How Can B2B Companies Use Instagram – Strategy & Tips
With over 400 million active users, Instagram is now one of the most popular social media platforms for sharing visual based content. However, when it comes to using B2B Instagram, many businesses struggle with how to position themselves. This is especially true when it comes to visual content.
We caught up with Dan Lewis, founder of Digital Profile to ask how B2B businesses can start building their audience on Instagram and get some practical “How-To’s”.
Here is our chat with Dan.
Spectrum: Instagram is all about amazing visuals and aspirational lifestyles, many B2B businesses are too boring for Instagram right?
Dan Lewis: Ah ok, we’re starting tough. [laughs]
Well, my answer to this is always no.
It’s important to understand that every industry is interesting in its own right. No matter what products or services your business provides, you will find a group of people who are interested in you, or possibly even excited by what you do.
Even in the most niche of industries, you find that there is an incredibly vocal and loyal following that constantly engage and interact with the content businesses put out.
There are so many great examples out there already of B2B businesses that are not traditionally considered ‘fun’, that are posting fantastic Instagram content and building incredible followings.
I’ll give you a couple of examples.
You might not think that rented office space as massively interesting to Instagram.
But go and look at WeWork. Close to 80K followers and massive engagement on every picture they post. They do this by showing off their customer successes and feature the businesses that use their office space, to inspire others.
Banking is also traditionally viewed as not the most ‘fun’ of industries, but take a look at Wells Fargo. Through covering a wide variety of topics such as current events, quotes, fun facts and actual financial tips they have created a buzzing following of 20K+ people.
It just goes to show, that it doesn’t matter what your business does, it’s how you tell its story that is the most important.
Spectrum: So where should a B2B business start with their Instagram journey?
Dan Lewis: Before you rush to grab your account and start posting, I believe it’s important to start with your ‘why’.
Without really knowing why you are using Instagram, you could just end up posting a load of images, see little engagement and then abandon it.
You need to consider what Instagram will allow you to do that other platforms don’t? Who your target audience is and which members of your target audience are active on Instagram?
You also need to consider and identify what you want to achieve with your Instagram content.
Do you want to show what people can do with your product/service? Have you got a great company culture and what to showcase your team to help recruit new talent? Or simply increase your brand awareness?
All of those are great goals, and they may or may not work for you. So spend some time really thinking what you want to get from your Instagram.
Then think about what you are going to showcase in your Instagram posts. Look at your goals and determine what aspects of your business you are going to showcase in your content.
This will give you some specific content themes. Once you have these, you’ll find that it’s easy to come up with loads of ideas for videos and images that you could create and share.
At Digital Profile, as we are start-up that is looking to disrupt the massively competitive recruitment industry, all our content on Instagram is focused on people who would get most benefit from our product.
We work with creative and digital agencies and people working in the sector, so our posts showcase great design, the creative studios we are lucky to work in and places we are being featured that digital and creative agencies would recognise.
Spectrum: Can you recommend some useful practices that B2B companies can use to grow their Instagram following?
Dan Lewis: Absolutely.
So first up I would say to not forget to get involved.
Especially in businesses, it’s easy to spend so much time thinking how to ‘do’ social that you forget to ‘be’ social.
Instagram is fantastic community and you’ll find people and things that are interesting to you. So make sure you like photos and talk to people who you find interesting. As a B2B business you will have customers who are already using Instagram. Follow them and engage with their content, it’s a great way to create stronger customer relationships.
Make the most of the link in your bio.
If you’ve not used Instagram before, you can only add one link in your profile. This is in your profile bio.
I would suggest you use this regularly to showcase things like a specific product/service or an event, and post content that is relevant to this. You can highlight this further with some emoji’s pointing at it. Sounds simple, but it works.
We used this to great effect with Digital Profile.
We were featured on Product Hunt and used our Instagram bio link to take people to our page on their website, to help us get up-voted. The more you get up-voted, the higher up their rankings you come.
For us, being featured on Product Hunt was really important for user growth. Using the link in our Instagram bio we were able to get up-voted enough that we stayed in their top 10 listing for a whole day. This resulted in 200+ signups and a 644% increase in traffic just on that day. For us this was hugely significant in helping our growth.
You also want to think about your keywords.
Just as you do with your website when working on SEO, it’s really important to identify the most important keyword relating to your business on Instagram.
You can either use the search function on Instagram, or a tool like Keyhole to search hashtags related to your business. As a basic rule, I would look to identify 5-10 hashtags relating to your business in general and then around the same relating to each of the specific products or services you provide.
You want to know how often these hashtags are posted on Instagram and how relevant they are to each other.
Using these hashtags with your post will help to get your content in front of the people who will be most interested in what you do.
And finally, regramming can be really useful & extremely powerful.
If you want to showcase what others do with your product or service, or just have a day when you are stuck on something to post – try regramming photos that your customers have posted.
This is a great way to engage with your customers and it’s a great way to showcase what you can help people achieve. Regram their photos and be sure to write a great comment showcasing their company and how you are delighted to be working with them.
Thank you Dan for sharing!
Digital Profile helps match digital professionals to jobs. By creating your forever free Digital Profile and telling us what you’re great at, we’ll show you jobs that are a good fit for your based on your skills and location.
Digital Profile was shortlisted for the Estnet, Sir Michael Moritz Startup Award 2016.