When was the last time you used social media in a personal capacity? Considering Facebook, still the world’s most popular social media network worldwide, has roughly 2.8 billion monthly active users, there’s a good chance it wasn’t too long ago!
Brands operating in the B2B environment have traditionally been much slower to adopt social media as part of a core comms strategy than their B2C counterparts. However, considering that the next generation of procurement specialists, product developers and brand owners are growing up digitally native, the need for a cohesive and amplified social media voice is higher than ever.
When you scroll through social media, what is it that tends to capture your attention? For most people, it certainly won’t be the 280 characters of text or the endless list of related hashtags, it will be the imagery. After all, sight is the most immediately impactful sense we possess – there’s no reason that digital presence should be any different.
Considering the strong potential of user-generated content and attractive lifestyle imagery, the B2C world has certainly benefitted from the power of graphics, however that’s not to say that B2B brands can’t reap the same benefits. In this blog, we highlight five reasons why impactful social media imagery is not just important for B2B brands, it’s becoming essential.
1. Stand out in a crowded social media feed
On Facebook there are 300 million images uploaded every single day and on Instagram there are approximately 995 posts per second, so what can make your brand stand out?
Your posts are your argument for why a potential customer should stop and find out what you have to offer. Why should decision makers stop scrolling, let alone consider your brand as a potential partner?
Social media imagery is a great way to stand out in a busy social media feed, but bland generic images just won’t cut it, especially on platforms like Instagram where high-quality imagery is key to success.
Twitter Business itself says that the use of boring stock images is one of the biggest mistakes they see brands making and they recommend creating original images. This is a great tip for all social media platforms, however we understand that it can be difficult to source original images, especially in the B2B world physical products may not be available or particularly photogenic, or could be considered ‘dull’ by users. Templates, featuring the brand logo, are another great way to help stand out on social media. Relatively simple to produce, a template provides consistent brand identity, saves time on asset creation and maintains tone – all at a glance.
2. Improve brand image and identity
Forget the tangibles such as a cutting-edge HQ, leading manufacturing facilities or stockholding. The single most valuable asset a business has is its image and its identity. Physical assets can improve service or capabilities, but it’s the identity, and the intangibles associated with it, that draw in potential customers or clients.
Your brand identify is attached to its equity, the value customers place on it that distinguishes your business from its competition and keeps you front-of-mind when it comes to placing that next order.
Keeping this consistency on social media is just as important as it is offline through onboarding or aftersales care. The templates we previously mentioned are the perfect way to do this. When you think of distinctive brands, one of the first that comes to mind is Coca-Cola.
Looking through Coke’s social media feed you can see that everything is consistently branded and instantly recognisable as Coca Cola corporate communications. Even less well-known brands have their own distinct identity. Social media is an effective carrier, not only helping to shape and refine brand identity, but amplifying it to reach new potential customers.
3. Build trust
When you’re making a purchase, do you check the company’s social media feed to help make your decision? If you do, you’re in the majority. According to IDC, 84% of CEOs and VPs use social media to make purchasing decisions and over half of B2B buyers or procurement officers actively search for product or brand information on social media (Biznology).
We naturally learn by seeing and doing, and they say that a picture says a thousand words. If your business has poor quality images that aren’t correctly sized or are inconsistent throughout, you’re distilling and neutering one of your most valuable sales assets.
High quality, consistent images help build trust with existing and potential clients as they will be able to see the quality your business has to offer and the attention to detail. It’s just like inbound sales emails – if they’re littered with typos and errors, we’re far less likely to trust the individual or the company they represent.
It’s especially useful if the content itself is engaging! Good imagery, while important, is not the only thing needed to build trust. Sharing industry news articles and insightful posts add value to your followers, position your business as a knowledgeable source of industry information, and will help build long term loyalty.
4. Signal boost and generate awareness
Nobody wants to share poor imagery on social media, no matter how good the text is.
Engagement, on the scale available on social media platforms, is a natural awareness driver as people continue to share posts. However, the use of an image on its own isn’t enough to see the true benefits of a cohesive social media campaign; the wider communications strategy, tone and iconography need to play a role too.
Using original imagery or templates gives a much higher quality perception than boring stock images and is more likely to encourage potential customers or stakeholders to start a conversation or share, especially with an engaging call to action (CTA).
The ultimate aim of social media can vary from one brand to another, but most will aim to increase brand awareness, generate leads or start conversation. High-quality imagery is the perfect start on your journey to social media success!
5. Generate more leads
In the age of information, new business leads in B2B are increasingly coming from digital sources. Whether that’s a dedicated SEO programme boosting a brand website up the search engine rankings, or a targeted social media campaign designed to reach a particular demographic with pinpoint accuracy.
Historically, social media is thought of as an awareness driver rather than a solid lead generation tool. But sales leads can certainly come from social media in the B2B world as long as the three prongs of content, imagery and CTA are successful, and designed around a focused audience profile!
Having one without the other isn’t enough, and imagery is definitely one of the most important aspects. With a good CTA on your image you can direct potential leads to an email address, encourage them to follow a link or even engage with your posts to get the brand message ahead of your peers. This tends to be quick to execute but can have a large impact if done well.
Ask yourself – would you engage with a company on social media if they had a blurry image and a line of text that didn’t tell you anything you wanted to know? Chances are you wouldn’t – the same is true of potential customers. So, transforming your social media pages and taking an image-led approach can be the first step and catalyst to generating business!
Looking to deliver more from your social media strategy? Speak to our team!
We understand that running a successful, campaign-led social media account that maintains voice and tone while engaging a potential B2B audience can be time and resource-intensive, even for dedicated in-house marketing teams.
At PHD Marketing, we work with a diverse and exciting range of B2B clients around the world, bringing campaigns to life, inspiring audiences and providing real-time data and metrics as part of our standard reporting procedures.
Could your brand be the next business we take to new social media marketing heights? Discover our full end to end marketing & communications support, assisting with all content requirements from traditional and digital PR and blogs, through to long-term email campaigns and social media development.
Many marketing partners claim to get ‘under the skin’ of a business in order to represent it. At PHD, we walk the walk too. By focusing on the shifting and evolving needs of suppliers in today’s complex B2B multichannel environment, we understand the complex DNA of our clients’ businesses and the commercial value of both short and long-term strategy.
Sound interesting? Give our friendly team a call (+44 (0) 1977 708643) or email [email protected]. We’d be delighted to talk to you about the benefits of working with us!