By Austin Miller, founder of The Daily Hash—THE newsletter for foodies 🍔🍦🍜
Fitness? Easy. Food? Easy. Fashion? Really Easy. B2B? Not so easy...
With over 100 million users, Instagram has quickly become one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. But the reality is, that when it comes to social media and B2B—many businesses struggle with how to position themselves. This is especially true when it comes to visual content. Accounting, tech support, legal work—these service types of industries don't always scream fun.
But when you start to look at your business as a group of unique people, with individual stories, and your brand as a message rather than a product—you'll begin to see just how visual your company truly can be. If you remain skeptical about the viability of B2B in the Instagram space, or you just want some B2B inspiration—do yourself a favor and check out some examples of B2B companies that are slaying it on Instagram.
B2B Industry: Software
Instagram Account: @adobe
With a product that plays well to the visual, Adobe is a fortuitous and unique entity in the B2B space. Their strategy involves highlighting what their products can do by creating stunning visuals that make even the most ungifted neophyte dream of trying their own hand at Adobe products. This is B2B marketing done right.
2. WELLS FARGO
B2B Industry: Banking
Instagram Account: @wellsfargo
Banking is boring, real boring. But that doesn't mean an ambitious company like Wells Fargo has to make their Instagram account boring. The massive bank combines a good mix of video and images to add variety to their content. If that's not enough, @wellsfargo keeps content fresh by covering a wide variety of topics like current events, financial tips, quotes, and fun facts.
Followers: 1.1 M
B2B Industry: Tech
Instagram Account: @intel
IBM validates itself as one of the "big boys" by showcasing their role in big events like the X Games, Grammy's and hot tech conferences. Following IBM's journey feels like following a celebrity as you become privy to just how massive and innovative of a company they truly are. Each photo they provide shows a company whose fully aware of their unique voice in the B2B space. Large company's like these that dabble in many areas can sometimes have a hard time defining their voice, but IBM does a solid job of peeling back the layers on their many products—giving you a detailed look at exactly what they do in the tech space.
B2B Industry: Advertising
Instagram Account: @grey
It's encouraging to see B2B company's pushing the boundaries of social media. Their account description reads, "Each week, one person from our Grey NY office takes over our Instagram to share what inspires them. Oh, and everything is in GREYscale." Following them is like watching a TV series, with each "episode" (or new week) being seen through the eyes of a different employee. Despite the constant changing of hands, the account is able to maintain a singular tone with its mandatory implementation of "GREYscale" filters, and NYC setting. @grey is by far one of the most unique accounts on this list, and definitely worthy to be dubbed a B2B content pioneer.
5. AD AGE
B2B Industry: Media/News Company
Ad Age's bio states "Important to Important People." With that in mind, Ad Age likes to position themselves as an authority in the advertising space often highlighting celebrities on their cover shots or editorial content. Although they focus on advertising, their content touches on a wide variety of topics like music, food, and anything they deem creatively inspirational (like their name written with pretzels).
6. FREE AGENCY
B2B Industry: Content Production/Branding
Instagram Account: @free
If you had any doubts about Free's artistic vision, squash them now because photography just happens to be their bread and butter. And we're not talking about a slice of uninspired white bread with some I-can't-believe-it's-not-real-freaking-butter substitute—we're talking about some fresh focaccia straight out of the oven with lemon herb butter. This is B2B content that blurs the line between art and advertising. Maybe we should call it artvertising?
B2B Industry: E-Mail
An email provider company. Boring right? Wrong. Dead wrong. MailChimp takes full advantage of their playful logo by breathing life into his 2d form and transforming him into a veritable personality. Their quirky brand image seeps through each photo, making sure you laugh a little on the inside each time they post a new photo—an emotion we're sure they hope transfers over when you use their service.
B2B Industry: Marketing
Instagram Account: @AdRoll
Taking the most holistic approach of all the Instagram accounts, AdRoll uses a broad stroke approach when it comes to visual content. Company events, pop culture references (a la Star Wars), cute dogs, bring your family to work day, and behind the scenes looks at marketing campaigns. Perhaps of all the Instagram accounts on this list, AdRoll does the best job of making their company accessible. Have you ever seen an interview with an actor, and you get that feeling that you'd hit it off if you ever met in person? AdRoll evokes that same sentiment.
B2B Industry: Apps/Data
Instagram Account: @citrix
Company bikes, French Bulldogs, and a grip of cool events—Citrix shows why they're a leader in the B2B data space. Unlike many companies, Citrix avoids heavy promotion by opting for a soft pitch. Lately they've been integrating branded Lego scenes which can't help but bring a little smile to your face.
B2B Industry: Financial Services
For a seemingly large financial corporation, UBS provides content that has a surprisingly accessible "startup" feel. They are extremely transparent, going so far as documenting their recent re-branding, something not all brands would be so happy to share with the public. A lot of their content so far has focused on artist Damilola's role in their brand transformation. We're not sure where the future of their Instagram account is headed, but we're confident it will not cater to the status quo.
B2B Industry: Marketing/Sales
Instagram Account: @hubspot
Hubspot has a penchant for highlighting good food, cute animals, and fun work activities. Of course it's not all play, they sprinkle in some solid quotes and advice to balance it out. Overall, Hubspot is a feel good account with a penchant for peeling back the layers for their customers' and potential clients' enjoyment.
B2B Industry: Software
Instagram Account: @SAP
SAP has a lot of great quotes and is unequivocally targeted towards other business owners when it comes to advice and content—something you would hope to see from a B2B company that provides software. They're also on top of it when it comes to staying current on holidays and special days like Groundhog day, World Cancer Day, Thanksgiving, The Holidays and New Year.
B2B Industry: Delivery
Instagram Account: @fedex
Cargo shipment has never seemed more fun than with FedEx's Instagram account. With lot's of great photos of airplanes and trucks all over the world, FedEx is a bit of a promotional travelogue. But their promotion never crosses the line, just a subtle logo in the background of mostly stunning photos that make you want to travel as much as use their service.
B2B Industry: Tech
Of course IBM has many of the great qualities these other B2B companies possesses—but what's most intriguing about their voice on social media, is the personification of their API's in the form of an animitronic robot named Watson. In fact, they have a whole host of robots they use, each with their own unique personality. Following their Instagram account is watching a good sci-fi series that leaves with sense of awe at the power of technology and its potential.
B2B Industry: Tech
INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT: @HP
A fashion diary? A global technology brand? We can't tell which one it is, but we're not too sure we even care! HP capitalizes on subtlety and style—showing that even big brands can be nimble when it comes to social media.