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A Year in Social Media: Learning How to Increase B2B Reach in a B2C World

This content discusses the author's experience using Instagram for B2B marketing and shares three effective tactics for success.

By Rina Bottom ・6 min read
Best Practices
Social Media

Hey everyone! This is Rina; you have probably spoken with me on a chat or through an email. I mainly work on the support team at ShortStack, but given our small team of 13, we all wear a lot of hats.

This means that I also write marketing blogs, help with internal audits, and create social media posts. The social media task has been split between my coworker, Kenny, and me. He works on LinkedIn and Twitter, and I handle Facebook and Instagram. 

LinkedIn is the platform made for B2B social media marketing. It's a platform created for business professionals to communicate and learn about business tools. Specifically, LinkedIn’s mission is to “connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful.” Using LinkedIn to market our tools is a no-brainer. However, Instagram has proven to be a whole different world. 

Instagram is filled with over 2 billion users, of which over 200 million are business profiles and over 500 million are influencers. As you can already see where I am going with this: Instagram caters to the individual with over twice as many influencers and over a billion general users; the platform is simply not the best suited for B2B marketing. The majority of Instagram users are everyday people just looking to keep up with their friends, family, and brands they love. This poses an issue for B2B marketing since the average user isn’t looking for new products specifically for their business. 

I didn’t mean to scare you off from using Instagram as a marketing platform. Who doesn’t like a little challenge every once in a while? Even with several challenges posed, I was able to increase our Instagram reach and followers by 86% and 30%, respectively, in about ten months. Read below to learn which three marketing tactics worked best for me and how you can implement them too. 

Post regularly - seriously, it works!

When the company’s Instagram account was handed over to me, we were posting infrequently. In other words, we did not have regularly scheduled content. We would post about what was happening that week for our Friday lunch or share a contest that we were conducting. Before the Instagram account was handed over, the main goal was to keep it active. We were posting whatever we could muster to show up on the feeds of our small group of followers. 

I did not have any content ideas or know-how on scheduling content in advance. So, I did some research on similar businesses and what worked well for them. Posting exciting facts, customer stories, and tips on using their products worked well for our competitors, so I decided to start small. My first weekly planned posts were statistics. The content is easy and fast to produce. First, research statistics related to marketing, then create a supporting graphic, and finally schedule some posts a month in advance. This proved to be a positive move in the right direction!

Posting the same type of content regularly grants me about 150 views a post, and an extra follow or two if it is a good week. 

I know that everyone and their marketing mother say to post regularly. It’s true. Don’t stress about your content being great, perfect, or even noteworthy. Just simply get content out that aligns with your brand. Take it from my experience that it works. 

See this post, for example:

I created it quickly using Canva and then scheduled it through Facebook Business Manager. (Pro tip: use Canva to schedule to save time and money!) This post took me all of two hours to complete. 

As you can see, this post reached 59% of audience members that are not currently following our Instagram page. We also received a few likes and comments, which boosted my ego. ;) 

If I didn’t post regularly, we would not have received a reach this high, nor would we have received the likes or comments. With a small follower count of 1.8k, every view counts. 

Instagram is great for recycling older content 

We have a team of five working on marketing content, from emails to videos to blogs. Content marketing is very important for today's consumers. According to Demand Gen Report, 71% of B2B consumers stated they reviewed a blog while on their buying journey. Content marketing takes less time and money than traditional marketing. One way content marketers decrease time on campaigns is by reusing or recycling content through different social media channels. It turns out that about 60% of marketers reuse content 2-5 times. The best way I have found to do this is by utilizing older guides and blogs to turn into Instagram posts. These posts are carousel posts too, which improves metrics, since carousel posts receive 1.4x more reach and 3.1x more engagement than single-image posts on Instagram. 

Here’s one example of my most recent guide carousel: https://www.instagram.com/p/ChkcJ9nBUzo/ 

All of this information was already produced and easily accessible on our site here. However, it was originally published in 2020. With this content being two years old, it doesn’t receive much traffic even though it is still important and useful information. Solution: Create a post on Instagram to generate new traffic. 

Ultimately, using older content and refreshing it to fit the Instagram format is saving the company time and money. I can produce a 10-page carousel in a couple of hours versus having to come up with an idea, gather resources, images, etc., which could take days, even a full week, to prepare the content to post. With my main job duty as a customer support agent, I need to be fully present for the folks I help, and marketing is my side task to work on between answering questions on chat and emails. 

Showing your company’s playful side will get the best results 

The best engagement we receive on Instagram is when I post about the team. When it is a picture of coworkers wearing matching outfits or our office pups chilling next to us, Instagram is all about showing your humanness. Showcase who you are as a company, not what you are. 

While everyone's goal in marketing is to increase reach, generate more leads, and increase sales, we sometimes have to take a step back and have fun with it. 

Here’s one of our most recent group outings: 

One of our remote employees was in town, helping her in-laws prepare for a cross-country move, so her husband organized this surprise get together at a local craft bar. 

Remember that Instagram is all about creating a sense of community. Don’t be afraid to showcase your office community with your followers. Having a transparent company is vital in today's social media climate. According to Sprout Social, 86% of Americans believe transparency from businesses is more important than ever before. Being transparent, showing what your company truly stands for, represents, and how the work environment looks, needs to be a part of your social media marketing strategy if it isn’t already. For us, we show who we are through our office antics, support for our community, and genuine happiness. 

Last remarks

Since starting my adventures in marketing with very little experience for a B2B company, I have learned to love the unknown. For every post, I don’t know how many likes, shares, comments, etc., I will have, but I do know that I enjoy creating the content. When I create informative posts, repurpose content, or show off goofy office antics, I’m hopeful someone finds value in what I post. 

We may never have a following like HubSpot, but I hope to continue to showcase what we bring to the table as a company and as coworkers. 

To my fellow B2Bs out there, don’t give up! Post content regularly, show off your silly side, and have fun with it. After all, it is simply one social media platform of many. 

PS- Don’t forget to proofread your posts at least twice so you can avoid changing “million” into “billion” as I did. ;) 

About the author

By Rina Bottom ・6 min read
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Rina spends her days fearlessly helping users on the “frontlines” with the Support Team. She loves assisting users in creating seamless campaigns through support and best practices.

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