How B2B Brands Can Engage on Pinterest and Instagram

by Sohee Jang

Posted on August 14, 2015 at 15:30 PM

creative b2b social media strategies

A recent report indicates that 95% of B2B buyers prefer shorter, more visual content that is highly informative yet quick and easy to digest. While long-form content like white papers is still critical in B2B marketing, social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram allow B2B brands to share content visually (yes, even white papers) to attract potential customers.

First, a little recap on Pinterest and Instagram (feel free to skip down to Engage hard-to-reach audiences if you’re already a pinning and ‘gramming pro). Pinterest is the online pinboard site where users can share images, photos, and videos arranged by theme. From highlighting different markets to offering a variety of sales or educational tools, Pinterest allows B2B brands to organize their content creatively. For example, General Electric’s Pinterest page educates users via inspirational and innovative pins and boards.

Instagram is a photo and 15-second video sharing platform that enables users to further customize their content with image filters, hashtags, and distribution to other social media channels like Twitter and parent company, Facebook. As the fastest-growing social media network in the U.S., Instagram is an increasingly valuable tool. And with its heavy focus on mobile (still the only way to publish on the channel), it’s a very personal one, as well. IBM successfully uses Instagram to connect with their current and potential customers on a personal level by sharing pictures and videos of the company’s personality, culture, and values.

With visual content taking precedence, here are three ways companies can incorporate Pinterest and Instagram into their creative B2B social media strategies:

Engage hard-to-reach audiences.

There are currently 72.8 million users on Pinterest, and Instagram has recently surpassed 300 million active monthly users. These social media channels are growing rapidly, especially among millennials – over 40% of Pinterest users in the U.S. are under age 35, and the number jumps to nearly 60% for Instagram users. These sites give your brand the chance to connect with one of the most elusive audiences on the platforms they use most. Pinterest’s predominantly female user base creates another unique opportunity to connect with a highly targeted audience, particularly for the manufacturing sector where women account for just 24% of the workforce.

Grow brand awareness.

Actively sharing content on Pinterest and Instagram can help build a greater awareness of your B2B brand among the elusive millennial and female audiences. Your reach, however, can go far beyond your initial post. Both platforms offer the potential for cumulative exposure every time media is ‘pinned’, ‘liked,’ or ‘regrammed.’ And with Pinterest and Instagram relatively new to the social media advertising space (less than one and two years, respectively), organic reach is still king. Incorporating relevant topics into your visual content can help extend your organic reach even further to get in front of new audiences. For example, commercial real estate firm CBRE shares photos of the art, science, and technology behind iconic buildings to increase brand affinity and reach new audiences on Instagram.

Showcase company culture. 

As more millennials enter the workforce, the B2B sales cycle is evolving. Now more than ever, research and communications are being conducted online, forcing brands to change how they interact with their customers and prospects. A recent survey of B2B buyers revealed that millennials expect direct, collaborative communication with vendors, and put the experience of conducting business with a vendor over their industry expertise. Showcasing your company culture through visual content on Pinterest and Instagram can help your B2B brand connect and solidify relationships with these social savvy millennials. In addition to photos and videos, sharing brief business insights, quick tips, and other easy-to-digest content on Pinterest and Instagram can demonstrate your company’s culture and dedication to your customers’ needs and interests.

Digital media makes up the bulk of what people interact with daily, and companies must quickly adapt to the available platforms in order to reach an expansive network of potential buyers. Smart, creative B2B social media strategies on Pinterest and Instagram can give you a competitive edge when targeting hard-to-reach audiences, helping to build awareness and affinity for your brand.

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