SaaS sales cycle is short, meaning that it’s essential for marketing to do it’s part at an even faster clip. Leveraging social media is your ticket to achieving this, empowering companies to build trust and relationships with prospective clients even more quickly. Therefore, utilizing insights allow you to get the most out of your SaaS social media marketing.
SaaS is a fast moving market, requiring quick iterations and quicker buying decisions as prospective clients seek out increasingly convenient methods to solve their pain points. Neil Patel describes it best, outlining how “the process of buying SaaS is quick, transactional, and done.” Interestingly enough, the brevity of this buyer’s journey can actually lead prospects to become “skittish, especially if they’re used to the sluggishly slow pace of non-software purchases.” As a result, quickly fostering relationships and credibility becomes a central part to the sales process.
Here is where marketing comes in.
You can achieve all of the above with a solid social media presence. In a digital age where buyer’s decisions are increasingly influenced by online presence and reviews, this form of SaaS marketing can fast track how you connect with future customers.
Yet this level of engagement is not easy to achieve, nor is it earned overnight. As with most endeavors, you must be able to measure the success of your efforts if you hope to reach your goals. Just like building your own brand, building up your social media popularity/authority requires constant testing.
If your marketing team is not constantly testing and tweaking your social media tactics, you will hit a wall, resulting in the stagnation of your growth and engagement. What’s worse is that you won’t even know why, since you never monitored what was or wasn’t working. All the while the next agent is finding more business because they put in the necessary work to analyze and optimize their social media strategy.
But don’t fret, Chet, all is not lost! Actually, it’s pretty easy to start tracking your social media metrics. Fortunately, all of the major platforms offer analytics tools that you can take advantage of. Even checking out the most basic metrics will give you the chance to see the fruits of your labor. Optimizing your strategy thereafter will give you a leg up on the competition.
With 2.3 billion users spending a good deal of their time browsing social media platforms, getting more eyes on your social accounts should be a top priority. With insights in hand, you can optimize and tailor your content to achieve better engagement from your followers. In turn, you can look forward to more brand awareness and value, all while reeling in more prospects.
What Are Social Media Insights?
As an agent marketing on Facebook or Twitter, do you know which types of posts your followers desire? Insight tools( metrics), allow you to see exactly who your followers are and what they like.
Tracking your social media performance is a crucial component to any successful marketing endeavor. This is especially true in light of recent changes to Facebook’s News Feed, for example. You need the insight tools to determine exactly what is and isn’t working as well as the best time to post content.
In essence, social media metrics are statistics and data that give you valuable insights into your social media marketing performance. They allow you to track your success in several ways, such as:
- Page Likes – the number of unique userswho like your Page
- Post Reach – the number of userswho have seen content associated with your page in the past week.
- Engagement – the number of unique users who have commented, shared, liked, and clicked on your posts.
There’s also Impressionsm which is the number of times a post from your social media page is displayed, whether or not it is clicked. People might see several impressions of the same post. For instance, that one cat video that’s been shared by 10 different people on your timeline, even though you never liked it once? That would be an example of impressions.
Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Social Media Marketing?
Now that you know what insights and impressions are, you need to use those metrics to grow.
The Pew Research Center reports that 72 percent of online adults in the US visit Facebook at least once per month. Millennials, however, are the most active social media users.
The key to boosting engagement is to make the most of your insights. To do that, you need to know how to access these tools on the main platforms.
You can access your Analytics for Twitter by clicking on your profile image in the top right-hand corner.
On the Home tab, you’ll see performance numbers for the past 28 days along with your top tweets. Dig deeper by heading over to the Tweets tab to view the most recent tweets, number of impressions, engagement rates and overall engagements.
With this information, you could set up goals for boosting your engagement rates.What times are best to post? What kind of posts got the most clicks? Have you experienced continual growth with your impressions? How does your engagement rate compare to that? Select the best-performing tweets and aim to match their success. Take all of these things into consideration and tweak your strategy and posting schedule accordingly.
For more details on Twitter insights, you can click here.
Accessing insights for Facebook is even easier while providing an arguably more robust overview of insights! Log into your business page and head over to the Insights tab. You’ll be presented with an important dashboard of metrics including Reach, Likes, Views, and much more! By clicking on each stat, you can dig even deeper and set different sortable parameters.
For example, you can see the number of views you generated over the last month, segmented by gender and age, or even page source.
Equipped with this depth of information, you can augment your social media strategy by boosting your weakpoints while enhancing your strong suits.
For more information on what each metric means and how to take advantage of it – click here.
First of all, if you’re not generating leads using Linkedin [Link to future post about Linkedin lead generation], you need to get started yesterday. Then, upon doing so, you can track your efforts. To pull up Linkedin analytics, make sure you have a company profile with admin access. From here, you can view the Linkedin Analytics dashboard by clicking on the appropriate tab (shown above). Upon unlocking this treasure trove of analytics, you’ll obtain the ability to track data such as Updates, Visitors, and Followers. All of this help you to determine which posts performed the best, how many impressions each has had, and the engagement with posts. Interestingly, Linkedin also allows you to break this data down into desktop vs. mobile usage, so you can see which post performs best for each.
To learn more, click here.
Lastly but certainly not least is Instagram, which also has it’s own built-in analytics. If you followed our advice, you’re already using Instagram to advertise yourself and your business. [Link to Marco’s future blog] So it’s definitely a great idea to monitor the results of this pursuit. While there is an endless amount of third-party analytics, Instagram comes with its own baked-in Insights that you can take advantage of for free. You can use this as long as you have a business account. If you currently have a personal account, don’t worry as you can still convert it into a business account. This can be done by accessing your Settings in the top-right hand corner.
Following this, you can access Insights by clicking on the bar graph icon displayed near the top of your profile.
Or you can access insights from individual posts:
However you access the dashboard, the native insights contained within Instagram provides a wealth of information that you can utilize to optimize your strategy and boost your engagement. You can track profile visits, Website clicks (Instagram allows you to link to one URL within your profile), or even Calls! Furthermore, you can measure engagement based on the usual criteria, but break down engagement by the hour.
You can even track the success of your Instagram Stories [Link to Stories article by Flanders], thereby leaving you even fewer excuses not to take advantage of this platform for all of your business building needs.
Cultivate Your Presence and Boost Engagement
With the help of these insights, you can successfully cultivate your social media presence and the content you create. All that’s left to do is watch your business take off.
As an educational institute, it’s imperative to incorporate SMS into your marketing strategy – so we’ll take a deep dive into the why and (more importantly) some tips on how to make the most of text message.
SMS marketing is especially important if you hope to survive in a competitive landscape marked by declining enrollment rates and increased mobile usage. Students represent a demographic that is forever young and indoctrinated by the latest trends and tech. For instance, current high school graduates use their smartphone as much as 15.4 hours per week, on average.
So in short, you have no choice but to market to audiences on mobile devices. Your customers are mobile– this is the way the world is, as mobile usage is now surpassing that of at-home internet access worldwide. The impact of this was apparent when looking at millennials–the demographic of people represent the biggest generation in U.S. history who overwhelmingly prefer to communicate via text message over a phone call. At the time, millennials also pursue higher education at a much more frequent rate than previous generations, representing the prime demographic for educational institutions. Now with the aforementioned decline of enrollment and the advent of Gen Z, text message marketing becomes even more necessary for a generation that is even more “mobile-first”.
When weighed against other communication methods, the inclusion of SMS marketing becomes even more enticing. Compared to an open success rate with emails (20%), text messages far outweigh any other means of communication with an open rate at 98%. Again, this is a fact that corroborates students desire to be texted by higher education institutes (as much as 77%)!
While the relevant data can be utilized to increase the success of your business, one must tread lightly. This isn’t an invitation to start firing away “gr8 thx bai 🤙” text messages to your existing and future clients. In fact, that approach would be discouraged, for more reasons than the simple fact that it would make them seem like the awkward dad trying too hard to be hip.
So all of this considered, below are the do’s and don’ts in formulating the perfect SMS strategy for your education marketing.
1. The gift and the curse of instant response
SMS is about immediacy. You are sending a well-crafted message to someone and within a split second, they are able to receive and read said message–even if they are on the other side of the country. Whenever a client has a question or requires any type of assistance throughout the entire process, they are able to reach you immediately. On the flip side, you must always be available for their needs.
In order to maximize your communication potential through your SMS marketing strategy, the most important facet is to be persuasive and implore your client to be responsive with your messaging. Luckily, there are lead engagement services that can manage this frenetic back-and-forth, so you don’t always have to be glued to your phone.
2. Make sure you’re given permission first
A proper SMS marketing strategy doesn’t just involve collecting a bunch of phone numbers and then firing off spam. There are permissions that are required in collecting and implementing a strategy you should be familiar with.
Before you send anything, make sure you are GDPR compliant (for business dealing in and with EU countries). Hefty fines can be incurred if you haven’t received the permission to receive texts/marketing material from your clients.
There are a plethora of compliance contingencies you should be well versed with. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources available for you to use in order to study these legalities.
3. SMS marketing platforms
You might be biting your nails and knocking your knees together thinking to yourself that there just isn’t enough time in the day to implement something like this into your daily grind.
There are plenty of SMS marketing platforms that are simple to use. Most (if not all) of these marketing platforms have the required “opt-ins” as well as compliance built into their systems. Some of the best include:
All of these platforms are automated. You can build your directed strategy and they work with trigger-flow operations; when certain criteria are met (example: contact added) a specific campaign via text is sent out (example: welcome promo).
4. The human touch of messaging
PsychologyToday notes that 55% of human communication is through body language. Even with all the technology at your disposal, it is still very important to keep that “human touch” when using an SMS marketing strategy.
Always be revising your content. Always be making sure that your triggers have variables that aren’t sending robotic, repeated texts to someone over and over. No one likes to feel like they are a cog in your machine. Even worse, no one likes to have the embarrassing autocorrect message sent that completely changes the intended message.
The information within the text should be tailored to the specific individual it’s being sent to as much as possible. Similar to retargeting ads, SMS marketing should reflect the client’s wants, needs, likes and dislikes as much as possible. Recognize the style of the client in question: do they prefer short and sweet messages or do they like long diatribes (spoiler alert: they don’t)? Know when to end the conversation or when to keep it going.
The technology is here to set you free. If implemented properly, your SMS marketing strategy resembles the “set it and forget it” mantra of those cheap mini-ovens of the early 90’s. As a business owner, you probably toil with the idea of not being 100% hands-on with all of your processes. With SMS marketing, however, you are able to remain in constant and intimate contact with your clients so you can grow both your relationship depth with these people as well as the financial growth of your enterprise.
Remember the important facets: keep your messaging direct, persuasive, and responsive. Make sure you are communicating with people who have given you the consent to do so. Always retain that human touch when engaging with these people–people want to be helped and not sold.
A big part of our business is getting people to pay attention to us. To earn that attention, there are all kinds of tactics and trips, but if I told you that sitting on your rear end and writing 300 words could generate new clients, would you do it?
OK, I’ll get to the point; this blog is about, well, blogging. More specifically, it’s about blogging to increase awareness and make you more attractive to more potential clients. Let’s start with some compelling numbers about why blogs can be an effective tool for achieving these goals:
These numbers paint a compelling picture of why you should blog, but even these stats don’t provide the whole story. Blogs have become an attractive way to tell stories about ourselves, our businesses, and the services we provide. They can be visual and written in our voice, and can tell stories about a house and its character, an undiscovered neighborhood, or even the dream of homeownership. Stories click with people and make them want to learn more. In our business, we can use blogs to tell those stories and engage with people who want to find a Realtor® they can trust.
The beauty of blogging is that in addition presenting a very approachable, human picture of ourselves, they are also among the most effective digital marketing tools for increasing awareness and driving qualified prospects to us. As we know, before a customer can work with you, they have to be able to find you. The statistics about blogs helping with your search engine success cannot be ignored if you want to show up in search results and maintain a sustained digital presence. This comment from digital marketing expert Jes Gonzalez explains this very well:
“…having an online presence can make or break a business, especially for small business owners. Because I was able to find the website and all the product and service information effortlessly, I was happy to book an appointment. Further, I booked my appointment online, at a business I’d never heard about, in a building I’d never seen. That day, the owner secured a new customer that she wouldn’t have had otherwise…”
The message is loud and clear: you need to do things that will improve your odds of being seen and seen in the right context, and blogs are an important tool in doing that.
You should know that blogging, while cost-effective, does take some effort. You’ll need to maintain a continuous effort to make it successful. Note that 47% of people will read 3-5 blogs before taking the first step towards engaging with a service or product. Blogging doesn’t need to be hard, but it does require some discipline. There are some important best-practices to follow in order to get the most benefit from your blogging effort; these tips in particular, should provide some tactical help:
- Publish at least one blog per week.
- You can likely use the blog capabilities that your website host service provides. If not, consider using WordPress to publish blogs.
- Push your blogs in your social media channels. Our blog about increasing engagement within your own network offers some insightful, actionable tips.
- Use a scheduling tool to plan out when you will publish blogs. A spreadsheet works, but I use a free service called Trello, which is clean and easy to manage.
- If you have a hard time writing, consider different formats. Maybe you can interview clients about their experience in their new homes. Or maybe you summarize data about neighborhood restaurants and shops.
- Brevity is preferred. Keep your blog to about 300-600 words.
- If you’re strapped for time (and you probably are), you might want to consider contracting with a ghostwriter who can help you maintain a regular cadence of blogs.
But before you get started, consider how to approach your blogging so you can ensure a consistent, interesting, compelling experience for your users: Writing can often be an exercise in staring at a blank screen waiting for the words to pour forth. Like anything we do, we’re more likely to be successful at it if we have a plan and stick with the things we know well and really enjoy. With that in mind, start with an outline, and know that you’re going to likely go through multiple iterations and editing rounds until you get your blog just right. When all else fails, remember this formula: tell ‘em what you’re gonna tell ‘em; tell ‘em; tell ‘em what you told ‘em.
It will help if you make a list of the things you know and like about your business. Maybe you specialize in relocations or know a few specific neighborhoods really well; emphasize those in your blogs. If you like those things, you’ll do a better job writing about them because you’ll be engaged in the topic. But also keep in mind that if you are terrible with numbers or don’t have a good track record with connecting clients with mortgage brokers, don’t use the blog as a place to try to demonstrate a fake love of interest rates. You want to be authentic and informative, so make sure you know the topics and themes that are meaningful to you. Your readers will recognize and appreciate that authenticity. Most marketing material uses a certain type of voice; in our business, it tends to stick to the facts. But with a blog, we can use a more informal voice. For most of us, that conversational tone is actually easier to write, but it’s also easier for our readers to read. One of the reasons blogs are so successful is that they are a departure from the standard marketing material we encounter every day.
One way to get this style is to speak, out loud, the things you’re trying to communicate. Talk them through and listen to the style you use. Look at successful bloggers and copy their style. James Altucher is one of the world’s most popular bloggers; his style is very casual. Brene Brown is fairly informal, but more traditional in how she writes. Take some time to search for bloggers in topics you like and try out their style and tone. Writing isn’t always easy and the creative juices don’t always flow. However, after enough practice, you will find that it becomes easier and easier. You’ll also discover that your blogs and stories connect you with new people and help you generate more potential revenue. Once that happens, you’ll realize that getting out 300-600 words every week ain’t so bad!