Although dominated by B2C brands, Instagram has many business-oriented brands that are successfully engaging with prospects.
I often come across B2B organizations that have a limited or non-existent Instagram presence. These organizations often focus on engaging with prospective business customers via LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
However, with over 300 million users, Instagram can be an effective tool to build relationships with B2B customers.
How to use Instagram to attract B2B customers
Establish Your Brand’s Story
Since Instagram is a visual social network, use the platform to tell a story. Simply posting product photos is actually counter-productive. An Instagram user will easily spot blaring advertisements and speed past your image while scrolling through their photo feed. Use Instagram to connect users to your brand story
It’s easy to connect consumers with your product but extremely difficult to convey your brand’s story.
American Express does a nice job of establishing its brand story by having Instagram users experience life through the lens of an American Express card holder.
Hashtags are a great way to increase awareness of your company. By using hashtags, you can establish a marketing trend that prospective B2B buyers can follow.
Intel does a great job at teasing its followers to increase hashtag engagement…
Use hashtags consistently to trend for your marketing efforts but avoid going overboard with the number of hashtags you include in your post.
Unlike personal accounts that can include excessive (and very creative) hashtags, it’s best to limit the hashtag usage to avoid being perceived as being spammy.
Provide Demos & Tutorials
This is a great way to provide service to existing customers as well as showcase the features of your product or service. Once an Instagram follower sees how easy it is to use your product, you’re one step closer to making them a customer.
Check out this tutorial by Sprout Social. They are showing users how to filter tweets by language:
Share Company News
Sharing good news about your brand is a great way to establish a positive brand perception.
Since Instagram is a visual social network, be sure to develop a nice graphic to tout your brand.
Here’s an example from Salesforce:
Promote Thought Leadership
You can use Instagram to attract b2b customers by posting thought provoking quotes from your organization’s leadership.
Naturally, prospective customers want to do business with a brand that is a market leader. These Instagram quotes will help establish your vision for customers to follow.
Here’s an example:
Promote Your Events
Event marketing is a great way to introduce customers to your brand. All the various elements will come together to provide them with an experience that will hopefully make a lasting impression.
You can use Instagram to attract b2b customers by showcasing your event on the social network.
It also is a great way to build interest in the event before, during and after execution.
Or in the case of VMWare, just connecting your brand with a particular event can increase awareness from event attendees and advocates.
Show Employee Engagement
As the old adage goes: people do business with people they know and like.
Showcasing your employee engagement will foster relationships with potential customers. In essence, what an organization allows and encourages their employees to do, tells you a great deal about them.
Perfect example, Hootsuite:
An organization that wants to attract B2B customers should use Instagram to tell its brand story in a creative way.
Developing campaigns that establish thought leadership, touts the organization, showcases employee engagements, promotes company events, and provides demonstrations and tutorials on Instagram will certainly attract B2B customers.