Instagram for the B2B company

By Allison Barwacz | Digital Media Content Producer

instagram-logoInstagram typically isn’t the first social media outlet a B2B company might consider using. To some, it makes more sense for B2C companies to use Instagram, where they can showcase their products to customers.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Think about what you use your personal accounts for: to relay messages, to promote causes or simply for fun. The same can be said for B2B accounts, as long as you follow these guidelines:

1. Choose a direction.

Give your Instagram a purpose. It can go in any direction, from promoting your business to growing your audience to racking up website page views. Consider your audience: Is it customers, clients, partners, prospective employees or a mixture? An article on Outbound Engine mentions six strategies for building a B2B presence on Instagram: brand awareness, relationship building, recruitment, public perception, brand affinity and reaching new and current audiences. Choose a direction based on what your company has to offer and what your company ultimately needs.

2. Post appropriately.

This seems like a given, but there’s always someone that needs a reminder. Keep your photos PG, and follow your company’s established social media guidelines.

3. Post consistently.

Post at least once a day on your Instagram account, especially if you’re starting out with a limited number of followers.

“Social media analytics tool Quintly analyzed over 5,000 profiles in early 2015 to learn that the average Instagram account posts once per day,” said Courtney Seiter in an article on Buffer. “Accounts with the highest number of fans tend to post a bit more than that — up to two or three photos per day on average. This data might allow us to say that ‘more successful’ accounts tend to post with a higher frequency.”

4. Use relevant hashtags, and create a company hashtag.

When posting, be sure to use hashtags; however, don’t go hashtag crazy (I’d limit it to five hashtags, tops). When you’re typing a hashtag in your post, Instagram will automatically tell you how many users have used that particular hashtag. Use the ones with the highest numbers, and be sure to test out variations of certain words (for example, type in “#cat” and “#cats” to see which hashtag is more popular) in order to gain the most traction.

Also, create a company hashtag. Tell your co-workers to use it when they’re posting photos from, say, your company holiday party… or not (refer to guideline No. 2). Use it on all of your posts on the company account. It’ll help personalize your brand and help identify your company in the Instagram world.

4. Update your bio URL.

If you’re like North Coast Media and plan to share blog posts on your Instagram, don’t forget to update your bio URL. It’s how readers will find your articles, and it’s how readers will find your site. Links placed within posts on Instagram are not live and won’t direct as much traffic as the one in your bio.

5. Be fun and creative!

Use your Instagram as an opportunity to showcase the fun side of your company. Connect fun holidays with events going on at your company. Be personable, be relatable. FedEx is a perfect example of a B2B company using its Instagram to show its quirky, fun side. Think FedEx is all about delivering packages? This cat in a box says otherwise.

This box is pawesome. #NationalCatDay

A photo posted by FedEx (@fedex) on

Using Instagram for your B2B company can be challenging, but it’s a tool that’s growing exponentially in the B2B world. There’s no risk in starting an account, as long as you follow the guidelines above. And remember: Even if it doesn’t take off immediately, it’s some of the most fun you’ll have on social media.