B2B on Instagram: 13 Inspirations What to Post

B2B on Instagram: 13 Inspirations What to Post

Relative anonymity on social media is a fact that many B2B companies have to deal with. And  Instagram marketing is not the easiest thing to master. After all, how much can you say with only a picture? In reality a lot can be accomplished through Instagram marketing, but it’s important to make sure you’re posting the best material you can come up with. Unfortunately, it only takes a few images that are less than exciting to turn away an entire audience. When in doubt, the best way to get noticed on Instagram is to be original. Do something no one else has, or at least do it differently from everyone else. Of course, it’s not always that easy, so here are a few ideas to spark inspiration.

1) Shots from behind the scenes

No matter how boring everyday life seems around the office, your fans and followers will feel like they’re catching a glimpse of another world. All you have to do is take a few shots of whatever you’re doing, or a couple of your favorite people in the office, and watch how excited your followers get. If your photo has people in it, make sure to mention who they are and what they do. Some guy in the office might be interesting, but a picture of someone who does this or that to make everything happen will be a big deal to many fans.

Example: Maersk Line

  • Instagram Account: maerskline
  • Industry: Container shipping
  • Followers: 50.4k

You might have seen its star logo though you’ve probably never heard of the Copenhagen-based container shipping company Maersk Line. However, the pictures of their ships on ice in the Baltic Sea or with frozen containers are mesmerizing.

2) Reposts from your followers

This is one to be careful with. If you just repost everything that any of your followers post, you’ll very quickly lose your audience. However, if you notice that a fan, or even an employee posts something that you feel the rest of your followers will appreciate, repost it. Not only is this incredibly easy for you, your followers will appreciate that you pay attention to them, and the person who wrote the original post will be ecstatic. This strategy will also encourage followers to create more posts that are relevant to you.

Example: FedEx

  • Instagram Account: fedex
  • Industry: Courier
  • Followers: 42.4k

FedEx does this really well, actually a huge number of their images has been submitted by external contributors. This is a very cool way making people to actively look out for your brand.

Ein von FedEx (@fedex) gepostetes Foto am

3) Quotes

Everybody loves an inspirational quote. And quotes actually encourage a lot of engagement. You can post quotes from your shows or post inspirational words – as long as those are relevant to your audience.

Example: SAP

  • Instagram Account: sap
  • Industry: Computer Software
  • Followers: 7.2k

SAP (as many other B2B companies) does this very well. It’s a good mixture of inspirational and personal quotes. Bill McDermott, as a father and husband, talked about juggling the demands of  career and personal life on one of the SAP events.

Ein von SAP (@sap) gepostetes Foto am

4) Unknown and unexpected statistics

Is there something amazing about your company or industry that your fan base doesn’t know? Post it on Instagram. For an even greater effect, encourage responses to the factoid.

Example: Oracle

  • Instagram Account: oracle
  • Industry: Information Technology and Services
  • Followers: 51k

Oracle showed at this year’s Earth Day what to do on Instagram. They were thanking all the volunteers and showed some background statistics. 

5) Share insights and show customers

Customers like being kept in the know. If something major happens in the industry, tell them. This can also include any number of things, like pointing out where your company was in the news. Showing customers using your products is very beneficial too.

Example: siemens

  • Instagram Account: siemens
  • Industry: Technology Conglomerate
  • Followers: 13.4k

What a cool picture by Siemens giving their customer Schlafly Bottleworks a face. Siemens should do that more often, and so should you too.

Ein von Siemens (@siemens) gepostetes Foto am

6) Funny and lighthearted posts

An image that makes your fans smile or chuckle is often worth considering. However, too many of these will alter the perception Instagram users have of your company, so overuse, while tempting, should probably be avoided, if those don’t fit to your company culture. Funny GIFs can be an alternative.

Example: Zendesk

  • Instagram Account: zendesk
  • Industry: Computer Software
  • Followers: 4k

The Zendesk example shows so many aspects that can be combined: a look behind the scenes, funny video, compelling message, and an insight at the culture code.

Ein von Zendesk (@zendesk) gepostetes Video am

7) Promote your product

Is your company running a promotion? You’ve probably already created marketing materials for it. Why not post them to Instagram. Maybe even go one step further and encourage followers to share the materials, in exchange for some benefit in the promotion. Keep in mind: 80% of your social media sharings should be helpful and valuable to your audience, the other 20% can be self-promotional.

Example: Airbus

  • Instagram Account: airbus
  • Industry: Aerospace
  • Followers: 526k

Airbus does this very clever by using user-created content to promote the new A350.

Ein von Airbus (@airbus) gepostetes Video am

8) Promote your events

Is your company organizing an event or at a trade show? Don’t feel limited to share only one picture of your booth before your event. Remember “Shots from behind the scenes”? Share images of the planning process, of setting up the venue, shoot pictures during the event, repost other pictures of your event and finally give a hint for the next event. Are people from another town attending your event? Show them the best places, closest coffee shop, most popular restaurants around your venue.

Example: Salesforce

  • Instagram Account: salesforce
  • Industry: Information Technology and Services
  • Followers: 18.5k

Salesforce is one of the companies that was able to create a brand around their events. Salesforce’s annual conference Dreamforce has already got its own Instagram account where you can find upcoming events and schedules.

9) Cool videos

Did you know that Instagram supports videos? Instagram showed commitment to videos and gave you the flexibility to tell your story in up to 60 seconds (instead 8 seconds). While it may not be worthwhile to create new videos for the platform, there’s no reason not to share videos that already exist. They don’t even have to be video’s you’ve created. Any video that your fans will appreciate will do.

Example: Intel

  • Instagram Account: intel
  • Industry: Semiconductors
  • Followers: 506k

Intel has found a very beautiful way to integrate their business into great stories.

Ein von @intel gepostetes Video am

10) Contests

The potential for creative contests is limitless. Why not ask followers for their best photo or artwork that relates to your company in some way? Not only will people get involved, they’ll be creating marketing materials for you, that will then spread around the Instagram world.

Example: GE

  • Instagram Account: generalelectric
  • Industry: Information Technology and Services
  • Followers: 224k

GE is really a leading company on Instagram. The company has asked Instagram user to capture General Electric products and enter the contest to win a trip to the UK to shoot at a GE Aviation facility.

11) The heart of your company

Posting pictures of your employees, their workspace, and reposting your employees is an awesome way to catch a glimpse behind the scenes at your company. It says a lot about your culture code. Use this opportunity, employees are a company’s greatest assets.

Example: HubSpot

  • Instagram Account: hubspot
  • Industry: Computer Software
  • Followers: 36.3k

HubSpot is in so many ways a best practise in social media. They use user crafted content in a perfect way, involve customers, give insights to their events and show a lot pictures from HubSpot employees.

Ein von HubSpot (@hubspot) gepostetes Foto am

12) We’re hiring

Many companies are always hiring. Why not advertise on Instagram? Maybe take a funny photo of some of your current staff or show that you are rated as a perfect place to work. Whatever you do, be creative.

Example: Cisco

  • Instagram Account: cisco
  • Industry: Computer Networking
  • Followers: 67.6k

Cisco got some news to share! Combined with the right hastags a perfect way to address new candidates #NowHiring

Ein von Cisco (@cisco) gepostetes Foto am

13) Connect to other social media platforms

Let your followers know where else they can find you. This is a good way to cross-promote to your other channels. Snapchat is very simple because you can create and share your Snapcode very easy.

Example: IBM

  • Instagram Account: ibm
  • Industry: Computer Software
  • Followers: 72.4k

IBM is rather new on Snapchat and so was cross-promoting their snapcode to the 72.4k Instagram followers.

Ein von IBM (@ibm) gepostetes Foto am

While you immediately might associate Instagram with B2C and think for B2B it poses something of a challenge, Instagram is a unique marketing platform, and can do wonders for your B2B company if used correctly. Share your experiences or ideas in the comments.

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