There’s no way to deny the popularity of Instagram. Purchased by Facebook back in 2012, this increasingly pervasive mobile social network and photo sharing app now boasts over 700 million monthly users and 400+ million daily users. Interestingly, IG has also been dubbed by Forrester as the best social media platform for engagement, beating out traditional B2B social media mainstays LinkedIn and Twitter.
A quick and easy social outlet for creatives, Instagram is about visually connecting with your customers and prospects through photos or short 15-second videos. Alright, alright, I can hear the skeptics… sure, a visual platform works well for B2C companies like retailers, travel companies and restaurants. But what does my (fill in the blank _________) manufacturing, accounting, technology business have to share or show?
Well, the answer is: plenty.
First, remember that even though you’re representing a B2B company, people do business with people, not businesses. Instagram can help you reach your people by humanizing your company and providing a relatable route to connecting with your customers. In fact, Instagram reports that over half of its users follow at least one business. And in March 2017 alone, over 120 million Instagrammers visited a website, got directions, called, emailed, or direct messaged a company to learn more about the business based on an Instagram ad.
That being said, there are some simple ways you can use Instagram to enhance your company’s digital presence. Not sure where to get started? Let’s look at three ways B2Bs can incorporate Instagram into their social media strategy:
Building Brand Awareness and Communicating Your Company Culture
As a B2B business leader, your success is dependent not only on your strong relationships with your customers, prospects, partners and community but also on the environment you cultivate for your employees. Finding a creative way to highlight the personal side of your brand will allow you to connect with your followers on a human level. Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Showcase your company’s culture by getting your employees involved. Post photos of them at the office or participating in activities outside of work (volunteering, teaching or even showing off a favorite grill recipe in their backyard!) Introducing your employees to your social audience gives your business a human touch that so many B2B companies outwardly lack.
- Visually share your company history, for example, when you celebrate milestones or a success story. Consider using #tbt (or #ThrowbackThursday) to share older images of your business that provide more context to these company wins.
- Get your customers on board and create a short video of them working with your team at their location or socializing at a customer appreciation outing.
- Tell the stories that show how your business operates and what makes it special. Highlight the deep bench of experience, education and expertise your employees have!
Promoting Your Events
Attending a tradeshow or hosting an event? Instagram users love an insider’s look at experiences in which your business takes part, making the platform a powerful tool to promote your event and boost visibility during the event. You can use IG to:
- Build buzz for your upcoming event! Showcase the city where the event is taking place; share pictures of landmarks, the event venue or the best place to grab a great cup of coffee.
- Create a hashtag for your event or share the event’s existing hashtag. Plus, encourage attendees to tag their own Instagram photos. According to Simply Measured, posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than those without them.
- Announce or profile your event’s keynote speakers or any notable attendees.
- Post often during the event. Show event attendees having fun and engaging with others to promote the event as a valuable networking experience.
- Share inspirational quotes relevant to the event or subject matter.
Here’s an example of how Oracle used Instagram to their advantage during the CIAB 2017 conference. Click the image below to open up the video post.
Need to cut through the clutter as you recruit for top talent? Paired with other social media channels like LinkedIn and Facebook, Instagram has claimed a spot as a powerful recruitment tool that can help you brand your organization and emphasize all the great parts of your company culture. Here are a few ways you can incorporate Instagram as part of your overall recruitment strategy:
- Show potential candidates why your business is such a great place to work. Post pictures or videos of company outings, office birthdays or employees participating in team building or charity events.
- Share pictures of employees outside of work, which is especially powerful when it comes to demonstrating the way your business values a healthy work-life balance.
- Show the day-to-day life of your company, employees going about their daily tasks, the office ping pong tournament or team pushups before lunch to stay in shape (like HubSpot does below!)
Need more inspiration? Here are a few examples of some of my favorite B2B companies rocking Instagram by building brand awareness, promoting events and recruiting. Feel free to check them out!
Have questions about which social media channels are right for your business? Want some advice on how to get started with Instagram? Leave a comment below, or reach out to our team!