Most B2B SaaS companies use a portfolio approach to demand generation. Techniques like Google Ads, LinkedIn posts, Twitter posts, Facebook posts, email campaigns, and webinars are used to drive leads to the top of the sales funnel. Many firms cite that the buying process for B2B software products has changed. The majority of buyers, according to Gartner, spend the majority of the buying process not engaging directly with a SaaS firm’s sales force, but on independent web-based research. Social media activity is used to drive prospects to the top of the sales funnel. Yet, recent research has shown that the return on these investments is poor. Does Social Media Posting Drive Engagement for B2B SaaS Firms?
Databox, a provider of analytics solutions, reports that 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make their purchasing decision. They report:
Gartner reports on how B2 buying groups spend their time now:
Mordor Intelligence reported that the social media analytics market was valued at USD 7.26 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 25.96 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 23.3% over the forecast period 2021 – 2026.
A lot of money is being invested by B2B SaaS firms in using social media to drive engagement and leads to the top of the sales funnel. I focus on enterprise product management. One firm in my industry is Product School. They are a leader in Product Management training with a community of over one million product professionals In 2021 they raised $25 million from private equity firm Leeds Illuminate. Product School hosts two Facebook Live sessions every day. These are usually 30-minute webinars conducted by Product School Alumni from Google, Microsft, and Meta. Product School must be spending a significant amount of money planning, producing, and promoting these events. I often tune in. Unfortunately, they are sparsely attended. When I join there are usually only 5 to 10 viewers. Is Product School driving a lot of new leads for product management training from these Facebook Live sessions? Probably not. They are probably getting some traction building brand awareness and promoting the success of their alumni.
Neil Patel runs an SEO agency and is the author of the popular SEO tool UberSuggest. He recently posted an article entitled We Analyzed 50,000 Social Media Posts From the Last 12 Months to Learn How to Get More Organic Traffic. Here’s What We Found. In the article he cited a number of interesting statistics. For example:
Business posts accounted for the minority of the post engagement.
Business posts accounted for the smallest amount of Facebook shares:
It was a little better with Twitter:
Overall, the results were not encouraging.
I have been blogging at DevelopmentCorporate.com for ten years. It is a modest success, but not a barn-burner by any stretch of the imagination. I post a 1,500 to 5,000 word article about 5 times a month. I promote my blog posts on LinkedIn and Twitter. I also repost every article on Medium.com.I get modest engagement from my social media posts.
Here is a table that puts my blog into context. For my blog, I define engagement as a visitor that spends one minute or more reading a post. Here is the data is from the past month:
About 74% of the traffic to my blog comes from Google organic search. The rest is from LinkedIn, Twitter, Medium, and when my posts are republished by newsletters like Product Management Today. Here are my stats for the past month:
I have decent engagement from my social media channels, but I don’t spend a lot of time on it. It is usually part of my normal publishing process and takes less than an hour a week. The majority of new leads for my consulting business have come from engagement with one of my blog posts.
The ugly truth of B2B SaaS customer acquisition cost is that you need to fill the top of your sales funnel with hundreds of thousands of suspects to get a reasonable number of closed sales. The reality is that only 0.07% of leads that come into the top of the sales funnel from a portfolio of social media campaigns convert to closed sales deals.
The unfortunate reality is that conversion rates for B2B software sales are horrifyingly low. You have to feed a lot of suspects into the top of the funnel to get a reasonable number to come out at the bottom.FirstPageSage, a B2B SEO agency, published an excellent report in 2021 on B2B SaaS Funnel Conversion Benchmarks. Here is an excerpt:
If you work for a B2B SaaS company that wanted to grow a product’s revenues by $20 million in a year, you could estimate how many suspects/contacts you would need to feed into the top of the sales funnel to achieve your revenue target:
For more information, check out The Ugly Truth of B2B SaaS Customer Acquisition Costs
Social media activity is used to drive prospects to the top of the sales funnel. Yet, recent research has shown that the return on these investments is poor. B2B SaaS firms should temper the amount of time and energy they invest in leveraging social media to drive leads to the top of their sales funnel. Investing in outbound inside sales teams will probably deliver a better outcome.
Also published on Medium.