As marketing actions shift from outbound to inbound, companies are falling over themselves to get on board with the latest social media sites. The number of social sites out there is continually increasing, and a lot of SMEs are still wondering why they need to use social media, never mind controlling 6 or 7 accounts at a time.
But do you really need to have a presence on all social sites? Probably not.
So is there a place for B2B companies on a platform such as Vine or Instagram Video?
Vine and Instagram Video are the new kids on the block, and as usual, brands set up an account to get their message seen, no matter what the results. There have been a number of brilliant and successful Vine and Insta Vids, but there have also been some terrible attempts.
Here at Wired Marketing, we sell email marketing solutions, so we haven't seen a need for an Instagram or a Vine presence - just yet. Some people may say that we're missing out on another audience. But we would say a whitepaper would add more value to our clients and prospects than a 6-second Vine video. And of course, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn feature heavily in our social strategy. We feature our 'How To' videos on YouTube - simply because the videos are longer, and can include more information. But that's not to say that all B2B companies should avoid Vine and Insta Vid. You just need to choose wisely.
When it comes to social, you must have a social media presence where your buyer personas are.
B2C companies can use visual platforms, as that is where their buyer personas often are. Take retail for example. There is a place for a retailer on almost all of the large social sites. Look at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, Instagram or even Snapchat, and you'll see retailers left right and centre vying for their follower's attention. They have products that can be shown and used as part of videos. But you wouldn't see a retailer with a very strong presence on LinkedIn.
And how about B2B? The majority of B2B, and even some B2C companies, do not have a tangible product to sell, and as such it is harder to build an effective social media campaign. B2B companies will often take longer to build up a social following, simply because their audience is different, and the content they are posting is often not as visual. B2B companies are often dealing with decision makers and employees higher up the chain, and a professional platform, such as LinkedIn or Google+ will be more suitable.
It's better for brands to have a social presence and strategy on the correct sites, rather than having vague and lacklustre accounts that don't show the best of your brand. Remember: it's all about quality, not quantity.
B2B using short videos
That's not to say that some B2B companies aren't nailing Vine and Insta Video. The most popular B2B companies on Vine are General Electric, who mainly produce science themed videos to promote themselves as an innovative brand.
Lowes Home Improvement is also showcasing themselves as innovative Vine creators. They created a Vine campaign based on home improvement tips, and started using the hashtag #lowesfixinsix.
These brands have proved there is a place on Vine and Instagram Video for B2B - you just need to work out which of your personas will be using this platform, and how you can engage them.
If you're a B2B company in the same position, consider making the following types of Vine videos:
- Create a customer reference video including a selection of their logos (with their position of course)
- Create a short video of events, conferences and exhibitions
- Use short product demos, with the hashtag #demo
- Use short how to guides, with the hashtag #howto
- Unveil a product with a short announcement video
What's your experience of using short videos for your B2B company? I would love to hear your suggestions too.