Top 3 reasons why B2B companies need Instagram as well as LinkedIn
If you run (or market) a B2B company, there’s no question that LinkedIn is your primary choice of social media channel. It works because people go on LinkedIn to do business and connect with other businesses – and that’s your goal too.
But if you ONLY post content and build your network on LinkedIn, you’re missing a huge opportunity to connect with smaller B2C companies, because the owners and marketers in these companies are rarely using LinkedIn to find customers, and so the platform just isn’t a priority for them.
Here are three reasons why you should consider adding Instagram to your marketing portfolio, to target this segment of the market.
1. Instagram targets a different demographic
65% of Instagram users are aged 18 to 34, and this age groups accounts for 21% of all UK business owners. (Sources: Digital 2020, Finder.com) Only 28% of that age group are on LinkedIn, whilst 67% are on Instagram. (Source: Hootsuite)
As well as this, there’s a slight majority of women on Instagram (51% vs 49%) whereas LinkedIn has a majority of men. (57% vs 43%) (Source: Digital 2020) So if you’re interested in expanding your client base to include and support more young women who run businesses, Instagram is a really important place to connect with them.
2. Instagram is set up for organic growth
A key concern when you start using any social channel is how easy it will be to get your posts in front of new people so you can grow your audience. Facebook Pages used to be the gold standard for businesses who wanted to connect with consumers, but changes to the algorithm have changed that. My clients and I are seeing that it’s impossible to grow your audience on Facebook without investing loads of time or loads of money.
On Instagram, however, great photos and some well-chosen hashtags can put your content in front of much bigger audiences without paying a penny. For every business I’ve worked with, the time we spend up front researching and planning is far less than we might spend developing a Facebook audience by connecting with different Facebook Groups and building relationships one at a time.
3. Instagram allows for meaningful connections
From the outside, Instagram can look like a popularity contest where then only thing that matters is the angle of your selfie and the likes on your post.
But from the inside I’ve found Instagram is an incredible platform to share useful information, to get to know people, and to build trust with your future customers.
The owners of small B2C companies are typically focussed on the nuts and bolts of developing products, doing their marketing, and serving their customers. When it comes to finding an accountant, a web developer, a business coach or IT support, they often don’t have an established network. That means they might jump into Google, or ask for recommendations. Getting yourself to the top of a search engine results page for “accountant edinburgh?” Well let’s just say that’s a competitive market! And relying on recommendations makes it hard for you to break into a new market.
If you want to win these new customers, the trick is to get in front of them before they know they need you. You know yourself that you’re more likely to choose a supplier who’s already in your LinkedIn network, who you’ve maybe spoken to you before. For small B2C companies, it’s exactly the same, but their network is on Instagram instead. So they’re far more likely to trust you and hire you if they’ve discovered your content in a relevant hashtag, or if a business pal has shared your useful tips to their Instagram Stories.
All those amazing blogs and articles you share on LinkedIn can be turned into incredible Instagram content to connect and support with business owners who need to know!
How to get started on Instagram
It’s pretty easy to create an Instagram Business profile and start posting.
Knowing what to post is harder! Start with a selfie or a professional shot of you and your team. In the caption, take the time to introduce yourself and the business.
Then think about the content you’ve already created for your website and other social channels. What bite-sized pieces of information can you share in an Instagram caption (you get 2000 characters)?
You also need to research your hashtags. Start by looking at the Edinburgh location tag and #edinburgh and #edinburghbusiness to find small businesses, and see what kind of hashtags they’re using in their posts to promote themselves. These are the type of hashtags you should use too, to make sure they see you. Stick to the ones that are about business, or about Edinburgh, rather than picking ones like #jewellerydesign, where your content won’t be relevant.
If you’re feeling a little lost, you can find me at @thewhinco on Instagram where I share lots of free tips and advice for business owners figuring out this exact process. If you’ve tried Instagram before but aren’t sure you’ve made the most of it, The Whin has launched a new training course, The Instagram Masterclass, to support business owners who want to learn how to do Instagram properly.