Instagram for b2b versus b2c

Instagram seems to be the social media channel that is on everyone’s lips. Since its acquisition by Facebook, everyone seems to be interested in how to use Instagram for their business and see if there is actual value that can be derived from it. At first glance, it appears that Instagram is easier to use for b2c companies rather than b2b companies. b2c companies have it easy- they can show off their products to their consumers who use Instagram on a personal level. b2c end users are more likely to see your brand on the channel, like your pictures and engage with your company.

And now our dilemma-Instagram for b2b presents a challenge for marketers. It’s not as easy to engage with other businesses, especially if they are only on Instagram just to have a presence on the network. However, something to remember that b2b companies are run by–gasp–actual people! And, those actual people sometimes act like consumers when they are operating on their personal Instagram accounts. Maybe these business owners are more likely to engage while signed into personal accounts as opposed to who ever is operating their business Instagram account–an assistant, a community manager, etc.

It’s a compelling thought and definitely worth investigating: target not only the business as your customer but also the business owner as a consumer.

So what should you show on your b2b Instagram account?

  • Your employees doing something hilarious. If you don’t have any hilarious employees, what are you doing? Kidding, but show your team and let some of your corporate personality shine through them.
  • Your warehouse. Show your customers where the magic happens.
  • How your company has grown. Do a before and after view your office before you expanded, updated, or moved offices.
  • Relevant pictures to what you are selling. This is pretty obvious. If you sell tires for commercial fleets, snap a pic of an outfitted fleet or show a pic of the open road from the driver’s seat.
  • Your logo in fun places. No one wants to see your boring old logo… keep it fun!

Make it interesting and experiment

It’s easy to get really boring as a b2b company. You can only upload pictures of your logo so many times before even YOU get tired of looking at it. You need to find a way to make it interesting and relevant to your customers. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different hashtags. Create a relevant hashtag and invite your followers or customers to participate along with you. It may be hard to engage customers- but don’t fret. Keep it interesting and engaging and the people of Instagram will reciprocate. Hashtags can also help you see if your customers are talking about you. You can search your companies name or your product to see if anyone is talking about you. Simply go to the ‘Explore’ tab on the app and type it in to see if anyone is tagging you in photos.

Another way to engage customers on Instagram is to change out the link on your profile. This link is clickable and it takes the user out of the app. This way, you are engaging the user and driving traffic to your site. You can hold promotions or let customers know about discounts in this way because you can change out this link as many times as you want. If you add a new photo, you can change the link back so that the link corresponds with the most recent photo. You can put a designated landing page in the link section to track conversions.

It goes without saying you should follow industry accounts and any competitors that are on Instagram. Engage with industry thought leaders, maybe you can get an industry hashtag going. Get your employees involved and make sure that your employees who have Instagram accounts are following you. Make sure that you have an Instagram button on your website so your customers can find you. Since Instagram was bought by Facebook, you know that it’s going to be relevant and around with consumers for a while.  Remember that even b2b customers are really just b2c users are heart. Don’t make an Instagram profile if you’re going to leave it dormant… that is a social media no-no. Lastly, you should have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to take risks! With any social media network, it’s growing and changing. Everyone is still trying to figure out what the value or Instagram is. Even if you cannot immediately see conversion or dollar signs through Instagram, there is definite value in brand recognition.

The Nitrogram Blog is a great source for Instagram for Businesses Tips
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