We looked at top players to extract best practices for SaaS companies on social media. Get concrete, actionable pointers on what your SaaS should do.
Want to learn how to improve your SaaS company’s social media presence? You’re in the right place.
We love a bit of research here at Heepsy, so I turned my eye to the top players in the SaaS industry. This post runs through best practices I’ve extracted from analyzing their social media channels.
The pointers you’ll find here are less theoretical than what you’ll find in most other blog posts. By that I mean don’t expect subjective things like determine your target audience or establish your goals.
Rather, expect concrete advice on how to make your own social channels mirror those of industry leaders, like have this type of handle on Instagram or use this many colors in your feed.
Now let’s get into it.
Methodology and players
For this research, I looked at 7 big players in the SaaS space, which are listed below, and 3 social channels—Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn. These are the networks that appealed the most to our team due to their presence and growth in the social media marketing industry.
Let’s look at the 7 players I examined and why you should want to copy them in the first place. Do you know all 7?
Asana is a project management tool with a focus on remote work. Asana lets you create projects, plan tasks, and collaborate easily and intuitively. Their revenues in 2022 were $141.4 million, an increase of 41% year over year. Asana’s service is based on seats, and their largest deployment clocks in at 150,000.
One way to use Asana is with Kanban boards.
Pipedrive is a global sales CRM and pipeline management platform. It helps sales teams organize leads and keep on top of all their deals, and incorporates other features like email marketing and lots of integrations to connect your sales funnel to all the other tools you use. Pipedrive just reached its 100,000 customer mark, and software review sites like SourceForge and Capterra have recognized it as a leader in its field for 2022-2023.
If you’ve ever wanted to build a stunning website but don’t know how to code, you might know Webflow. It’s a website builder whose claim is a visual way to build the web. I myself have used it and am a huge fan, especially of their team’s entertaining and extensive educational content. And with over 200,000 customers, I guess I’m not the only one. Last year Webflow raised $120 million in a Series C round of funding, which raised the company’s valuation to $4 billion.
I am part of the McGuire Brannon fan club.
Ahrefs is a comprehensive set of tools that includes everything you need to improve your SEO and boost your web traffic. As a regular user, I can vouch for how powerful it is, plus they have amazing resources for people learning about SEO, content marketing, and the related. In fact, Ahrefs is so good that I’ve become a bit paranoid when creating web pages because once the tool caught a mistake faster than I did.
The Ahrefs team in its Singapore headquarters.
The world of work wouldn’t be the same without Slack. With the pandemic just behind us, and so many teams working remotely, Slack is, as they themselves put it, our digital HQ. IDC MarketScape named Slack a leader among collaborative platforms, and last year had revenues of $273.4 million, up 36% year-over-year.
Book a stay, host your place, join an activity led by local guides. Airbnb doesn’t really need an introduction, most of us have already used it. What you might not know though is that this absolute unicorn is worth $66.13 billion and has over 150,000 users.
Upwork is a platform that connects hirers and freelancers across all types of industries. Hirers can create job posts, freelancers can apply, and the platform gives you all the tools necessary to close deals and manage relationships. Last year it was one of TIME’s 100 most influential companies and is worth $1.62 billion.
*Airbnb and Upwork are technically marketplaces, where the primary goal is closing a deal with another party and not necessarily using the software. But since the service they offer is software that helps you accomplish that goal, I’ve included them here as SaaSes.
Social media best practices for SaaS companies on Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok
Now let’s get into the social media best practices for SaaS companies.
Understand the purpose of each network
I looked at the type of content shared by these players on LinkedIn, TikTok, and Instagram and thought about the purpose of that content. Was it designed to entertain, to educate, to generate awareness of the brand? Here’s what I found.
TikTok is used purely to entertain. The goal here is to generate brand awareness by posting funny and silly videos related to the company’s missions and purpose.
LinkedIn is the most traditionally professional of the 3 networks and is primarily used to share company news, product updates, and educational content. You don’t see many memes and funny videos on LinkedIn.
Instagram falls somewhere in the middle. Content posted here is a blend between professional/promotional and humorous/relatable.
Use short, consistent, branded handles across all networks
On all networks, use the name of your brand as your handle, as clearly and concisely as possible.
In the chart below we can see the handles of these players across Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn. Take Asana for example, which uses @asana, @asana, and /asana, respectively. Or Pipedrive, which uses @pipedrivecrm, @pipedrivecrm, and /pipedrive.
When possible, keep handles the same across all social channels. This leads to easy recognition of the brand, and it makes it easier for people to find your brand on a channel where you’re not already connected.
Have a descriptive biography and adapt it for each platform
Another important component of your SaaS’s social media pages is the biography. This is your chance to explain what you do, and is critical for generating recognition among users who don’t yet know you.
Your brand’s biography should be consistent across all channels. But it’s also important to adapt your message to each channel’s style and purpose. Let’s look at each below with some examples from the players.
Your bio should be short and punchy. Get to the point quickly, because you only have a limited amount of space. Instagram only gives you 150 characters to explain what you do. These players’ bios ranged from 28 - 128 characters, with an average 72 characters.
The shortest was Upwork’s: The world’s work marketplace.
The longest was Webflow’s: Webflow is the way to design, build, and launch powerful websites visually — without coding. Share your site with #MadeInWebflow.
Another example from Pipedrive: 🌎 The one platform to grow your business. 📌 @lifeatpipedrive
☝️ 2 of 7 players used emojis in their bios on Insta.
TikTok bios are similar to Instagram, but even shorter. TikTok only gives you 80 characters, so make them count. Here, our players had bios that range from 1 - 69 characters, for an average 44 characters.
- Airbnb had the shortest: 📍
- Asana had the longest: Enabling the world’s teams to work together effortlessly🦄 #withasana
- Another example from Slack: Several people are typing… #DigitalHQ
☝️ On TikTok, 4/7 players used emojis in their bios.
LinkedIn doesn’t have bios. Instead, you have two elements to play with: your tagline, which appears directly under the brand’s name, and your about, which is a longer description.
LinkedIn limits taglines to 120 characters, and the industry leaders examined here used between 29 - 97 characters, with the average length at 66 characters.
- Upwork had the shortest tagline: The world’s work marketplace.
- And Ahrefs had the longest: We make great SEO tools to help you accelerate the growth of organic search traffic to a website.
- Another example from Slack: On a mission to make your working life simpler, more pleasant and more productive.
As for descriptions, you can use up to 2,000 characters. But no company went that far. The players used 92 - 863 characters to describe their brands, with the average length of a description at 500.
The shortest? Pipedrive and Webflow tied at 92 characters each.
- Pipedrive: The global sales-first CRM and intelligent revenue management platform for small businesses.
- Webflow: Webflow is the way to design, build, and launch powerful websites visually — without coding.
The longest? Slack, at 863 characters.
Slack has transformed business communication. It’s the leading channel-based messaging platform, used by millions to align their teams, unify their systems, and drive their businesses forward. Only Slack offers a secure, enterprise-grade environment that can scale with the largest companies in the world. It is a new layer of the business technology stack where people can work together more effectively, connect all their other software tools and services, and find the information they need to do their best work. Slack is where work happens. Ensuring a diverse and inclusive workplace where we learn from each other is core to Slack’s values. We welcome people of different backgrounds, experiences, abilities and perspectives. We are an equal-opportunity employer and a pleasant and supportive place to work. Come do the best work of your life here at Slack.
☝️Finally, on LinkedIn no player used emojis in their taglines and descriptions.
Always have a link on your social profile
Posting a link to your site on your social media pages seemed like a no-brainer, and my research confirmed this.
On Instagram, 7/7 players had a link in their bio. On TikTok, 4/6 had a link in their bio. And on LinkedIn, 6/7 had their website homepage listed under the Contact information. Only Ahrefs did not.
Let’s step back to Instagram for a moment. All these companies had links in their IG bios, but the type of link differed slightly:
- Linktree, VisitStore, or related— Asana, Pipedrive, Slack, Airbnb, Upwork
- Direct link to main website— Ahrefs
- Linktree style link hosted on own domain— Webflow
Despite being the minority, Webflow’s page seemed the most interesting to me. They copied the linktree style but created a page on their own domain (and using their own tool).
This is great for a few reasons:
- Webflow doesn’t have to pay an extra subscription to a linktree-style service.
- They’re bringing traffic onto their own domain with the very first click.
- They can control the design of the page much more than the presets that ship with tools like Linktree or Bitly.
Use hashtags on all networks, but choose the case of your tag based on the network
Use hashtags when you post content on social media, regardless of the channel. These are the stats I found when analyzing the top players’ hashtag use:
- On Instagram, 85.7% used hashtags in their content.
- On TikTok, 100% used hashtags.
- On LinkedIn, 71.4% used hashtags.
Now, have you ever wondered whether it’s better to use hashtags in all lowercase or title case? Maybe I'm crazy, but I have. And when I actually looked at this it was interesting to find that:
- On Instagram, players used a mix of lowercase and title case. For example: #FreelancerLife or #remotework.
- On LinkedIn, they use hashtags in title case, such as #With Asana, #CRM, #WebDesign.
- On TikTok, they always use hashtags in lowercase, like #workjokes, #webdeveloper, or #airbnbpartner.
So lowercase hashtags for TikTok, title case for LinkedIn, and your choice on Instagram.
Post with these frequencies on each network
Post regularly isn’t really helpful advice because it’s subjective. So I tracked the posting habits of these 7 players on IG, TikTok, and LinkedIn and found out exactly how many times you should post on each if you want to run your social media like the industry leaders.
Of course keep in mind that most of these companies have hundreds of employees and entire departments to manage social media. If you are a small SaaS company or a startup, adjust these frequencies according to the resources and manpower you have.
On Instagram, publish 2-3 posts and 1-2 Reels per week
The players who post most frequently on Instagram were Asana and Webflow, who each post once per day. The player who posted the least was Ahrefs, who posts once per month. Overall, 2-3 posts per week was the average among these companies.
As for Reels, the average frequency among these SaaSes was 1-2 per week. The player that posts the most Reels is Airbnb, with 2-3 per week. The players that post the fewest Reels were Pipedrive and Upwork, who post 1-2 Reels per month. 2/6 players post the same videos to Reels and TikTok.
On TikTok, publish 1-2 videos per week
Webflow posts the most on TikTok—about 4 videos per week. But the other players post 1-2 times per week.
On LinkedIn, post between 3-5 times per week
LinkedIn is where I saw the highest average posting frequency. The average was 3-5 times per week. Ahrefs posts the most on LinkedIn, with 8 posts per week. Airbnb posts the least with 1-3 posts each week. This makes sense to me, given that Airbnb is primarily a B2C brand and the other players are B2B.
Use Instagram highlights with at least 5 categories
6/7 players use Instagram highlights, Ahrefs does not. Highlights help you organize Instagram stories content into different sections that users can visit whenever they wish, even if your stories are older than 24 hours.
Players had between 5-21 highlights sections. The average was 10 sections. For the highlight covers, most brands used colored backgrounds with some type of icon or emoji on top. See a examples from Asana, Slack, and Webflow in the table below.
Or, if you prefer to keep your highlights covers super simple, you could copy Airbnb, which uses simple icons on white, or Upwork, which uses plain colors.
Always use visuals in your LinkedIn posts
Want to compete with these top players on LinkedIn? Add a visual to every post. 85.7% of players use some type of visual aid for all their LinkedIn posts. These can be stock photos, pictures of the team, illustrations, videos, ebook covers, slides, etc.
📣 Here’s an extra tip that I learned through this research. If you want to create slides like this example from Upwork, use a PDF format. Create your slides as PDF pages, and when you upload them, LinkedIn will format them like slides.
Use your brand’s color plus 2-5 complementary colors for your social feeds
Another thing I did was take a look at the colors used by these top players in their social media content. All of them used their primary brand color plus one complementary color, though the majority chose 2-5 complementary colors.
I used a color picker tool to fill in the table below so you can see which colors repeat on each brand’s social feeds.
It’s fine to use repeating templates and change out content
You might feel like each piece of social content has to be unique. But 62.5% of these players use templates that repeat over time on their feeds. This helps save time and adds visual consistency to social feeds.
When using templates, remember to consider your color scheme, especially on Instagram where this will be most noticeable. Varying your colors so you don’t have a wall of any one given tone can help make a more visually appealing Instagram feed. You can also use a feed planner tool like Preview, or DIY it (I copy/paste screenshots into Figma to see how our feed will look).
An example of Webflow’s Instagram feed, where you see the same templates repeat.
If you want the TL;DR version of these best practices, I’ve got you. Here’s a summarized list of the best practices I’ve covered:
- Correct purposes of each network: Use LinkedIn for sharing information, TikTok for entertaining, and Instagram for a blend of both.
- Handles: Keep them short, branded, and consistent across all networks.
- Links: Always have one on your social profile (this can be a linktree or direct link to your domain).
- Hashtags: Use them on all networks. Title case for LinkedIn, lowercase for TikTok, your choice for Instagram.
- Instagram posting: Publish 2-3 posts and 1-2 Reels per week.
- TikTok posting: Publish 1-2 videos per week.
- LinkedIn posting: Post between 3-5 times per week
- Instagram highlights: Use them, and organize your content into at least 5 sections.
- LinkedIn posts: Always use some type of visual.
- Color palette: Use your brand’s primary color plus 2-5 complementary colors for your social feeds.
- Repeating templates: Totally fine to use them! For Instagram especially just keep the color scheme in mind or use a preview tool to plan your colors.