One of the biggest struggles of every SaaS company out there is increasing retention and reducing churn. In other words, making sure that people who sign up for the SaaS switch from free to paid plans and stay on the paid plans. There are plenty of ways to do this, and not all of them work equally well. One approach that does seem to work (if you dedicate enough time to it) is launching a Facebook group for your SaaS product.
At Chanty, we’ve had our Facebook group ever since the app was in beta and we have about 600 members now. Together with some of our SaaS colleagues, today we’ll show you how to set up and run a Facebook group for your SaaS product.
Why Run a Facebook Group For Your SaaS?
It’s no secret that Facebook’s organic reach has been dwindling with every year. There’s only so much that you can accomplish by running a Facebook page. Sooner or later, you’ll have to give in and pay for ads, which may not be the most effective method for activating your users.
Facebook groups allow you to discuss your product for free, with a closed group of interested users. You can immediately moderate the content, guide the discussions, run polls about new features, update the members about new releases, ask them any issues they may be having, etc.
How to Invite the Members to Your Facebook Group?
The first step to running an amazing group around your product is getting members to join it. Just setting up a group with your product name in it is great, but it won’t get anyone to join.
At Chanty, we send the link to the group in the first onboarding email the users get after signing up. The group is closed so that users have to join to take a look inside. We also remind them about the group several times in our email drips. This is the same way the marketing team at SEMRush invites its users to their Facebook group.
The team at Better Proposals does the same, with one difference – they have pop-ups within the app which nudge the users into joining the Facebook group.
As for the Facebook group for GetResponse, they also promote it in their onboarding emails, but they don’t stop there. The group link is also included in their blog posts, webinars, LinkedIn and Facebook posts and more.
According to Jeremy Ellens, the co-founder of LeadQuizzes, one of the key ways to get users to join their Facebook group is to tell them the benefits of joining, i.e. getting support and having their questions answered. They also promote the group in their onboarding emails.
When joining the group, the only question we ask at Chanty is how many people the user intends to use our app with, and we prompt them to join our official chat (using Manychat) to get messages on Facebook directly from our page. At Better Proposals, they don’t ask any questions before joining to reduce friction. With the LeadQuizzes Facebook group, users get two questions:
- How did you hear about us?
- What value can you bring to the group?
Question #1 helps them find out the most efficient channel for promotion, while #2 helps them learn more about the user.
On the other hand, if you want to join the GetResponse group, there are two questions you will have to answer:
- What is your favorite software for creating landing pages or funnels?
- What are your biggest struggles with this software?
These questions help them better understand their users and their perspectives.
The Ways to Use Your Facebook Group
So, now you have a nice group of people huddled together around one topic – they all use your SaaS product. To get the most out of your community, there are many ways you can leverage the power of so many of your users in one place.
At Chanty, we use our Facebook community to keep the members informed about our latest releases. Every time we roll out a new feature, upgrade, integration or simply add something new to our website, we let our group members know. Usually, one of our team members will make an announcement in the group for all members to see.
Moreover, we also poll our members frequently to hear their thoughts. We ask them opinions about user experience and user interface, we let them choose the next integration we will introduce, we ask them questions about their app use, etc.
The crew at Better Proposals uses their Facebook group to share their latest content with their users. Whether it’s tips on sales, proposal writing, maximizing their app use or something else, the group is the place to share it with their users.
At LeadQuizzes, their Facebook group is a place for users to get together and discuss with each other what worked best in their use of the app. They also use the group as a place to answer customer questions and concerns about the app.
In the SEMRush Facebook group, its main purpose is to get ideas for improvement. As Xenia Volynchuk of SEMRush says, 50% of their product features were rolled out because they were requested by their users, primarily in their group.
As for the GetResponse Facebook group, its main purpose is not marketing. Rather, it’s to learn from their users, recognize their struggles with GetResponse (and other similar software) to improve their own product.
Increasing Engagement Within The Group
One of the biggest issues with Facebook groups for SaaS products is keeping the engagement up. Often times, people join, scroll down to see a few posts and never come back to the group again. Obviously, you want to prevent this from happening.
In the Chanty Facebook group, we do this by staying active and posting every other day or so to keep our users engaged. Posts have to be approved before they show up in the group and we make sure that they get approved as soon as possible, usually within the same hour. Since we get notifications about the posts, we also get a chance to respond immediately. In this way, the group functions as a way to do customer support as well.
At LeadQuizzes, they have a 7-day challenge for all new app users. As part of the challenge, the new user has to set up their first quiz and ask the Facebook group their opinion about their quiz.
The Better Proposals team increases engagement in their group by posting in it on a weekly basis. Moreover, if someone has a question, they make sure it’s answered immediately. As Petra Odak from Better Proposals says, some people prefer using Facebook groups instead of customer support, so they make sure those users get a prompt response.
The team at SEMRush increase their engagement by creating a varied mix of posts. They combine Q&As, announcements, tips and other types of posts to create an interesting environment for the group members and kill the monotony.
Fighting Spam and Abuse
Unfortunately, there will be people who won’t play nice in your Facebook group all the time. You will occasionally get spam, promotional posts, hate speech, conflicts between members and content of that sort. To prevent this from happening, in the Chanty group, all posts have to be approved before they are published. That way, we cut down on spam from the start. As for the comments, we always have someone from our team overseeing what gets posted.
In the Better Proposals Facebook community, the moderator oversees all the posts and comments and spam gets dealt with immediately. The LeadQuizzes group has strict rules about spam and once the moderators see someone who joined and only posts spam, they are banned promptly. The GetResponse and SEMRush groups have similar policies. In general, all of the groups mentioned have very few spam posts.
Tips For Running a Great Facebook Group
We all have our little secrets to keep our communities growing and flourishing. All of our friends from the groups mentioned (including us at Chanty) have one tip for running a great SaaS product group on Facebook: stay proactive, be consistent and be there for your users. The moment you leave your Facebook group on its own, it will lose momentum and users will lose interest. There is no marketing automation hack here – just stay consistent and active within the group if you want it to flourish.
We’d like to point out advice from Maria Kahlau of GetResponse as well. She says that the key to success is not to focus on self-promotion, rather encourage discussions about members’ pain points and problems. In that way, you will be able to learn more about your users and get insights on how to improve your own product.
There are multiple benefits of running a Facebook group for your SaaS product. From increased engagement and improved feedback all the way to having a new marketing channel, it’s definitely worth it to start and manage a Facebook group.
About The Author: Mile Zivkovic is a content writer and work-life balance expert at Chanty – a simple and AI-powered Slack alternative. When Mile isn’t busy writing epic posts on productivity, work-life balance and time management for Chanty blog, he’s probably driving somewhere. His hobbies include cars (huge fan of Alfa Romeo), photography and collecting pocket knives. You can catch him on LinkedIn.
Featured Image Via Spencer E Holtaway/Flickr
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