It’s fair to say Instagram doesn’t get a good write up in parts of the B2B social media marketing world. But it’s not because it doesn’t work (and if it is, maybe you need a new social strategy). With this in mind, we thought we’d try to dispel some common misconceptions – and prove once and for all that every business can succeed on Instagram.
“My audience doesn’t use Instagram”
Unless your B2B audience lives under a rock, a good majority of them probably use Instagram – with over 800 million monthly active users. The fastest growing segment in 2017 was females, 40–50, and Instagram grew their last 100M users faster than they grew their first 100M users. So, there are no signs of it slowing down anytime soon. We get that most B2B audiences are niche, but if a ‘boring’ B2B bank can attract nearly 38,000 followers (@wellsfargo), then you’re sure to find a good chunk of people on there who like what you do too.
“We’ll never get that many followers so it’s not really worth doing”
You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of (positive) engagement as a KPI. Your B2B business doesn’t need to have 1000s of followers, as long as people are consistently engaging with the content you produce. When you get the follower/engagement balance right, you’ll definitely find it improves brand recall and creates more positive brand associations – leading to an increase in business and sales.
“My business doesn’t look exciting in photos”
Every business is exciting to the right audience, you’ve just got to get out there and find them. Instagram may be the ‘picture-sharing platform’, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing for your business. If your business doesn’t photograph well, find something related that does.
For example, HootSuite is a platform that lets you schedule your business’ social posts in advance, even on mobile – but instead of posting unexciting pictures of their system, their Instagram is full of user-generated content; beautiful unconventional office pictures, showing where Hootsuite allows its users to work from, with the hashtag #IWorkFromHere. Bam… simply great, on-brand content. Sorted.
Showing the personal nature of your business is another way to make your photos ‘exciting’ – champion your employees, champion small business owners, show the human side of your B2B brand. It makes your business seem more approachable and is a failsafe strategy to increase engagement.
“You never know what a customer might post about your business”
That’s true. But if you’re not on the platform, you’ll really never know – and you won’t be able to nip any issues in the bud. Carefully-selected user-generated content is always great to post too. You don’t have to post anything you don’t want to, but users definitely appreciate when a brand they use showcases their image. And the more user-generated content you share, the more users will want to generate content for you (it’s a vicious cycle). Alongside a branded hashtag, this gets your business seen by way more people than you could ever achieve on your own (at least without throwing a good proportion of your marketing budget at it).
“You can’t use Instagram to target promotions”
Incorrect. One massive benefit to making Instagram part of your B2B social media strategy is that it is owned by Facebook, which means it is seamlessly integrated into the Facebook Business and Facebook Advert Manager platforms.
This enables any business to set up a regular B2B advertising campaign on Facebook, let’s say targeted at specific locations and job titles, and add Instagram with one simple tick. All your billing details and targeting criteria carry across.
As a business, you benefit from the exact same data resource on both Facebook and Instagram, plus multiple ad account managers can be set up. If you already run Facebook adverts and have a business Instagram account, then it’s a no-brainer – Instagram adverts are easy, effective, and very good value.
At Fox, we’ve got a lot of experience with B2B Instagram – working with brands such as Pagid, an automotive aftermarket brake part manufacturer. If you’re looking to revamp your social strategy, get in touch.