While Instagram, a visual medium, is seen as a B2C (business to customer) friendly social media platform, it is also an overlooked tool for B2B brand management. Sure, leveraging a social site that focuses on visuals can be challenging when it comes to offering services but plenty of B2B organizations today are successfully using Instagram for user engagement and brand management. While it might not be suitable for all B2Bs, you can make Instagram work for your brand management with some creative thinking. Since Instagram is currently listed as one of the top 10 social networks, it’s worth exploring as a marketing tool.
The following tips will help you maximize your B2B Instagram potential and help your brand management:
• Take High Quality, Compelling pictures
Whatever you do, don’t post low quality images (dark, grainy, out of focus). Make sure that whoever is in charge of the company Instagram account knows how to take great photos and how to edit them, if necessary. Remember, anyone can take a basic picture, but it’s the most creative and artistic photos that get the most visibility. There’s also a wealth of information on the web that can help you with anything from basic composition to complex photo editing (and a lot of the online photo editing software is free). Even smartphones come standard with great photo editing software.
• The Main B2B Instagram Objective
The main objective for brand management on Instagram is not to generate leads or sales; the objective is to create brand awareness and engagement. Instagram may not dramatically increase your website or blog traffic, but it is a massive social venue that allows you to publish a visual brand experience. You are also sharing your company’s culture and letting users know just how marketing-savvy your company is.
• Promote Your Company’s Culture
If your business goes on team outings, volunteers or attends industry events, Instagram is the perfect place to post images of all the fun, excitement and team spirit. This is a great way to display your brand’s human side and show how you support the community. Instagram users want to see the personal side of a business, not just a dry company write-up on your website and an overload of self-promoting tweets. Show consumers who your company truly IS…this is a unique opportunity that other social media platforms just don’t offer. Each social media platform has its strong and weak attributes, but beyond that, they each have their own culture as well and it is important to abide by each platform’s norms.
• Get creative
Think outside of your services… Be creative and try to appeal to the company’s brand ideals and your clients. How do your customers really benefit from your service (s) and how does it fit with your brand values? Then, come up with photos that are intriguing, appealing and fun that suit your answers. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. Thinking outside of the box is a creative way to help out with brand management.
• Hold Giveaways/Contests
Hold special giveaways and contests and connect them with Instagram to start boosting engagement. Make the user experience interactive…have you heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge? I’m guessing you have; the ALS campaign got everyone involved with a do-able challenge that required you to, guess what? Involve more people! And the proof is in the pudding: throwing ice water over your head doesn’t have anything to do with ALS, the campaign was successful because of its overwhelming user involvement and engagement. You can promote your contest/giveaway/challenge on other social platforms as well; just make one of the contest requirements to like or comment on a photo. This tactic will not only increase engagement, it will also build upon your target audience and keep them coming back for more. If you attach your brand to a fun and engaging contest with a potential prize, you’re already helping your brand management.
• Use Instagram #Hashtag’s
Similar to Twitter, Instagram is a great place to take advantage of the SEO power of hashtags. Hashtags help people discover you because search options are limited to user name or hashtag. Using relevant hashtags frequently will help get your content seen, but don’t overdo it or it will look like spam and defeat the purpose of using them. You likely already have at least one or two hashtags associated with your brand, so if you can use another medium to broadcast that association, it will ultimately contribute to great brand management.
The bottom line is when it comes to Instagram you need to have high quality visuals that are compelling enough to make your audience truly want to connect with your brand and help your brand management. Come up with unique, fun and creative ways to share your brand through images and videos. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.