Instagram for Business to Business

By Catherine Cameron-Heldt, first appeared December 2014

You’ve heard the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.  Now-a-days, a picture is instagramIcon_400x400worth a thousand clicks, or at least we hope so!

Instagram is a tool, an app really, that allows B2B an additional resource to capture the user’s attention as well as build an additional social network. Let’s break it down into three areas.

Photo Sharing:

All you need is your phone (Droid or IOS) and the app to take pictures and add filters and frames — if you would like.  These pictures can then be easily posted directly to your company or personal Instagram account from your phone.  These pictures can also be posted directly to your other social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Flickr.  With some additional programming, your pictures can post on your blog.

According to Totems.com, the most popular B2B Instagram accounts typically are NASA, Adobe, GE and Intel.

Once a picture is posted to your Instagram account, viewers can then like and comment on it.  Engagement is further enhanced by the use of hashtags.  Please keep in mind that research consistently shows that engagement wanes after 5 hashtags.   Just like other social networks, you can have followers on your Instagram account. People can follow you directly and they can find you through your use of appropriate hashtags.

Video:

Instagram also allows you to post original video to your social channels as well. These 15-second videos are shot and edited on your camera. That means zero production costs! According to a blog from Lois Paul and Partners, some of the benefits of video for Instagram:

  • If you can explain a technology or product in 15 seconds, you have the viewer’s attention.
  • Be helpful. B2B buyers and end users live by user manuals and technology guides.
  • Instagram video allows you to show some personality/show how your product can make a difference.
  • Be relatable. Utilize a variety of people in your organization to report on the happenings “back stage”.
  • Focus on your customers. Consider a 15-second interview with a happy customer to drive engagement.  Then post this testimonial on your other social channels.

Ways to Use Instagram:

Posting pictures and video of your product is not the only or even ideal way to use Instagram.  Ways to use it include:

  • Humanize your company – perhaps post pictures and videos of employees performing   community projects, the company softball team or summer/holiday events. IBM does a nice job of this featuring the IBM Food truck as it travels around the country.
  • Recruitment and special events – before, during and after the event post to generate excitement and interest.
  • Customers – again, pictures or videos of happy customers are great testimonials!
  • Utilize hashtags – use hashtags for conferences such as Gartner does with #gartnersym.
  • Engagement – keep in mind that engagement depends on the relevancy of the message, interest and timing.

To get started on Instagram, go to your app store on your phone and download the app. Additional information will be found in the Help section, including  Instagram for Business.

About Catherine Cameron-Heldt

Catherine worked as marketing and communications coordinator for an IT consulting firm. She ran their social media, wrote the newsletter and press releases, was responsible for a variety of special events, and secured and oversaw the co-marketing programs. She is also a proud graduate of the Profitecture Social Media Bootcamp. Catherine has an M.Ed and extensive experience in Higher Education as a career advisor. She utilizes her experience from higher education to make her an effective coach. As a stereotypical “people person”, Catherine is known for making connections with people in the community both on and offline. When not tweeting, you can find her spending time with her young adult boys, kayaking, traveling, blogging or looking for new adventures.