Best Social Media Channels to Grow your B2B SaaS
An in-depth guide on how to amplify the social media marketing effort for a B2B SaaS business, when there are so many channels to choose from.
With multiple social media channels available right now, it gets a little complicated to understand how they work and how to leverage them for your B2B business.
I am Nirnai Nevrekar, Digital marketing lead at Browserstack. In this article, I will be discussing the most common questions around social media marketing and using them to grow your B2B SaaS.
Is Social Media for B2B Companies?
A lot of B2C companies are using platforms like Instagram, Facebook, etc. but what about the social media channels the B2B companies should use?
As I look at it, B2B social media marketing is an exciting space to be in at this point. If executed correctly, it can be instrumental in providing the correct information to your prospects.
● Social channels are an ideal space for nurturing sales prospects or identifying the intent of purchases. (Interesting study: A survey by IDC found that 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of executives use social media to make purchasing decisions.)
● Social engagements are essential to understand public voice and opinions, which can drive strategic insights.
● If your competitors are there, why shouldn't you be there?
● You will find many customers voicing their views, defects, or feedback, which need to be answered and addressed.
In the end, it all depends on the business or industry you belong to and how receptive your audience is to the social media channel.
What kind of content works the best for a B2B audience?
In a recent US B2B survey, 96% of respondents said they wanted more insights from thought leaders, and 92% said more focus on value rather than product features. Looking at it from a B2B content perspective, it is critical to
● Educate potential customers by showcasing your thought leadership ideas.
● Reiterate the messaging in different formats with a good post frequency (post repeats are fine) to reaffirm the brand voice.
Both of these points hold when we take a broader perspective.
How to Phase Out the Targeting of Different Social Media Channels?
There are two ways to look at social media marketing for B2B - Social Organic and Social Paid.
● Social Organic: Educating the brand followers with intent-driven content and increasing the chances of reshares / virality for getting more people to know
about the brand
● Social Paid: Using the Ad channels to reach the right set of audiences (based
on Ideal Customer Profile)
Honestly, I have seen LinkedIn and Facebook do pretty well in terms of paid and organic, with their diverse targeting options. (Paid)Audience match rates always
remain a concern across channels, but LinkedIn can be a little superior compared to others. Being a professional networking platform, you do find individuals with similar
ideologies and business interests. (PS. LinkedIn can get costly, due to their high CPC and CPM the depth of targeting offered). Using LinkedIn, I have been able to target audiences across the top to bottom of the funnel, with the motive of each audience of a specific funnel varying. Start looking at the audience from an AIDA model.
For example, in the awareness phase (top of the funnel), we can go ahead to target users based on their job functions or titles, with a combination of total work experience. This approach would help to narrow the right audiences better. Not to forget, always experiment with a set of audiences to understand what audience resonates with your product better. In this phase, our main sale would be to make the user at least try our product. We would mainly try to solve the industry's problem or figure out the pain points to give a good solution.
The consideration phase is more about moving the users from the middle to the bottom of the funnel. Try to understand users' behaviour or any intent signals that help you narrow down that users tend to purchase the product. I.e., a user visiting your pricing page can be an excellent intent signal or a user using the product for the entire free trial period. Using this set, you can retarget the users with a different messaging in your Ads to understand the value of your product or create a sense of FOMO on what they are missing. Another great way to target such users is to use some exciting case studies to tell how people in their industries benefit from our product.
Now comes the most critical phase - the decision/evaluation phase, where we need to provide an explicit action for the users to understand why our product is a perfect match for their interest. It is essential to showcase the latest features that can benefit their business; try bundling some packages for this set of users. It is necessary to follow a multi-channel approach here to help our brand remain at the back of the prospect's mind. Avoid hard sells; your product is always trying to make the customer's life easier and solve their pain points.
How to find the Right Social Media Channels for your B2B Business?
As a brand, you should be present on all channels in an organic fashion. Building an excellent natural follower base helps showcase your latest product upgrades, customer wins, awards, and social proof to your audience to build trust for your brand.
Finding the right platform is a tricky question. It can only be figured out with experimentation across channels ( Ads + Organic). For Organic, comparing your CTRs
with your industry benchmarks in a similar industry can help. This approach can help you understand what's missing. It's an excellent practice to perform an end-to-end competitive analysis on social channels. Note: Over time, we have seen the tides change in terms of social post reach. For Ads, it's all about ROI. As you spend dollars on ads to reach the right audience; it is essential to perform short A/B experiments to see how users react.
As a good practice, using 2-3 effective channels helps create a multi-channel strategy across social media. Your audience doesn't need to be always present on one portal. Always try to experiment in short durations with some parameters changing to understand the efficacy of a channel.
It's essential to tell what you're selling, as wrongly communicated ads can get you clicks or traffic but zero value/conversions.
One should keep in mind some of the things while writing ad copies for social media and what might work
● Social Proofs
● Customized Offers
● Building Emotional Quotient
● Increase brand trust, with tangible benefits
Is Instagram Only for B2C companies?
Instagram has always resonated well with Millennials, Gen X users. More visual content has caught the attention of this generation of audiences. It's a critical part of every strategy for B2C companies but varies a lot for B2B.
I honestly feel, looking at the shift of audiences, as a B2B brand, you should look to innovate on Instagram platforms to reiterate your brand positioning. It's a great channel to capture attention and create a sense of product fitment. And you never know, virality helps to reach a more significant like-minded audience.
Note: Instagram social post reach has drastically dropped from 20-50% reach/following ratio in 2015 to 2-3% in current years. You can try to overcome this with:
1. More frequency of posts per day
2. Engagement with the audience with polls, opinions, etc.
3. Boosting your posts
Instagram channel works well for webinar marketing events and leverage to further double down on quality leads.
Hubspot & SEMRush are pretty famous on Instagram. It's the colour tone and the vibrancy from their posts that lights up the mood. #tag strategy is also pretty interesting on the topics they touch upon. Honestly, it's a good practice to be present on all channels, but one should analyze the effort-channel distribution. Tip: One should look to get all the checkboxes ticked for LinkedIn compared to Instagram, from a B2B perspective.
How to Leverage platforms like Quora and Reddit for better content distribution?
Indeed, the most underrated platforms. But a gold mine, if you use it in the right way with the right approach.
Look at Quora and Reddit growth over the years and their diverse audiences; I always question why brands do not use the potential of Quora effectively.
● 300M monthly unique visitors (up from 80M in 2015)
● 75% of audiences use mobiles phones to view the content (intent is for quick consumption of information with opinions)
● Looking at your audiences, say if your target audience lies in America. 35% of Americans use Quora.
● Users spend 2x more time on Quora compared to LinkedIn (based on studies)
Way to approach content: Users have a problem /pain point/question; if your product is a proper fit, why not educate them.'
Quora and Reddit platform can be used in 2 strategic ways:
1. Being Omnipresent: Answering every possible question related to your industry and going beyond (relevancy matters). Hard sell or force-fit never works. Try providing the right solution to the users rather than just going ahead to say use our product.
2. Creating Curiosity: Create forums to talk to your audience, invite more questions or build new questions that can help your brand trust. The power of Quora / Reddit lies in UGC.
● You can use your company employees to help answer the queries of multiple users with diverse opinions and smartly leveraging our product (don't oversell).
● Republish your website blogs on these channels for relevant questions can also help build trust, with some thought leadership opinions.
Getting more upvotes on your answers helps it position higher on the page. Higher the answer, there is more chance of brand visibility. Increases the chances of your brand citations and may lead to a free trial. I have seen brands using Quora extensively in their strategy, achieving a free trial conversion rates of more than 10-15% (organically). Over time, Quora and Reddit have come with their ad models, which help to do more laser targeting on your desired audience. (CPCs, CPMs are pretty high). One can target at
● Question-based (more-specific)
● Interest-based (more-broad)
● Topic-based (more-broad)
How Does Twitter Pay Off as a B2B Social Media Marketing Channel?
The Twitter channel is a good inclusion in any social marketing strategy. I would not leverage too much with Twitter, but just keep the ticker running. Twitter can give you a good reach based on virality, but there is little space to say a lot. If you can build a good story around your brand with something crisp in terms of content, keep using it.
Less is More: You get minimal space to write; so try to give the users a clear motive or proposition to click. Improve CTRs to increase social traffic.
As per studies, someone who has seen your tweet or business a message four times is more likely to engage with your content than just one tweet. It's okay to repeat Tweets more than once over a day or a few days if the message is relevant and timely. One can create a simple repost strategy on Twitter to support the overall social media strategy.
In a nutshell, social media for B2B businesses are often considered boring or not very necessary. If you think the same, you are missing out. Rethink about it, and I hope this article helps you get the most out of social media for your business. Want to talk more about social media marketing? Reach out to me on LinkedIn - Nirnai Nevrekar