Instagram for B2B: The time is now

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If you’ve been paying attention to the digital landscape, you know just how enormously significant Instagram is in terms of content creation and audience engagement. The social network has 400 million monthly active users around the world, and will have an estimated 106.2 million in the U.S. alone by 2018.

That’s why it’s somewhat surprising to learn that only 32.3% of American companies are making use of the platform today –but not for long. eMarketer predicts that by 2017, Instagram will finally surpass Twitter (currently serving about 66% of companies) with 70% of organizations employing it for marketing purposes.

For now, studies show that teens and millennials ages 13-34 prefer interacting and engaging with brands on Facebook (37%) or YouTube (25%), as opposed to other platforms. For this group, Instagram actually comes in at just 8%. And yet – time spent on the platform is at an average of a mind-bending 21 minutes per day, and half of its users check the app daily. That translates into a massive amount of potential engagement for brands – as long as they do it right.

It may seem like B2B has no place on the platform, but with these kinds of projections, and plenty of organizations already started to experiment and even succeed on Instagram, there’s never been a better time to join.

The secret to an engaging feed is authentic, beautiful content that’s relevant to your audience, as well as to your company mission and values. As 2017 draws nearer, will you be among the first to convert? Secure a handle for your organization and start thinking strategy. Here’s some inspiration from a few B2B brands worth taking note of:

Novartis – Speaking of brands you wouldn’t expect to see on Instagram, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis International boasts over 5,000 followers and a feed that shines a light on all the good work that they do – out in the world, and on the inside as well. A well-curated peek into personal patient stories, employee accomplishments, and other inspirational images and information make for an engaging – and very human – account.

General Electric – With 198,000 followers, GE’s Instagram drives brand awareness and accessibility while delighting audiences with a glimpse into everything its technologies make possible. To have accumulated such an immense audience with only 600 posts is a testament to the high-quality photographs and unique vision of the account, which was met with immediate success and opened the door to further exploration of the company’s visual potential and experimentation with other platforms like YouTube, Vine, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Google+.

Squarespace – We wouldn’t expect anything less than this stunning feed from a design-centric brand like Squarespace, which has attracted a following of 17,000 with just under 200 posts. Appealing to private customers and small to large and mid-size businesses alike, the company uses Instagram to cultivate its hip, minimal aesthetic while highlighting user sites and success stories as well as organizational news and product releases.

FedEx – “Delivering a more colorful, connected world.” What a perfectly concise statement that describes FedEx’s service, as well as its Instagram feed – which streams to over 31,000 followers across the country and beyond. Within almost 300 posts, the global courier shares bright, exciting images of its diverse delivery destinations as well as frequent regrams from users who’ve happened to catch a FedEx vehicle or package in the background of their shot – an excellent way to engage audiences and show customers how far they’re willing to go to get the job done (re: to the ends of the Earth, or at least to the Pyramids).

Are you thinking of setting up an Instagram account, or have you already? Share your thoughts with us @SAPCEC on Twitter.

Anastasia Dyakovskaya
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December 21, 2015
Anastasia Dyakovskaya

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