Originally published on blog.passle.net
Instagram is a network that many B2B businesses still struggle with – it can be difficult to know how to tackle it when your business isn’t selling a tangible product that can be showcased with a variety of flattering filters. Yet, according to the DemandGen 2017 content preferences survey report, 11% of B2B buyers use Instagram to share business-related content and this number is only set to grow in the future.
Since nothing beats examples of companies doing it right, below are five leading software companies using the limitations of Instagram brilliantly. Check them out and get ideas for how you too could use the platform to your advantage.
Cisco uses the hashtag #WeareCisco to put the spotlight on individuals at their company, and the sustainability projects they are working on. They supplement these posts with Instagram stories that give you a 360-degree context. Their biography link brings you to a press release on their partnership with table tennis stars – further positioning them as a forward-thinking company. It’s also great to see a strong trend for showcasing women in particular, in an industry often dominated by male representation – and it’s working for them! They currently have 112k followers with each of their posts generating a minimum of 600 likes.
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"I want to be a computer analyst and work with the FBI," says Maria Gallagos, a high school senior at Van Buren Technical Center in Lawrenceville, Michigan. She credits Cisco's Networking Academy for giving her the tools and resources for dreaming big. To learn more about ESL student Maria, click the link in our bio. #TechTuesday #cisconetacad
Cybersecurity is not exactly the most fun topic there is, but Citrix’s Instagram goes some way to making it so! They do this by embracing their geeky side (Star Wars characters, Lego figurines, and other superheros being recent examples) and showcasing their team. Their hashtag #CitrixLife, which is also in their biography, is the angle they’ve used for this network, which helps them to share a variety of visually appealing images. Their Instagram biography links to their blog where they share their thought leadership on cybersecurity and other digital issues in an accessible manner, for those who want to delve deeper.
Informatica Corp are incredibly prolific posters, both on their main profile and in their Instagram stories. At the time of writing, they are hosting Informatica World 2017 (#INFA17) and use their account to share photos of the event, including behind the scenes footage, making their audience feel completely included in it, whether they are physically there or not. Other businesses could learn from this immersive coverage.
Sage’s Instagram could have been very dull indeed – payroll and HR software solutions don’t exactly scream sexy. Their solution? Use their Instagram to share #humansofbusiness – aka startup stories from their audience. It’s a simple yet brilliant way of sharing beautiful pictures with inspiring stories -making their product feel suddenly more human. Their Instagram biography link fully embraces user-generated content by encouraging others to share their photos too – a great way for them to forge new business relationships whilst also ensuring their profile gets regularly updated.
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We are celebrating #SmallBizSatUK and #SageSaturday with a #HumansOfBusiness takeover from @thesplitscreencoffee Meet Jennifer Walker, founder of The Split Screen Coffee Company as she shares her #business story . . . ‘Like all good stories it starts with a glass of wine, a roaring fire and a conversation. Teaching had changed and was no longer the job I had gone into 10 years ago, I missed the sense of independence and freedom that we used to have in the classroom. My husband and I owned a Bay Window T2 #VWcamper that we loved camping in as a family and had had the idea to convert another into a business for some time. We started looking online for vans and May (our coffee camper) popped up and was for sale as a complete business. After a few visits, we decided to put the money down and make the leap. That was two and half years ago and we have grown the business as a family. The compartmentalised sections of my life into "work" and "family" have joined and we all spent time together going to festivals and events. My hard work has a direct impact on my family and it is so wonderful to show my children that work can be rewarding, enjoyable and liberating.’ . . . What an inspiring story, thanks for sharing this #SmallBizSatUK Jennifer Walker. . . #entrepreneur #entrepreneurelife #entrepreneurship #entrepreneuremindset #businessowner #businesslife #founder #storyoftheday #SageStories #motivation #inspiration #inspirationalstories #HumansOfBusiness #businessmind #businessstories #SmallBizSatUK #ShopSmall #SageSaturday
SAP know the power of a good quotation on Instagram – they also know the power of putting a human face to a large corporation. The two are combined in their most recent posts which feature their CEO Bill McDermott in a series of posts and videos, generating hundreds of likes and thousands of views. Another tactic worth stealing, is to ask their audience questions in order to get them to engage with them.
Top 5 tips:
- Find an angle for your business that can translate visually
- Your Instagram biography link is important – send people somewhere that relates to both your Instagram page and you, as a business
- Put humans forward, whether they’re your clients, your staff, or your prospects
- Quotes always work well on Instagram – grab some from your blogs, interview your staff, feature your clients, etc
- Don’t neglect Instagram when attending or organizing events, use Instagram stories to give your audience bonus insights into your world
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