At first glance, social media platforms such as Instagram, Vine and Snapchat don’t seem to offer any benefit to B2B Companies looking for new ways to interact. It’s not like these companies friend each other and share stories about how great of a weekend they had. So do these new, “visual-based” social media platforms really show no promise for the B2B world? Not at all. A little while back I stumbled across an article by Andi Narvaez full of ways in which B2B companies can utilize Instagram in their social media strategies to improve the companies reach. These are all great, general ideas, but how can manufacturing companies utilize Instagram? That’s a good question, so I decided to offer some ideas on how manufacturing companies can do just that.
Wow clients with pictures
Some of the most fascinating aspects of the manufacturing industry are the machines and materials manufacturers use to create their products. So naturally, companies like to boast when they incorporate new and innovative materials into their product, or when they purchase a new machine that will open a whole new world of capabilities. This is all fine and dandy; but can words really express the texture and look of that material? No! Why not show them? Sure you could send out a mass email to the bundles of clients, or blog about it. But the beauty of Instagram is that you can put it out there and clients, and even potential clients, can see your companies technological advancements first hand for themselves, when and where they choose. And the boasting doesn’t have to stop there…
Talk the talk, walk the walk, and catch it all on camera
So maybe a still picture doesn’t do the companies new addition justice? Instagram offers a solution to that as well. Instagram video is about the easiest form of video production you can get. It allows you to shoot and edit a 15-second video right from your phone, and upload it to the “Instaverse” from virtually everywhere. So Instead of telling clients how cool and innovative your new machine is, or snagging a still picture of the machines good looks, why not show them what the machine does best? Capture the machine in action. Sell the machine’s capabilities to your clients by showing it in action without having to handout safety glasses and hardhats.
Generate Original Content, Generate Buzz
Another cool feature Instagram provides that manufacturing companies can take advantage of is the ability to add content generated in-house, to the companies Instagram feed. Maybe your company DID shoot a professional quality video and you want to deliver a teaser of sorts without having to edit a separate, short version. Instagram lets you do that. Maybe you’ve designed some info-graphics with information valuable to your client, throw it on Instagram for them to check out. If your company is attending an event, let your clients know. An email could suffice, but what if you offered a look at what they may find if they stop by your booth?
Interactivity isn’t for everyone or every company, but Instagram is great for interacting with clients. A post on Instagram is much less
formal than an email providing the opportunity for a bit more creativity and personality. Instagram also lends well to crowdsourcing Just because manufacturing companies don’t interact with consumers directly, that does not mean interacting with these consumers can’t be valuable. Ask them to grab pictures of product’s that they like and why. Maybe it’s packaging, maybe it’s the product itself. Instagram is a great way to conduct some informal, primary research that may just spark that next great idea.
“Creativity Can Solve Anything”
Just because it’s out of the ordinary, or not necessarily similar to most B2B marketing tools, Instagram can serve as a valuable asset to your company’s social media strategy. It just depends on how you use it. B2B companies interact with clients on a daily basis, same stuff – different day. Companies shouldn’t abandon the methods that have proven successful, but seek to improve upon those methods. Instagram can help.