Instagram for Business: Why and How?

Fashion models, travel bloggers, consumer brands, and … B2B?

You might be wondering, “What could these possibly have in common?”

The answer?

Instagram.

While Instagram may not seem like a useful tool for B2B at first glance, it is an increasingly popular and important tool to include in a well-rounded social media strategy. It allows you to share photos and videos about your company and what you offer while telling your story and putting a personal touch on your brand. If you’re wondering if Instagram is right for you, keep reading.

 


Why Instagram?

At first glance, you might wonder if you even have an audience on Instagram. With over 800 million monthly active users, it’s safe to say that you do. Instagram offers the ultimate platform for visual storytelling.

You can promote new products or services, use branded and relevant hashtags, and share your own visual content as well as user-generated content. Visual content allows your viewers to digest everything you post quicker and easier. Photos, videos, and motion graphics are a lot more attention-grabbing than a chunk of text.

Most importantly, Instagram allows you to give your brand a personality, something for customers to connect to. It allows you to engage with viewers on a more personal level and create mutual interest.

 


How can you be found?

Some of the best ways to be discoverable are by using relevant and branded hashtags, geotagging your location, and sharing your Instagram posts. This allows for the ultimate user engagement and for organic growth.

Using relevant hashtags like #b2bmarketing and #leadgeneration will place you in the B2B niche where your audience exists. Using branded hashtags like #hipb2b or #yourbrandhere will allow users to see anything you’ve posted with the assigned hashtag.

Geotagging allows users to see anything that has been geotagged at your location, which can include your own posts or user-generated posts. Both branded hashtags and geotagging create a window to look in on your brand.

Both of these things are great but what can make them better? Sharing.

 


What should you post?

If you have a blog and an Instagram, the best thing you can do for yourself is promote your blog posts. Create a graphic or use a photo for each blog post and then use the same graphic on Instagram.

Share content from other B2B brands Instagram accounts. Try to keep it relevant and consistent with your current content. This allows you to engage with other B2B brands and in-turn gain more leads.

User-Generated Content

User-generated content is an essential and authentic way to enhance your Instagram account. It offers the opportunity to make your customer the focus and not just your brand. It’s a good way to use graphics and imagery that aren’t just from a stock photography site. It also adds a human touch to a feed that could otherwise look bland and dispassionate.

Company Culture

By showcasing company culture, you’re giving your brand’s Instagram a personal touch. It reminds viewers that you aren’t just a company, you’re a body of people out there to succeed in the B2B marketing world. Some things you can share are employee profiles and office workspaces. Personally, I love seeing a company that can tell me what one of their employee’s favorite TV show or where they grew up is.

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are a good way to promote a specific event or highlight a product release while including call-to-actions. Stories make your brand look active and time-sensitive, which in turn shows awareness and consideration. You also can use Story Highlights to group together photos or videos with a common theme. Check out this extremely interesting article titled, How to Generate B2B Leads with Instagram Stories.

Other Forms of Shareable Content

If you’re really stuck for content, share a motivational post or an interesting statistic. At the end of the day, this sort of content works for most viewers. One way to create fun content from scratch is by using a graphic design app, such as Canva or Adobe Spark. It creates the perfect platform for you to get started on totally custom content.

 


What are your business tool options?

First, set up your user profile. On your user profile, you can include a well-thought-out biography, as well as multiple call-to-actions in the form of buttons (your options are Call, Email, and Directions), a link, and a @ or # which become live links.

Advertising

Instagram advertising offers the opportunity to set up, run and track campaigns directly from the app. If you’re familiar with Facebook advertising, you’ll feel at ease setting up an Instagram ad. You can also target specific niches within your audience, just like Facebook. You can even link your business page and your Instagram account.

Insights

Insights is Instagram’s built-in analytics tool and my personal favorite of all the business tools. They use their data collected during the current week and compare it to the week before. The analytics include:

Activity

  • Interactions: These include the total taps on your posts or profile made during the current week, including website clicks
  • Discovery: Includes a number of accounts reached during the current week and number of “impressions” made

Content

  • Posts and Stories: Number of posts made during the current week and ordered by number of times they were seen
  • Promotions: Shows the number of actions, as well as the number of people reached (including impressions and engagement), plus the audience (including gender, age range, and top locations)

Audience

  • Followers: Shows the number of followers, their gender, their age range, and their top locations
  • Hours and Days: Shows the average times your followers are on Instagram on a typical day and the days of the week when your followers are most active

 


How can you overcome Instagram obstacles?

The keys to being successful on Instagram include being proactive, engaged, and consistent. Your followers want to see that you’re active, interesting, and that you can follow through with your Instagram marketing strategy. Engaging with your followers can make you more visible on Instagram, as Instagram’s algorithm appreciates participation on all sides. Invest the time but as with anything, don’t expect instant results.

Being creative and using quality posts is another important key, although it’s a given. It may be easy to think that your content won’t sync with the rest of Instagram but with the 800m+ active users, you’ll find users who want to follow your posts. You may have to get creative but creativity is the key to sticking out in such a large sea of fellow users.

 


How can you get started?

Download the Instagram app. Create an account and wisely choose a username (usernames can be changed at any time.)

Optimize your profile to include an interesting and informative bio, profile photo, URL, and call-to-actions.

In your profile, you can select “Try Instagram Business Tools” and follow the self-guided steps to become a Business account.

If you have one, link your business Facebook page. Decide what your target audience is, follow relevant brands and other accounts, compile a good and effective list of hashtags, and start posting.

Follow and engage with other users, get your name out there, and tell your stories.

Visuals are one of the main components of a strong social media campaign. You can’t go wrong by including Instagram in your everyday strategy.

Create great content and relationships all in one go, while increasing your engagement. Build your brands story and define your purpose on a less saturated and less competitive platform. Analyze your success to increase your visibility and help further grow your brand.

 


Let us know what you think: 

  • Do you think Instagram is right for your business?
  • Can you see Instagram becoming a profitable marketing platform for you?
  • Any doubts?
  • Favorite features?

 

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