Double tap on this stat: 83% of Instagram users say they discover new products on the platform. Plus, 81% use Instagram to research products or services before making a purchase. Instagram also notes that more than 200 million users visit at least one business profile each day. Has your business harnessed the power of Instagram? Whether you’re building a profile from the ground up or already have one in place, there are several best practices that will help your brand successfully navigate this social media platform.
Consider the following B2B Instagram tips to apply to your own profile:
Instagram is an incredibly visual platform that relies on images and videos. Promote your products and services, as well as key corporate milestones, like the groundbreaking of a new headquarters, tradeshows, fundraising events and award ceremonies. This will give followers a well-rounded understanding of your brand’s offerings, culture and values. Use high-quality photos that will catch the attention of users scrolling through the app.
About 60%of Instagram users log into the app once per day and spend an average of 50+ minutes browsing. To capitalize on this, aim to post content on a regular basis – at least several times per week. Some brands post daily and even use Instagram Stories to feature additional content. While the app no longer showcases posts in reverse chronological order, making it difficult to decipher where your posts will land in users’ feeds, posting regularly gives you a better chance of getting their attention.
In addition to using Instagram to connect with friends and family, and post their own content, many people also use the platform to seek out brands, ask questions and report customer service issues. Turn on push notifications and have a plan in place for answering inquiries so that these don’t go unaddressed. It’s also important to take your engagement beyond your own profile. Follow, like and comment on images and videos from key influencers and organizations. This will help you further build your brand’s following.
Hashtags allow you to expand the reach of your post beyond just your current followers. Users can even follow hashtags that interest them, making posts with hashtags more visible in their Instagram feeds. Consider topic and industry-specific hashtags like #tech, #travel and #health, branded hashtags that consistently promote your company or a key campaign and even geographic hashtags if you want to attract views from people in specific areas, like #Chicago or #Amsterdam. You can also search to see which hashtags your competitors, target audience and relevant influencers are using and potentially incorporate a few of those into your posts.
There are numerous ways to incorporate hashtags – within your post, at the end or as a comment on the post – so pick one method and maintain consistency across your profile. While you can include up to 30 hashtags on a post, using this many may be distracting depending on where you display them. If you’re posting them as a separate comment, they’ll be less noticeable than if you are adding them at the end of your post or throughout your copy.
While content posted to Instagram Stories is only available for 24 hours, Instagram also offers Stories Highlights that are permanently featured below your page’s bio. Carefully curate top images and videos into separate collections so that users have easy access to top content from your brand without having to scroll through your profile. Create various categories for your Stories highlights, such as “Behind the Scenes,” “Tutorials” and “New Launches” so that your followers can easily identify the content’s purpose.
Allocating some of your marketing budget to working with social media influencers can result in an impressive return on investment. Find creative ways to work with reputable content creators who have engaged followings. This may include product review videos, posts promoting a contest or giveaway or even exclusive events that bring together multiple influencers and your brand. Working with credible influencers can increase your page following, your credibility and the overall reach of your brand’s message.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and Instagram makes it incredibly easy for brands to share visual content. With more than 1 billion monthly users, this platform has the power to take brand awareness and audience engagement to the next level. By following the above best practices for Instagram marketing, you can develop and maintain a profile that accurately personifies your brand, strengthens relationships with current and potential customers and drives interest in your products and services.
Jess Messenger is an Account Director at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. She enjoys developing PR campaign strategies and writing for B2B audiences across numerous verticals such as retail, foodservice and healthcare.