Social media can be used to effectively engage and retarget prospects to encourage them to move from the prospect tier (tier zero) to tier one (a free trial user who is still a prospect but a hotter lead). The strategy subscription-based businesses need to use is to maintain a presence on social media without allowing it to monopolize your overall marketing efforts. The exact time you spend on social media and the number of platforms you are on will depend on your industry and whether you are a B2B or B2C.
Social Media Platforms
For B2B subscription-based businesses, less is more. Choose up to three platforms based on where your audience is. LinkedIn will likely be a good platform for you to use, as well as Twitter. Aim to grow your following to 1k followers per platform to convey reputability in online searches. Share news updates and helpful content at least once per week. YouTube may be a good platform for your business.
For B2C subscription-based businesses, you will want to focus on social media more. Choose at least three platforms based on where your audience spends their time, such as Facebook and Instagram, and publish entertaining, fun, and informative content at least three times per week, if you have the time to do so. Pinterest and YouTube may also be good options for your business.
Remember: It’s better to be consistent with one platform than to be inconsistent on multiple platforms. Consistency is key, so focus on what your team can consistently do, even if it is less than best practices recommend.
Social media pages should be consistently active. Daily posts or multiple posts per day are ideal, but unrealistic for many small businesses. Instead, focus on publishing three quality posts per week and scale from there if it benefits your business and you are able to do so.
The day and time you post don’t matter as much as being consistent because the algorithm for most platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, means posts are not seen right when they are published, but instead in the order the viewer is likely to want to see the posts based on interest.
When you need to promote something timely, such as a sale or event promotion, create multiple posts on the same topic and schedule them in advance to give your audience multiple reminders.
To publish social media content, you can use social media scheduling tools, such as Hootsuite, TweetDeck, and Buffer, which offer free plans, as well as ZohoSocial, Oktopost, SocialOomph, Sprout Social, and more. We recommend choosing one social media scheduling tool based on your platforms, needs, and budget. This way, you can create posts in one sitting and schedule them to publish in a week, a month, or at a later time. This streamlines the time you spend on social media for your business, but don’t forget to check your pages, too. Alternatively, you can publish directly to each native platform, but this often takes longer, especially if you want to share a similar post on multiple platforms, and most platforms don’t have scheduling options, limiting your publishing times to “now.”
social media content
Promotional posts have their place, but educational and newsworthy posts should be the majority. Depending on your industry and personality, you may be able to showcase a behind-the-scenes look at your business, too. Live video works great for this. You also may be able to entertain your followers with creative posts, which can further showcase your reputability and brand personality.
Video content is powerful on most platforms, including social media and your website. Consider creating Q&A content, live or recorded, to answer customer questions about your offerings, or showcase an unboxing. Videos can be recorded and edited on a smartphone. Remember to use your messaging and visual branding guidelines when developing video content.
Tip: Shorter video clips are ideal content pieces for Instagram posts and Stories as well as Pinterest. However, if you plan on creating longer videos, we recommend uploading them to YouTube or Vimeo, and then snipping a short clip from that video for social media sharing.
Creating and sharing video content also involves adding helpful descriptions for YouTube or Vimeo and social sharing. Descriptions that help viewers understand the context of the video (beyond just the video title) can improve SEO as well.
To develop your video content strategy, you need to determine whether it will replace or augment other content you are sharing. Depending on your business and resources, your answer will vary; however, augmenting long-form content, such as blog articles, with videos can help showcase your expertise in a digestible format.
Social Media Influencers
Subscription-based businesses, B2B and B2C, can benefit from using social media influencers. The key is to find smaller influencers who have an engaged, niche following who are not promoting your competitors. You may be able to find influencers among your customers. Then, you can encourage them to promote your business even more with discounts or free swag.
The key to developing relationships with potential influencers before you email them and ask them to partner with you is to follow them on social media, and comment on and share their posts. Start the relationship with their business (and, likely, personal brand) before asking them to promote your business.
Social Media Contests
Contests on social media can accelerate brand awareness, lead generation, subscription sales, and generate buzz about your business. This is especially important in the pre-launch phase of your business (when most other marketing efforts generally happen after your launch). When hosting a contest, be sure to have a relevant but not too expensive prize to offer the contest winner.
For people to enter, they typically have to like your post, comment on it, follow your page, and share your post; all or some of these pieces may be required while others may be additional entries into the contest. You can also request that they opt-in to your email marketing, either as a way to pre-qualify them as a lead or as an additional entry into the contest itself. Adding the email marketing opt-in can lower the number of bad leads you receive during the contest, but it can also lower the reach your contest has. It’s best to test what works best for your audience and industry.
Use the Data
Social media is always changing just as your customer’s needs are always changing, which is why it’s important to review social media analytics for all of your active pages at least monthly. This will help you review the latest comments, messages, and reviews, as well as see what content received the most engagement (likes and comments).
Engagement isn’t the top priority for subscription-based businesses (instead, informing your ideal audience is), but it’s still a good practice to see what content your followers like and what content helps reduce common customer questions. Since your social media pages are meant to convey reputability and skills, using the data to make changes to your social media program will only benefit your social media program and business all around because you will be helping your customers.
Social media is meant to be “social,” so subscription-based businesses need at least one dedicated team member to check each social media platform daily, minimum, in order to reply to follower comments and DMs.
Our team works as a fluid extension of each of our member’s businesses by developing strategies and executing projects in whatever capacity is best for their unique needs.