800 million monthly active users! 70% of U.S. businesses on the platform! What are you waiting for?
Whether you’re starting an account for the first time or shaking the cobwebs off your existing profile, there’s never been a better time for B2B small businesses to leverage Instagram.
Sure, countless B2B’s have dismissed the platform as too lifestyle-focused, citing the plethora of dog videos, selfies, and pictures of trendy brunch spots.
But Instagram has a professional side, too.70.7% of businesses in this country are active on Instagram, spanning industry, personality, and target audience.
The beauty in a social network 800 million strong is that there’s truly something for everybody, and a pretty solid chance that your target market is waiting to engage with your content.
As a B2B business owner, the question shouldn’t be if my B2B brand should be leveraging the platform, it’s how?
8 great tips for B2B SMBs on how to use Instagram
So since I keep getting asked how to use Instagram to support B2B, here are eight great tactics you can put to work today with very little sweat or expense.
After all, anybody with an iPhone can do at least some of these on the cheap!
1) Create campaigns around events.
Going to a big trade show? Put together a fun (and photogenic) activity and create a catchy hashtag. Encourage attendees to take pictures at your game, photobooth, or scavenger hunt, and incentivize them to post pictures and hashtag accordingly. This will not only be a great icebreaker for a small business fighting for attention, but an ideal way to expose your company to hundreds of new professional networks.
Where would you be without your clients and partners? Highlight their successes and, in turn, highlight your own. Don’t be afraid to name-drop if you’re working with an impressive client. If your business doesn’t interact with end-customers but your partners do, this can also be a great opportunity to…
3) Showcase your products through people
This can be harder to conceptualize with a B2B brand, but think about how your product or business impacts others. No one wants to see a picture of your obscure hardware component—they want to see how that piece of hardware can improve their lives or the lives of their clients. Highlight the human elements of your business with smiling, happy faces.
4) Reach out to influencers
Have impressive contacts in your niche industry? Reach out to them and see if you can get them to write, amplify, or repost content on your behalf. Even a comment or a like from an industry leader will do wonders for your business' reputation.
5) Sponsor some posts
Not gaining traction naturally? There’s no shame in sponsoring some content. Whether you like it or not, Instagram has some pretty detailed and powerful metrics on its users. As a business owner, you can leverage these metrics by targeting certain demographics and locations.
6) Put some personality into it
The great thing about running a small company is that you’re in control of how to portray the brand. Post a picture from your first day in business, highlight one of your star employees, snap a photo of the office dog. As long as it fits aesthetically with the rest of your profile, give it a shot! These experiments will give you insights into what’s working and what isn’t, and allow you to craft an in-depth social media strategy based on the successes.
7) Know the rules (and use them!)
Make sure you know the infrastructure of the platform. Remember that links don’t work within captions, but do work in your bio — so use that bio strategically. Study up on the best times to post throughout the week, (hint: steer clear of Sunday) and learn some photography basics.
8) Stay engaged
Instagram is only as powerful as you make it. Signing up for an account doesn’t guarantee overnight success. If you want to drive results through Instagram, you’re going to have to work for it. The platform can lead to some great contacts, but make sure to nurture those new relationships. Engaging with commenters, posting frequently, and delivering great content will ensure that your followers become clients, and that they stick around for the long haul.
Makes sense, right? Low effort, high reward. Don't expect stupendous results overnight, but who knows? Maybe you'll make some Insta-magic. All it takes is the right dog.