We all know Instagram as the platform where we share photos of the best moments with our family and friends, an overview of our city trips or a workout. But did you know that Instagram was originally developed as a photo app? Today, Instagram is one of fastest growing social media channels of the moment, with 710,000(!) new users in one year. Most marketers think of Facebook or LinkedIn when they hear the words ‘social media’. Many think Instagram is not professional enough for their business, but at the same time 90% of users on Instagram follow at least one business. B2B and B2C seem to blend more and more on the platform.
So it’s definitely worth exploring the possibilities of Instagram in a B2B context. To get you started, we’ve listed 6 Instagram tips for B2B companies to help you get started.
User-generated content (UGC) is content created by (potential) customers or fans, not by the brand itself. Think reviews or photos and videos of a product that your customers use. This makes your B2B brand more human.
Stock photos and company photos can be seen as cold and emotionless. With user-generated content, you show that it is not just you who is enthusiastic about your product or service, but that customers have already made use of it.
A nice advantage of using User-Generated Content is that it saves you time. You use content created by customers, it costs almost nothing and your content becomes more attractive.
But UGC is not only a powerful content marketing tool. It is also an important source of customer research. By analyzing User Generated Content you may find that customers use your products or services in ways you never thought of. Or you may find that customers are combining your products or services with another brand. This can encourage collaborations with other brands and you can use this information to explore assumptions about what people think or think of your brand. You can encourage your followers to post content about your brand through e.g. a win action, challenge, discount code…
With a business account on Instagram, you have access to a professional dashboard full of interesting statistics. You can use these statistics to learn about general trends among your followers and how your content is performing with your audience. Don’t get hung up on these statistics. You may get a lot of followers and likes, but are these people really interested? A lot of this data is seen as valuable, but it doesn’t really say much. This is what we call the ‘Vanity Metrics’. Vanity Metrics are data that seem useful, but in practice often give a distorted picture of reality and little information about conversions.
The three most important metrics to track are:
By analyzing these statistics, you can get to know your target audience better and adjust your content to achieve your goals.
Did you know that a post on Instagram with hashtags generates an average of 12.6% more engagement than a post without hashtags?
Using hashtags in posts is one of the best ways to get discovered on Instagram. This can result in more engagement, more followers and ultimately customers. By using a hashtag, you automatically add your content to the hashtag page. This way, you increase the visibility of your message to new or specific target groups. Even with users who are not yet connected to your account.
Through the professional dashboard, you can see how many people have discovered your posts through hashtags.
Don’t just use hashtags in the hope that they’ll help you reach more people. Use hashtags that are relevant to your business and target group. On Instagram, you can only search for posts based on the username, hashtags or location. By using a relevant hashtag, you influence the interaction with your account.
As a user, you can also follow hashtags on Instagram. You will then see the most popular posts or stories containing that hashtag in your news feed.
You can use up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram post. Research shows that it is best to use around 10 hashtags.
Don’t start posting recklessly on Instagram, think of a good strategy first. A content calendar is an overview of your upcoming social media posts. By planning your content, you can work ahead and post consistently.
A content calendar gives you a clearer picture of the strategy of each channel you manage, this overview can help you make better business decisions: what, where, when and why to post.
Besides, you don’t always have to create content from scratch. Old blog posts can be reused and updated through different channels. Or you can share interesting facts or articles from your field of expertise.
Finally, one last advantage of a content calendar. Everyone makes mistakes, but nobody wants to see typos in social media posts. When you have a content calendar, you can check your posts to make sure all the information is correct.
Unfortunately, Instagram does not allow you to link to a website in the title or description of a post. To get around this, however, you can add a link in the description of your profile. There is a maximum of 150 characters, including the link. Your profile is therefore the perfect place to link to your latest blog post, offer, etc.
In addition to your profile description, Instagram Stories are also a way to link to content outside of Instagram. However, a story only remains available for 24 hours. Always clearly state what your link refers to. This removes an obstacle for people to click on it.
Via the professional dashboard of your company account, you can easily keep track of how many people click on the link in the bio.
A disadvantage is that you can only add one link to your profile. This can cause problems if you regularly refer to the link in bio. A solution is to change the link every time, but that takes a lot of time. Linktree is a handy tool that allows you to refer to multiple links via one link. You can easily refer to your other social media channels via this tool.
If your business is new to Instagram, it’s not easy to build an audience. Start by following companies you already have a relationship with. You can also build new relationships by following profiles of companies that are relevant to your business. Chances are, if you find and follow a company that you think has common factors, they will be happy to follow you back.
Not everything is numbers. Having lots of followers may make you more attractive to new audiences, but engagement is the key to success.
Although Instagram is mainly used by B2C companies, it has great potential for B2B companies when used correctly (with the above tips in mind). Just explore the possibilities, and feel free to use the tips above. Good luck!
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