Whether you are working on your first project or a serial founder, you already know everything about the entrepreneurial journey. You know you have to build your audience. Validate your business idea. Run a competitive analysis (you even have a list of tools for benchmarking ready). Test your MVP (standing for Minimum Viable Product). And launch your product. Theoretically, this process has no secret for you. But you might wonder what the best channels to make the most of are. Here you will find 7 social platforms you should use as a SaaS founder to help you go through this.
7 social platforms:
- Hacker News
- Indie Hackers
- Product Hunt
1 – Hacker News, to get insights and news on the saas market
Hacker News (or HN) is a social medium founded by Paul Graham and owned by Y Combinator. Originally called Startup News, it is a platform where users can post or repost mostly tech-related news or entrepreneurial stories. When a user’s comment or post is upvoted, they get one karma point.
With 10 karma points, they can start posting original content. With 30, they can flag someone’s comment. Once they reach 501, they can begin downvoting content. When a user’s comment or post is downvoted, they will equally lose one karma point.
While the concept might look like Reddit, the primary difference is the communitarian approach. Someone on Reddit can go from channel to channel, visiting different online communities. Hacker News is only about that entrepreneurial community.
2 – Twitter, to build your community among the “big ones”
This microblogging platform is one of the best ways to get in touch with your community. This means potential leads and users of your products. It provides excellent opportunities to manage your relationship with your community, maybe by posting news about the development of your products. Maybe by answering questions people might have about them or about you. Or maybe by simply showing your engagement with other entrepreneurs.
With Twitter, you can also connect with other founders, developers, or even CEOs and learn about their experience. If you manage to grow stable bonds with them, they might help you promote your content.
Little tip: try reaching out to entrepreneurs in the same “league” as you. Don’t expect people with over 100K followers to reply right away when you don’t even have 100. Getting help from smaller communities and growing stronger together can really get you further. Contacting the “big ones” will only make you look needy and opportunistic (and not in a good way).
3 – LinkedIn, to build your network and grow in public
Just like Twitter, you can use LinkedIn to connect with other entrepreneurs. You can even join groups and find passionate developers to work with you on your next project, who will recommend you, and ultimately help your profile grow stronger. What’s more, you can build a company profile for your product (or for each of your products) and communicate around it for your community: product updates, collaborations, behind-the-scenes… Let your audience see your presence, and let them know how active you are.
Little tip: by using your company profile to engage with other LinkedIn users, you will increase your brand visibility. So don’t forget to reply to comments and to build conversations with others with the company page.
4 – Facebook, to blend in with the entrepreneurial community
In 2021, Facebook might no longer be the most valuable social medium you have access to. Is it really dead, though? We don’t think so. While your personal profile will not necessarily be the main attraction here, you might want to create a page, either for you or for your products to communicate around your projects.
The real benefit of Facebook is the number of interesting groups to join, to get insights on the SaaS market, to hear about other entrepreneurs’ experiences, etc.: “SaaS Product & Marketing” has more than 15.6K members, “SaaS Mantra – B2B Community for Founders & Entrepreneurs” has more than 7.2K… And you can also create your own group for your own community!
5- Reddit, to bring people along your entrepreneurial journey
Reddit as a whole might not be the best platform to engage with your community (unless you decide to create a subreddit – your own channel where you’d be in charge of the rules and the moderation, deciding who gets in or out). But some subreddits are filled with people ready to help by sharing their expertise, participating in your product’s test phase, and root for you on your launch day. Besides those focusing on specific topics that could interest your business, there are several subreddits where every entrepreneur is welcomed to participate in this community’s life. r/entrepreneur (990K members) and r/startups (820K members) being among the biggest.
Little tip: the number of users is not necessarily that significant. Find an active community where people are actually getting replies. You will be more likely to receive help on a small but tight subreddit than on one where a thousand posts are written every day, and none of them get read.
6 – Indie Hackers, the easy beginner platform for a fast growth
Building your audience can be tough on Indie Hackers because you will mostly find people in the same situation as you, trying to pitch your products to other founders. The community is relatively small, with only a tad more than 32K members, but trust our experience, it is more active and easier to engage with people than on the rest of these social media. People there post for various reasons: to share about their personal experience and grow in public, to find a partner, to brainstorm an idea, to survey the community and build your MVP around the data collected, and to find their early testers and their first adopters.
By actively participating in the community’s life, you get followers, leads, and genuinely start building your audience. You can also find groups that correspond to your specific needs (SaaS SEO, Cryptoeconomics, or Looking to Partner Up).
7 – Product Hunt, to launch your product efficiently
Finally, it is time to launch your product. Product Hunt is a great platform to make this launch visible if you do things correctly. There are mainly two uses of this platform: the first one being the possibility to launch a product, see the other products launched on that day (and find products launched before), and the second one being the possibility to discuss with the community (launch tips, growing your audience, beta testing…).
If you engage with the people by commenting and upvoting their launches and discussions, you might start building a powerful and implicated base of followers. Each follower will receive an email when you launch your product. Every upvote you might obtain on launch day is essential because the more you have, the higher your product will stand on the front page. And the higher it is, the more likely people can see it and upvote it. At the end of the day, the 5 products that have received the most upvotes get the titles “Product of the Day”, “2nd Product of the Day”, and so on.
These products will then compete with the software launched the same week and the same month to claim the titles “Product of the Week”, “Product of the Month”, “2nd Product of the Week”, “2nd Product of the Month”, etc. These titles come with badges you can proudly display on your product’s homepage as a sign acknowledging your good work. To launch a product, you will need to submit (using your profile) a product title, a URL, and a tagline. More elements like a description, pictures or videos showcasing your product in use, and tags to make the post more impactful.
Last tips for Product Hunt, the last of the 7 social platforms
Little tip: build your community on Product Hunt as early as you can to have a larger amount of followers who will be notified about your launch, but look for a “Hunter” as well. If you manage to have a “senior” hunting your product, someone who has been around for a while, who went through this whole process, and who might have a big following audience, their audience will receive the much-vaunted email about your launch. Getting such a hunter is also a token of trustworthiness, making the value of the product instantly skyrocket.
And the last tip to have in mind before starting your journey, you don’t have to stick to one medium. You can try all of these channels to see which ones work best for you, knowing that the more platforms you use, the more visible you get online, the bigger your brand reputation increases.
See you soon on Articles Reader for more tips!