How B2B Businesses Can Use Instagram

How B2B businesses can use Instagram

I frequently hear from B2B business owners that they want to use Instagram but they just don’t know how it translates to their businesses. They don’t necessarily have tangible products to sell which can be displayed on Instagram. They don’t think they have much visual content to share so they have instead focused on blogging and other content strategies to connect with their audiences.

While I completely understand this perspective, I also disagree with it. All businesses can display their information visually; by taking a different approach. Of course, these businesses still need to maintain their other content strategies, but they can effectively incorporate Instagram into their marketing as well.

Whether you’re a solopreneur or a large company, there are a variety of ways to use images and videos on Instagram to grow your audience, and your business.

Here are some ways in which B2B businesses can use Instagram.

Share Your Business Story

All businesses have a story to tell, whether it’s how you got started, why you do what you do, or what you plan to do. Share this through photos and videos!

You can use #tbt (“Throwback Thursday”) themes to share older images of your business journey and let your audience get a deeper look into your business.

If you have celebrated, and continue to celebrate, milestones along the way, share them with your audience. Celebrating record events, company anniversaries, new investments, initial launches, success stories, and other significant achievements is a great way to share your story visually.

Highlight the People in Your Business

As a B2B business, you are still all about people – the people in your company, the people in the companies you work with, and the eventual customers and people who benefit from your business. Finding unique and creative ways to highlight all these people will allow you to connect on a personal level with your audience.

Show your employees at work, in various work environments. When you celebrate milestones, photograph your employees celebrating. If your customer or end user is open to it, photograph them with you or your team after working with you.

If people have given you testimonials, convert these into short video clips (Instagram allows up to 15 second videos) and share these on your Instagram account.

If you hire new employees or have an employee of the month program, share these people and their stories on Instagram. Introduce them to your audience and grow the real relationships behind your business.

Go Behind-the-Scenes

One thing that people love is when you take them behind the scenes. Show them how your business runs.You’d be surprised how much visual content you can create by showing what you do everyday.

How do you come up with new ideas? Do you sit around a boardroom table? Do you take your computer to the park? Do you double down on coffee? Whatever it is, share this through images and tell people why you do it, how you do it, and even what you’re working on (if that’s permitted to be shared at the time).

What does your office space look like? Do you commute to work or work at home? Do you travel a lot? Is your office downtown or in the countryside? What does your office window view look like? Do you celebrate weird holidays (like “Wear brown shoes to work day”)? These are all fun, creative (and hugely successful) ways to share visual content about your business on Instagram.

Show Off Your Geographical Area(s)

Whether you are based in one city, or in multiple cities, you have tons of Instagram-rich content at your fingertips. If you travel for your business, you have even more great content to capture! People on Instagram love architecture and landscapes and new destinations. Take advantage of this by highlighting the places you visit on business travel.

If you’re based in one city, share the occasional image from around your area. Include interesting facts or information on how your business serves this area.

If you’re based in more than one city, you can create collages (third party apps make this easy) to show side by side comparisons of your locations. How are your offices different? How different do they look during different seasons of the year? You can also showcase local attractions and surroundings from each of the cities.

If you travel for your business, take a photo of each city you visit. Why are you there? What are you excited to see? If you travel to the same destination frequently, share a different attraction each time – create a visual travel blog about your business journey. Tell a story through your journey.

When using geographical locations in your content, use geo-tagging (adding the location) on the post to help with search information. Also make sure you use hashtags relevant to the city, location, or topic to ensure your post reaches more ideal customers and local people on Instagram.

Promote Your Educational Content

If you do write blog posts regularly or share other educational type content on your website, promote that on Instagram! White papers, ebooks, press releases, news coverage – all that information that makes you look good and shows what you know is great to share on Instagram. Let people know what you do and why you’re an industry leader.

I recommend you create a great graphic (that can easily be cropped to a square without losing relevant information) for the blog post. Otherwise share an image of the article or content on your computer screen or mobile device. Showing a press release pulled up on your tablet, with the tablet on your desk, beside your morning coffee and a notepad makes a creative, organic image that still shows the relevance of the press release to your audience.

Remember that you can’t put a clickable hyperlink in the post comments so you if you want people to go somewhere specific, put that link in your Instagram bio and tell people to go to your bio to access it. You can change the link in your bio back to your regular link after the post has reached its peak audience.

Promote What You Have To Sell

Obviously, you’re in business for a reason. You have something to sell. Whether it’s a service, a program, or a product to a distributor, you have something to promote. Just like all other platforms, Instagram is not a place to blatantly over promote your own products and services.

I don’t want to see you posting image after image of what you have to sell. But, you can definitely incorporate this content into your Instagram strategy.

If you launch a new program, create a great promo image to share on Instagram. If you have a product upgrade, announce it on Instagram. If you want to promote your service, share photos of you conducting that service for others and let your audience know you’re available for them too.

Just Keep It Visual!

In all the ways we looked at here, it’s important to remember to keep it visual. Instagram is about visually connecting with your audience. Find fun, unique, and creative ways to share your business through images and videos and you’ll be surprised at the results from your audience and customers.

Jenn Herman
This monthly Instagram column is contributed by Jenn Herman. Jenn is a social media strategist and Instagram advocate who writes a blog focused on understanding trends in social media management and how to use Instagram for business. Her goal is to see you succeed with social media marketing in order to boost your business. Jenn provides consulting and training for small to medium sized businesses that need to structure their social media strategies and goals. +Jenn Herman
Jenn Herman

@jenns_trends

Social Media & Instagram consultant & trainer. #8 Social Media Blog by Social Media Examiner. The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Instagram: http://t.co/EwR8ErtlQi
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Comments

  1. Brandon L says

    Interesting post. I think business owners really have to pic and choose which social platforms are best for their business and have to use their time efficiently. My opinion is that for most* B2B models to build a targeted instagram following at this point is extremely difficult due to lack of public info like you can gain about twitter or facebook followers. Also due to that most business owners/ CEOs don’t connect with your expert content through instagram. It is a place where people like to look at pictures of their friends and still one of the only popular places on the web that someone can have anonymity in posting fun things and not worrying about being p.c. I would be turned off if someone was trying to promote a white paper on instagram!?!

    It definitely depends on who your target market is though. for example if you are a business that targets restaurants then instagram makes sense for sure. Their social media people use instagram and therefore you might be able to build a relationship with them. I would really like to hear specific examples from this author or anyone else on how a B2B company actually landed a new client via instagram. It might be a way to stay top of mind and cut through the clutter of other networks, but is it worth the time is the real question. Open to criticism and comments here.

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