Posted April 12, 2018 by & filed under Marketing, Social media.

If you’re anything like the 92% of B2B brands using social media, you will already have some understanding of just how powerful it can be as a marketing channel. But one thing that a lot of brands get wrong with social media is the platforms in which they’re most active on.

We often hear marketers advising brands to focus on 2 main social channels; Twitter & Facebook for B2C brands or LinkedIn & Facebook for B2B brands. And that’s fair enough. But where does Instagram fit in to this? As one of the largest social networks with over 800 million active monthly users and growing at a rate of 33% a year, surely you can’t afford to ignore it?

One other outdated theory that we often hear is B2B organisations assuming that Instagram isn’t for them, because they don’t have a ‘visual product’. But that’s simply not the case! In fact, if you’re only using Instagram to share images of your product then you’re doing it all wrong.

Here are some tips and tricks to ensure you’re following the Instagram business marketing best practices.

TAKE INCREDIBLE PICTURES

The first point is by far one of the most important. Sharing poor quality images as standard can seriously damage your brand reputation. After all it is a visual platform. If someone clicks onto your page to find it filled with low resolution, badly-shot images, they’re probably going to make a negative assumption about your products and services too.

In an ideal world, you would be posting professional, high quality images on a consistent basis. But with all the other marketing channels you may be in control of this can sometimes prove difficult, especially if you have a smaller marketing team or budget. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with sharing the odd low-quality photo, as long as it’s relevant and makes sense for your brand. It’s up to you to find that right balance between quality and quantity.

USE VIDEOS TOO

Instagram isn’t just about photos; it’s one of the most popular platforms for videos too. If you have an active following then posting the odd video can be a great way to switch things up a bit and boost engagement. Just to note, if you’re trying to make a video go viral you may be better off pushing it on other social channels due to Instagram’s limited sharing functionality.

MAKE THE MOST OF HASHTAGS

I was going to title this one ‘Use hashtags’, but that would be wrong. It’s so important that you don’t overuse them either. Piling 10+ hashtags to the bottom of every post can look spammy and it’s not something you want to have associated with your brand, especially if you already have a sizeable following. This tactic can also encourage poor-quality followers to engage with your posts, which again isn’t great for your brand image.

Instead, why not take some time to research the most popular industry hashtags and compile them into a list. You can then use this list to select the most appropriate hashtags for each post; 3 hashtags is a good number, and we’d usually advise not to go over 5.

EXPERIMENT WITH STORIES & LIVE VIDEO

Real-time content such as live video and Instagram’s ‘Stories’ feature can be the perfect way to engage followers. As we mentioned in our recent blog, human-to-human marketing is slowly becoming more popular among brands. This is a concept whereby instead of crafting content around specifically-B2B-or-B2C-audiences you should instead target other humans. This form of marketing works really well on Instagram; sharing behind-the-scenes clips of life at your organisation, interactive content or Q&A sessions can all be great ways to connect with your customers on a more personal level.

STAY CONSISTENT

Don’t worry if the results don’t come in straight away. It takes time to build an audience of loyal followers and focusing on the numbers is only going to distract you. As long as you’re consistently providing valuable content, you won’t go wrong.

Instagram is becoming increasingly influential in the marketing world, with businesses finding new ways to innovate on the platform every day. Ecommerce brands in particular should be taking advantage of the platform, especially with the recent introduction of its ‘Shoppable Posts’ feature. But B2B and B2C brands alike should be making the most of it; if your customers are using Instagram, then you really need to be on it too.

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