15 B2B Brands that Excel at Using Instagram

1

Business-to-business (B2B) brands are unfairly ignored when it comes to Instagram advice.

This is probably due to the nature of these companies. Many of them deal in intangible services, or sell products that are not commercially available to most people.

As a result, they are viewed as less of a fit for the platform than business-to-consumer (B2C) brands. Some might even ask what a B2B company has to gain from having an Instagram presence.

The answer is a lot.

Even if you aren’t a retail business, you can still benefit from spreading awareness. Your Instagram can stand as a testament to your brand’s goals, ambitions, achievements, and core values.

If you are need of inspiration, here are 15 B2B brands that absolutely shine on Instagram:

1. HP

Instagram is a platform driven by high-quality content. The accounts that produce the most interesting, visually-pleasing images tend to get more attention. This is something that the tech company HP understands well.

With one look at their page, you can tell that HP has a deft control over aesthetics. Their posts are not only gorgeous, but they also flow smoothly from one to the next. There is a consistency across their feed that makes for a unified, engaging grid.

HP also utilizes a variety of Instagram features. You can find an assortment of photos, videos, and multi-image posts on their page. It’s an approach that keeps things constantly fresh for their followers.

Another thing the brand does right is incorporate its products. Most of its posts feature their technology in some way, whether as demonstrations or highlighting the designs.

2. FedEx

Much like it does with packages in real life, FedEx delivers the goods on Instagram.

The first thing that you might observe is that there is a distinct, recurring component across their content. Every single post has an airplane or a delivery truck with the FedEx logo somewhere in it. While the locations change, this element remains a permanent fixture.

It gives the viewer the sense that the company is always on the go. It also acts as a sort of travelogue that demonstrates the global reach of the brand. You can only marvel at all of the different sights and wonder where they’ll end up next.

FedEx also makes extensive use of hashtags. Each of their captions includes several relevant hashtags, which helps Instagram users find their content.

3. Adobe

Adobe is known for their software geared towards graphic designers and artists. Their digital tools have allowed countless people and brands realize their creative visions. So, it’s only fitting that they should approach their Instagram account from this angle.

Most of their posts are user-generated content. There’s hardly any explicitly branded images or videos to be found. You’d be hard-pressed to even guess it was Adobe’s corporate account if not for their bio.

Instead, they choose to feature the work of talented artists whose submissions are overflowing with imagination. It’s a daring strategy that pays off immensely.

In line with this strategy, Adobe often invites artists to take over their account. Most recently they have invited Swedish surrealist Erik Johansson to take the reigns. His moody, uncanny work is the perfect type of material that catches viewers’ eyes and generates thousands of likes.

4. Intel

Intel needs little introduction in the realm of computing technology. Their processors and other products are ubiquitous across the computer industry, and numerous other fields.

Intel has a built-in following that eagerly awaits its newest releases. To capitalize on this, they use Instagram to tease upcoming products. These glimpses build hype and drive traffic to their website for more information.

Aside from promoting their own products, Intel also explores the past and future of technology through their posts. This sometimes comes in the form of a picture of an early device with historical trivia in the captions.

They also post about recent technological advances, scientific breakthroughs, notable individuals, and upcoming events. Anybody who follows them can expect a steady stream of intriguing and informative content.

One smart thing that Intel does is constantly update the link in their bio. This allows them to explore the many facets of their business, as well as draw notice to their current campaigns.

5. SAP

Some brands don’t exactly have the most exciting products to work with. For instance, SAP specializes in software applications for managing businesses. Spreadsheets and graphs don’t quite lend themselves to vibrant Instagram content.

So rather than focus on their products, SAP gives followers a look into the brand itself. Their feed tends to include photos of their locations and the faces of their employees. It’s a choice that humanizes the brand.

SAP also makes extensive use out of text posts. These are images comprised of simple backgrounds, text, and any other accompanying graphics. It’s a very simple and easy form of content to make.

However, I wouldn’t advise overdoing it. Try to spread it out between other types of content. Too many text posts will make you seem lazy, and it’ll make your page look less visually dynamic.

6. MailChimp

Personality matters on Instagram. This goes for any other social network. One of the main reasons why certain accounts become popular is because of the attitude that they convey.

MailChimp is a great example of a B2B brand that exudes a charming sense of personality. Their content tends to be light-hearted, playful, and humorous.

Central to the brand’s identity is their mascot chimpanzee. With its beaming grin and sly wink, the silly ape can be seen in many of their posts. It gives their viewers a character to connect to and associate with the brand.

Don’t be afraid to cut loose and have fun. Not all business accounts need to be stuffy and rigidly professional. You can afford to be a little cheeky from time to time.

7. IBM

Lots of people are curious about what goes on behind the scenes of their favorite companies. Why not give them a peek? That’s what IBM does.

On Instagram, IBM offers glances into its lively work environment. These pictures show off their facilities’ stylish, modern interiors and state-of-the-art equipment. There are also plenty of shots of smiling employees working on projects and collaborating with their teams.

It’s enough to make you wish you had a job at IBM too.

Consider what IBM is trying to communicate with this content. None of the candid photos are of sterile tech labs and stern-faced workers. On the contrary, it’s a place bursting with color and innovation, and it’s run by a diverse assortment of inventive minds.

8. HootSuite

Similarly, HootSuite is another brand that focuses its Instagram on its team members.

HootSuite doesn’t keep its content restricted to the workplace, though. It often shows its employees in an assortment of different places and situations. This can involve everything from wakeboarding, to enjoying fireworks, and even participating in rooftop yoga.

What’s life without a little adventure? It definitely spices up your Instagram content, that’s for sure.

Also, take note of the branded hashtag featured in these posts. #HootSuiteLife is a tag that all of the company’s employees can use. Like the rest of their content, it speaks volumes about how the company truly cares for its workers’ quality of life.

9. CBRE

Commercial real estate probably isn’t on your list of most captivating topics. Just thinking about it might be enough to elicit yawns and make eyes glaze over.

Yet, that’s not the case with CBRE’s Instagram. They skip right past any of the dry parts of their business and get straight to the genuinely awesome stuff.

CBRE showcases breathtaking architecture from around the world. Every post contains a detailed description about the building, with facts about its construction and history.

Only some of the buildings in these posts are owned by CBRE. Many of them are not. This is a wise decision, as it makes the account seem less salesy.

Instagram isn’t a platform that revolves exclusively around marketing. A majority of its user base is there to casually browse through entertaining content. They don’t want to feel like blatant advertisements are being pushed on them. So, your primary goal should be giving your viewers value for their time.

10. Boeing

It’s good to fill a specific niche if there’s a demand for it. For Boeing, this niche is airplane enthusiasts.

Aside from their main account @boeing, they also have one called @boeinglovers. Both are fairly popular, but the latter surprisingly has a larger amount of followers.

Most of the content on @boeinglovers is sent in by users with an affection for the company’s signature aircrafts. These pictures capture the various airplane models produced by Boeing in action, and are captivating in their beauty.

The account is evidently made for admirers of Boeing’s precise craftsmanship, whose imaginations soar whenever they see these powerful yet graceful machines take flight. Even the name “Boeing Lovers” gives you a sense that you’re among a small yet passionate group of fans.

Not everything has to be made for the widest of audiences. Sometimes you can drive higher rates of engagement and gain more loyal followers by narrowing your target audience.

11. Staples

Some businesses like to theme their Instagram content. Common examples of themes include seasons, national observances, major events, and holidays.

Staples (which has the fortune of being both a B2C and B2B company) often uses theming for their posts. In the past, they’ve covered everything from Halloween to Shark Week. Over the last month they’ve focused on the “Back to School” period, which makes sense for a company that provides supplies to students and teachers alike.

Another area where Staples succeeds is with community interaction. Their posts are usually accompanied by a question or a prompt for the user to share their thoughts and ideas.

Instagram isn’t just a place to show off your pictures and videos. There’s a distinct social element to it as well. It’s important to make your followers feel valued by recognizing them and soliciting their input.

12. HubSpot

Over time, Instagram has added more and more options in order to accommodate for video content. It would be a mistake to neglect this opportunity.

HubSpot, a company that develops inbound marketing software, uses video content extensively on the platform. Their videos range from the inspirational to the humorous, utilizing everything from quotes to memes to get their messages across.

In particular, HubSpot draws deeply from the well of pop culture. They often create funny and relatable content with clips of recognizable characters such as Superman, Carmen Sandiego, and Michael Scott from The Office.

The internet is a place guided by shifting trends. Try to keep up to date with your audience and find things that will resonate with them. This can involve stirring nostalgia, or jumping onto new topics while they’re still hot.

13. Microsoft

Microsoft is one of the most powerful companies in the entire world. Even if it did the bare minimum, it would still have an enormous following on Instagram. Thankfully it does far more than that.

The company uses its considerable influence to put a spotlight on important social issues. Lately, they’ve been addressing gender equality within the STEM field.

Using the branded hashtag #MakeWhatsNext, Microsoft has launched a campaign to support female inventors with patenting their inventions and taking their concepts to the next level. It’s a noble cause that has won them a great deal of approval and positive attention.

Too many companies shy away from assuming social responsibility. Don’t be one of them. If you feel like there’s something you can change, then stand up and take charge.

14. General Electric

What is the size and scope of your business?

Some companies operate on a larger scale than others. General Electric is certainly one of them. The cutting-edge technology that they present on Instagram can almost seem impossibly massive at times.

So if you’ve got something impressive to show, then go for it.

Awe is a potent emotion to elicit. It can lead to viewers gaining an appreciation for your work that they didn’t have before.

Not every company has the means to fly over the mouth of an active volcano. If you can do it, then why not make a spectacle out of it? Go big.

15. Accenture

You should consider using emojis more often. No, seriously, that’s not a joke. Emojis are a great way to express yourself on Instagram.

Accenture, the consulting firm, is a company that uses emojis in most of their captions. It adds a dash of color and personality to their descriptions.

Try to think of emojis as a visual extension of your language. They communicate a lot in a small package. It’s much like how we use body language and facial cues while speaking. A smiley face has the same effect as a real smile.

Accenture uses them to seem friendly and welcoming. This is appropriate for a business that offers groundbreaking solutions in human resources and employee performance.

About the author

Neal Hallenbeck

Neal Hallenbeck is a graduate of Adrian College. He is a freelance writer, media critic and computer game designer.

Add comment

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Archives

Categories

Meta