$1 billion. That’s how much social networking giant, Facebook, is paying out for the photo-sharing service Instagram. Not bad for a company without revenue.
But who uses Instagram? Teenagers and nostalgia-starved hipsters, right?
Believe it or not, at more than 27 million users, Instagram has wide and active group of fans. Yet, B2B companies haven’t taken to those fuzzy filters like their B2C counterparts.
That’s too bad. The truth is Instagram offers a number of effective b2b marketing tactics your brand should be taking advantage of – from raising awareness to engaging prospects and leads. Here we outline 4 ways B2B marketers can use Instagram.
Curate Your Fans Work
Jay Baer is fond of reminding brands that whether you want to talk with your customers on social media, they’re going to talk about you.
It’s the same on Instagram. Whether your brand decides to be on Instagram or not, your customers probably are.
Think about this way: People take photos of their life and their work. So, sure, they’re taking photos of their venti macchiatos, which is why Starbucks uses Instagram. But they are also snapping pics of their Apple and Dell computers at work. This provides a tremendous opportunity for b2b marketers to curate, promote, and engage their most avid customers.
Host a Contest
And why just curate when you can introduce gaming elements as well?
General Electric is really leading the way on this front. The company has asked Instagram enthusiasts to capture GE products and enter a contest. The winner gets flown to the U.K. for a Instagram shoot.
Instagram inspires the amateur photographer in your customers and prospects. You can build on their inspiration by giving it a space to breathe (GE’s used a free Tumblr account) and offer prizes as a reward.
Research the Landscape
What vertical is your business in? Wouldn’t it be nice to know what buyers are saying about your space?
Instagram grants you access to how customers and prospects are visually reacting to your space. Work in continuing education for professionals? Type in “MBA” in the Search Instagram tool to see what photos are being posted. Sell in the finance sector? Search “finance” or “banking.”
If a picture is worth a thousand words, than Instagram provides a level market research worth a few minutes of your time.
Incorporate Into Events
If you’re hosting a large event, then chances are people will be using Instagram to capture your event anyway. Why not join in the fun?
By encouraging attendees to capture their experience on Instagram, and providing a hashtag, you can compile and credit the event-goers in real-time. It’s like a visual Twitter. You benefit by tapping into that human feeling and your customers enjoy the limelight.
Are you using Instagram for your B2B marketing? Have you seen some companies that have done something unique with it? Tell us about it in the comments.