More than 700 million people are now using Instagram and it continues to grow rapidly in popularity. That’s a huge audience that’s engaging on a wide variety of topics, from fashion and beauty to travel and food.
If you sell directly to other businesses or entrepreneurs, then you might question whether Instagram has any potential value for your business. In fact, Instagram’s audience has evolved a great deal over the past few years. It’s no longer just a platform for young people and niche communities are thriving. Whilst, not every platform will be relevant to your business, Instagram is definitely one that you shouldn’t write off too quickly.
But what if your business isn’t “visual”?
This is a stumbling block that I know many business to business (B2B) owners struggle with, not just when considering Instagram but for other visual social media platforms, such as Pinterest, as well.
What if you don’t sell a product that can’t be beautifully photographed for Instagram?
What if you don’t have a physical product?
What if you spend most of your time at a computer working alone?
Just like you, I provide a service that happens predominantly online. I talk to clients via Skype, I deliver my service remotely, my team don’t share the same office as me and my products are digital courses and masterclasses. None of that particularly lends itself to visual social media posts. Occasionally I will be attending an event or run a workshop or meeting with a client and those are fantastic opportunities for me to snap a picture and give my followers a sneak peek behind the scenes. But that’s not how I spend most of my time so if I relied on those events for all of my Instagram content then my posts would be sporadic and I’d struggle to build up a consistent presence and an engaged audience.
The good news is, there’s still a place for us service-providers / remote workers / B2B businesses on Instagram!
Start by finding your audience on Instagram
First things first, you need to find your audience on Instagram and start to understand what type of content they’re interested in and engaging with already.
Let’s say that you’re a virtual assistant. If your target audience is small business owners who are working from home then who are they already following and engaging with on Instagram?
You might start by browsing some relevant hashtags, things like; #smallbusinessowner #entrepreneurlife #savvybusinessowner #workfromhome
Then think about the struggles they are facing and how that might lead them to seek out content. For example: #productivitytips #gettingthingsdone #businessbooks
By now, you should hopefully see that not only is there an audience for your content on Instagram but that they are already searching there for the answers that you can provide.
What on earth should I post on Instagram?
Now that still doesn’t help with your lack of visual content…. or does it?
There are two ways you can approach this;
- Share some of the answers to your audience’s questions or struggles in your Instagram posts. This could include top tips (keep them short and snappy, don’t go overboard on the amount of text you include on your images), memes that make your followers feel supported in some way, video posts and even your blog posts (you can point people towards the link in your bio as a way of directing them to your blog).
- Tap into your audience’s wants, hopes and dreams. Buffer, which is a social media management tool for those of you that aren’t familiar, do a fantastic job of this. Their message is that scheduling your social media gives you the time and freedom for adventures. Now that’s a much more powerful motivator for saving time on your social media! And so, their Instagram account is packed full of beautiful photography from around the world. It’s not what you would expect from a social media management tool but it resonates with their 28,000+ followers.You can check out Buffer’s Instagram account >> here <<
You could even combine the two approaches, just make sure that the theme of your account stays strong so that you’re not confusing people with mixed messages.
So there you have the two ingredients you need to make Instagram work for your business; an understanding of your audience (the more you can learn about them, the better all of your marketing will be) and a little creativity which will go a long way.