Out of all the digital marketing channels available to you, social media is probably the most hyped yet least understood of them all. If well executed, with a solid strategy behind it, social can be a powerful marketing tool for a SaaS company.
Social media is unlike other marketing channels in that it is not just for marketing; it is more of a two-way conversation and not just a means of distributing content. For SaaS companies, this is a strength and advantage over other channels.
But what can you use it for, and how can you make the most of it?
Social media is an excellent platform for increasing brand awareness. Regular activity on social channels keeps you in the minds of prospects and customers alike as they move from awareness, to consideration, to decision making. If your social content is interesting, relevant and memorable your prospects are more likely to remember you when they are ready to buy. The more your audience is aware of your brand, the more authority you can establish through your posts and comments. Given that so many social users find companies and suppliers through social search – having a credible presence on the major social platforms is essential if you want to get found.
Loyalty and nurturing
If you want to create a community of fans, followers, users and customers, then social media is an ideal framework to build on. Creating user forums, customer support networks, user groups and the like is easy using social platforms. For a SaaS company, building and maintaining loyalty is essential for customer retention so as to reduce churn and drive growth. Such systems also facilitate the nurturing of leads and prospects, helping them to connect with your company and draw them in.
If you can set up your social networks with the right infrastructure, guidance and controls, you will find that your customers can become a valuable support resource – helping their peers and providing a free, impartial and honest backup to your support staff.
Negative comments are often a concern for business owners who worry about the impact that they may have. But always remember that when something goes wrong it’s a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how well you deal with customer issues. Showing that you can resolve problems to a customer’s satisfaction is an enormously powerful selling point that’s not recognised by most companies. Customer support is highly rated by most users of SaaS and a key differentiator between companies.
Constant engagement on the support front is a major factor in promoting usage – many SaaS companies see cancellations after a period of non-use – so helping customers and keeping them happy through social media can help to combat low usage of your software and prevent churn.
Inbound marketing is a powerful way to generate leads and retain customers, but it’s no good creating volumes of high quality content if nobody ever sees it. Social is an excellent means of publicising your content, getting your audience to share it and drive traffic to your posts. Prospects who see your positive activity with their peers on social are more likely to convert, and certainly more likely to look on you favourably.
The ability to search platforms like Twitter means that it has never been easier to gain customer insights through social listening. Well-defined search terms and monitoring systems can allow you not only to gauge the mood of your customers but also understand their issues, concerns and needs. This helps you build better support systems and better products and services.
Low cost / high resource
It costs very little to enter the world of social marketing, but you will be looking at a considerable investment of time. It’s also not a medium in which you will see short term gains – it takes time to establish a presence and create an impact.
Today, social revolves around videos, images and well-written, carefully considered copy – and while not expensive, such content requires skills, time and good judgement as well. So, the main expense can be finding the right people and giving them time to deliver. You may want to consider working with an inbound agency, skilled in social – they can work with your people; supporting, training, mentoring and taking the pressure off.
One of the key concepts to take on board is that when people are on social platforms, they are usually looking for help, information or more than likely, entertainment. They are not looking to be sold to. In fact, a direct, aggressive sales-led approach will see prospects diving for cover. Even on LinkedIn, where people are in a more professional mindset, there is still an antipathy towards selling. Ensure your front line staff are up to date with your social media policy and provide guidance on what is appropiate and what is not. A successful social media approach relies on providing help, information and entertainment – in much the same way as for content marketing; provide useful, relevant information to ensure your SaaS company is found in the right place at the right time.
Social media is a collaborative, online, engaging, easy to use, social system, meaning that it complements SaaS perfectly. Whether it be researching customer insights, attracting leads, promoting content, providing support or nurturing customers; social media is a multi-functional platform that delivers a great deal to those who understand and use it well.