnership across various social media platforms.
But how can you know if a partnership is right for you?
You’ll want to look for an ideal alignment between the other company’s brand values, target audience, and tone of voice.
Don’t be afraid to be picky about who you partner with, and always do your research before attaching your name to theirs.
Analytics and Data-Driven Decisions
Social media analytics are an important part of achieving business goals on social media. According to Sprout Social, “Social media analytics refers to the collection of data and metrics that help you measure your overall social media performance. This helps marketers understand which types of social media content best resonate with their audience so they can shape and adapt their strategy accordingly.”
Leverage the free analytics and insights provided by your social media platform to guide your decision-making and find the ultimate content optimization strategy. Or, check out our list of the 10 best social media analytics software for options vetted by The CMO.
By focusing on the right metrics, you’ll uncover what's working for you and what needs improvement for future launches. Here’s a few social media marketing metrics to watch:
- Reach: the number of people who see your content.
- Impressions: the number of times people saw your content.
- Engagement Rate: measures the engagement (reactions, comments and shares) your content gets as a percentage of your audience.
- Amplification Rate: the ratio of shares per post to the number of overall followers.
- Click-Through Rate: how often people click a link in one of your posts to access additional content.
- Audience Growth Rate: how many new followers your brand gets on social media within a certain amount of time.
Tools And Platforms For Effective Management
Social Media Management Software
If you want to leave behind social media overwhelm and gain ultimate efficiency for managing your online presence, you’re going to want to invest in a stellar social media management software.
These software solutions allow you to schedule social media posts to publish automatically — even while you’re sleeping! Some will also track your engagement and allow you to respond right from the portal, and some even house your analytics so you can make better data-based content decisions moving forward.
Our team at The CMO have identified 12 of the best social media management software tools, to make life a little easier for you. Here are a few examples from the list, along with best use cases:
- HubSpot - Best social media management software for community building
- HootSuite - Best for social media marketing agencies
- Zoho Social - Best social media management software for remote teams
And let’s not forget about the other two types of social media tech I mentioned earlier in this article. These are:
Social Listening Tools
This is how you track mentions, hashtags, and keywords to analyze the sentiment of your brand in online discussions.Check out our full list of the best social listening tools, with a quick preview below:
- Hootsuite - Best tool for ecommerce
- Buffer - Best tool for small businesses
- Brandwatch - Best tool for large enterprises
Social Media Analytics Software
Again, this is what collects data from your various social media platforms and can provide metrics and insight into your social media campaign performance. Check out our full list of the best social media analytics software with a quick preview below:
- Keyhole - Best for real-time tracking and analysis
- Brand24 - Best for social listening
- Brandwatch - Best for market research
Common Risks And How To Mitigate Them
Let’s look at some common risks for SaaS businesses on social media with solutions for each — rapid fire style:
The risk: Negative comments, reviews, or backlash can harm your brand's reputation.
How to mitigate:
- Have a well-defined social media policy for responding to negative comments.
- Outline a reputation management strategy with your social media manager
- Address concerns promptly and professionally.
- Encourage satisfied customers to share positive experiences.
- Add a PR specialist to your payroll or list of trusted contractors.
The risk: Sharing sensitive information on social media platforms can pose a threat to data security and privacy.
How to mitigate:
- Train employees how to handle sensitive information.
- Implement strict social media usage policies.
- Regularly update and monitor privacy settings on social media profiles.
- Always use two-factor authentication.
- Move quickly to avoid a second data breach.
Intellectual Property Theft
The risk: Ideas, content, or innovations can be stolen or replicated by competitors.
How to mitigate:
- If a public post is absolutely necessary, watermark proprietary visuals and content
- Regularly monitor and report any instances of intellectual property theft.
Future Trends In Social Media Management
AI and Automation
Using AI and automation isn’t just about being more efficient — though it is great for efficiently putting together basic plans, analyzing your own data, and providing cost-effective ways to immediately respond to customer queries.
When used in social media management, AI can also help you predict customer behavior, refine your targeting, increase your ROI, and so much more.
Personalization at Scale
When it comes to content, a good rule of thumb is that you should only be talking about yourself in a fully promotional way 20% of the time, which means the other 80% should be aimed at providing value to future customers, with strategic CTAs mixed in here and there, so they have more reason to trust you.
One way to gain that trust is through personalized content.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when posting to your page:
- Consistency is key: Establish a consistent tone, style, and brand image across all social platforms. This helps create a cohesive and memorable brand identity.
- Outline your ideal buyer personas first: The more you understand exactly who you’re trying to sell to, the more you can target them with your messaging.
- Build a content strategy: A solid content strategy usually encompasses a content calendar containing post ideas that address the pain points and interests of your audience. E.g. educational posts, engaging videos, informative infographics, and relevant industry discussions.
- Humanize your brand: People connect more with a human face than a faceless corporate entity. Showcase your team, share behind-the-scenes moments, and let your company's personality shine to gain customer engagement, and build a deeper level of trust. Keep in mind, not all online personality is shown through dancing to trending audio. Be yourself, and the right people will follow along.
Invasive advertising, inaccurate data collection, and misleading content all fall under ethical issues you could face in social media marketing.
Particularly in a time where business’s can be put on blast in as little as hours for doing something cancel-worthy, you’ll want to take this part seriously.
Go-Daddy is just one example of a brand that has experienced cancel culture due to the CEO posting sensitive content on his personal page. This highlights how important it is, not only to follow an approved, ethical marketing strategy for your business, but to also have major players in your business up-to-date on appropriate social media practices for their own accounts.
Not only will ethical practices on social media platforms protect your business’s reputation moving forward, but will also foster stronger trust and credibility among future customers.
What is a good KPI for SaaS businesses?
- Engagement Rate: The percentage found by dividing your total post engagement by total post reach x 100.
- Post Reach: The number of unique accounts have see your content at least once.
- Website Clicks: How many people clicked on your link in bio or website link after seeing a post.
Take a look at what appropriate KPIs look like across various platforms here
How do you measure social media ROI?
For organic social media, use your KPIs as a benchmark for ROI. If you’re utilizing paid social media advertising, tools that can collect, analyze, and report your data are helpful for tracking ROI. E.g. Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Twitter Conversion Tracking, and LinkedIn Conversion Tracking. From there, you’ll use the formula Social media ROI = (Earnings – Costs) x 100 / Costs to find a more precise ROI.
Remember: Social media management costs will vary depending on platform, types of content circulated (paid ads, video production, etc.), and any staffing/outsourcing needed.
What are the best practices for social media crisis management?
Be as transparent and timely as possible in your responses, and try not to go into defense mode. Something valuable can always be learned if you listen and are open minded
Also, always have a public relations specialist in your back pocket. While it’s easy to think social media managers should handle anything that arises on social media, when it comes to a major crises, you’ll want to put your business’s reputation in the hands of someone trained in crisis management.
Making Your SaaS Marketing Strategies Social
I hope by now you realize, social media management shouldn’t just be a checkbox on your company’s digital marketing to-do list.
When used properly, it can significantly impact businesses of any size.
Simply start with the unique challenges your customers face, find the social media platforms they spend the most time on, post genuinely about how your solutions will solve their everyday problems, and be ready to adjust your strategies when data tells you to!
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