In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram (a startup with 13 employees and no revenue) for $1 billion. While Facebook users were losing interest, Instagram users were falling in love, and this shift in influence did not go unnoticed. Mark Zuckerberg predicted a bright future for Instagram, and he has yet to be proven wrong.
Instagram is a sleek photo-sharing social media platform that allows users to crop, filter, and share photos in real-time with friends, family, and the Instagram community. Anyone can edit and post content from the comfort of their own mobile device. According to Instagram.com, 200 million people actively use the platform every month and 60 million photos are posted every day.
While B2C companies were eager to jump on the bandwagon and promote their products with dazzling or clever images, B2B companies are quickly making up lost ground. Big names like NASA, Adobe, GE, Mailchimp, and Intel have thousands of followers and find ways to creatively leverage the platform every day. Event snapshots, office pictures, infographics, employee spotlights—B2B companies are optimizing Instagram with an endless assortment of original content, and you can, too.
Here are 3 reasons why your B2B company should join Instagram:
1) It puts your brand in everyone’s back pocket
Instagram is primarily a mobile application, making it a great opportunity to reach an audience that’s on the move. If your company has been looking to break into the mobile sphere, Instagram is your best bet. According to the Pew Research Center, 57% of users check the Instagram app at least once a day, making it prime real estate for building exposure and brand recognition. Instagram’s vivid imagery demands attention since your images are featured in a one-at-a-time feed for users to scroll through amongst pictures of friends, family, celebrity crushes, and commercial interests.
2) Mo’ Likes, Mo’ Business
Instagram makes it possible to engage with people outside your in-app audience. This engagement can be achieved through the use of industry-related hashtags and the social media sharing tool that blasts your content across all social platforms. By using a hashtag that is popular within your industry, your content becomes part of a public conversation and you can reach a broader (but more targeted) audience. By using the social media sharing tool, you can alert your followers on other social media sites of your Instagram presence—amplifying exposure and the potential for viral engagement.
As a B2B company, you're always striving to connect and establish meaningful partnerships with other businesses. But those businesses aren’t managed by computers—they’re managed by real people. By using Instagram's engagement tactics to reach people within other businesses, you increase your company's potential for real-world success.
3) It showcases your "lovable imperfections"
One of the most successful trends in corporate branding this year was the embracement of lovable imperfections. Research shows that audiences don’t trust impersonal, stuffy, corporate messaging anymore, so companies are increasingly showing all sides of themselves in an effort to communicate transparency, authenticity, and likeability. Rohit Bhargava’s best-selling book ‘Likenomics‘ supports this idea by suggesting that we are more likely to do business with people we like. People don't like buttoned up, clinical content that looks or sounds like it was created by a computer. Instagram is the ideal place to have a little fun with your social media strategy and show off your company's unique personality. While it is not always possible for a company to post pictures of food and cute animals, the lesson to be learned is that companies shouldn't take themselves too seriously on social media, and especially on Instagram.
Unlike your corporate website, Instagram can provide an intimate, “behind-the-scenes” look at what’s going on within your company. It can give potential employees a feel for what it’s really like to work in your office. Modern job seekers are internet savvy and turning to platforms like Instagram to get a feel for workplace culture. Your pictures can show what your company is all about, thereby improving your company’s image and attracting a new pool of talent.
Some tips to help your company optimize Instagram:
- Add an Instagram Feed to your company Facebook page – This is pretty simple: go here, select your company page, press the “Add Instagram feed tab” button, and you’re good to go! Your Instagram feed will now be featured on a tab on your company profile, as well as any specific hashtag feeds you find applicable.
- #TBT – Who doesn’t like a good blast from the past? To fully optimize Instagram, you need to participate in the most popular hashtag: Throwback Thursday. Whether you post a picture of your CEO from back in the day or a picture of Happy Hour last week, your followers will love getting an exclusive look into your company’s history. The more fun and personal, the better.
- Create a Hashtag Campaign – There is nothing better for instant brand recognition. An example of this can be seen on Celerity’s Instagram account. #CelerityCeleb launched last Monday, and has driven both engagement and exposure across all social media platforms. In fact, it was our most engaging post of the past 30 days on Facebook. By creating a hashtag, your followers can look forward to specific content every week.
- IconoSquare – Iconosquare is a free web service that allows you to analyze your Instagram activity. Just go to Iconosquare.com, create an account, and wait for your stats to roll in. Gauging your success can only be done after you start posting – so take out your phone and join the B2B Instagram movement!
Don't forget to check out Celerity's new Instagram account!