Colleen O'Connor May 15, 2020 | 02:45:24
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How Instagram Can Work For B2B PR

The go-to social media platforms for B2B PR are probably LinkedIn and Twitter. But a too-narrow social focus for B2B leaves out at least one very powerful social channel – Instagram. 

Instagram has more than one billion users, making it one of the most popular social media platforms. That’s right, more than a billion people are sharing pictures of their families, pets and names misspelled on coffee cups. The platform has made photo sharing easier than ever. While Instagram is seen as a huge part of any B2C social media plan, it may have a role in a social media plan for B2B companies. 

Here are a few ways Instagram can help amplify storytelling for B2B organizations.

Brag about that media coverage

This is a no-brainer. PR folks love to brag. Did you just spend weeks on a huge Wall Street Journal feature article for a new launch and want everyone to see it? Use Instagram to show off that win! Why not screenshot a few quotes in the article and share them? At Crenshaw, we think all wins are huge, and we showcase them with our own Instagram followers. Our client ActiveViam is a dynamic pricing company and provided comment in MarketWatch on how J.Crew’s filing for bankruptcy will affect the retail industry. We can’t show their actual technology but can share a glimpse of their thinking about the category. 

Showcase your product with visuals 

Many B2B clients companies don’t offer a tangible product, and obviously service companies may be trickier to show off in an Instagram post. Look at Slack, for example. Its Instagram is a showcase for Slack itself, the posts are fun, just like the brand. A recent post featured a short animated video on new product updates for Slack’s mobile app. Even something as mundane as a product update can take on a new life with an animated video.   

Show the personalities on your team

Compared to LinkedIn, which has a professional feel to it, Instagram has a more relaxed and fun vibe. People want to see people behind the brands featured. Consider a weekly or monthly spotlight on key employees on your page. Be sure to capture company outings, too. Our client DoubleVerify has been doing a great job of posting updates on how their team is staying connected while working from home. It recently shared a 2-second screenshot of the marketing team toasting its new website with morning coffee! Nothing personalizes a brand like showing its people. 

Promote a case study or whitepaper

B2B companies rely on generating content that generates leads for new businesses. Whitepapers and case studies are effective tools for this, and some of that can be shared on social media, too. If your company has a graphic design team, collaborate with them to pull key header sections from the work documents and post them. Include a link where followers can download the full reports that will hopefully generate more biz leads!  

Tell customer stories

Like other platforms, Instagram uses hashtags very successfully. For B2B companies targeting startups and other young companies, there’s plenty of opportunities to tell stories about #entrepreneurship using Instagram stories. In fact, Stories is particularly well suited for behind-the-scenes videos, customer interviews, or special announcements of interest to heavy users of a business product or service. Shopify does this particularly well. To showcase the independent businesses that its ecommerce platform supports, it tells their stories in as series of videos hashtagged #supportingindependents. It’s inspiring content for startup customers and relevant even now.

Don’t forget about influencers

Nowadays there are influencers for every subject matter. Another collaboration idea is to work with influencers for relevant posts. Pre-COVID-19, American Express harnessed the power of influencers from Shaquille O’Neal through micro-influencers through a campaign called #AmexAmbassadors to promote the AmEx Platinum card. The platinum influencers show off the high-end business travel and products as well as perks they enjoy using the card. The brand has adapted to the pandemic by showcasing deals and discounts, but the high-end tone is unchanged.    

Instagram is a powerful social media platform that will reciprocate the love it gets from all companies, both B2C and B2B. If a business thinks it doesn’t see Instagram as a relevant platform, there’s plenty of evidence to change minds.     

P.S.- Are you following the Crenshaw Communications Instagram account? Hit that follow button here: https://www.instagram.com/crenshawcomm/.  

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