Engaging your b2b clients and customers in this day and age is becoming more and more important with digital advances in Technology. Businesses now are using images to grab attention with short messages and placing them on social platforms like Twitter, Pintrest, Facebook , the list goes on. The social media platforms have now given businesses an ability to tell their story through using pictures.

Enter Instagram: a popular social media platform that is on the increase with B2B companies. The stats are eye catching and has attracted the attention of facebook, who in April 2012 purchased Instagram. Instagram has on average 90 Million monthly users who are active, and an average of 40 million photos uploaded everyday.

More B2B companies are making the most out of their company’s Instagram accounts by giving users exactly what they want– fresh, consistent content that visually engages their customers and prospects. They’ve made sure their content, images with short messages, is perfectly aligned with their brand’s attributes and that each new photo uploaded tells a story. As a result, they’ve utilized a new channel to engage with customers and attract new ones.

The tech savvy B2B companies see Instagram as an opportunity to engage their business customers and prospects by giving them visual content that is fresh, timely and adds value to their experience. The important focus for B2B companies on Instagram is to have their content and images aligned with the business’s values whilst also telling a story.

Here are 6 powerful ways to tell use instagram and tell you story visually:

#1: Use Instagram Profiles to Reach a Wider Audience

Instagram was originally available on mobile phones and designed for that purpose as mobile phones with increased camera technology allowed users to take pictures on the go and post them to instagram. November 2012 marked a change in Instagram where they allowed desktop users to use instagram profiles this gives a better web presence online and allows your customers more accessibility to your information.

Use instagram pictures to provide a big collage in order to give your audience a better look into your business. How? by promoting whatever your company may be doing; new product launches, employee events, customer promotions, the key is to keep them up to date, and balance information up with fun images and business pictures.

In your instagram profile you can include pictures with calls to action that lead to your website, or pictures of the day to day in your business providing you customers with a insider view of you business. Think also from an overall perspective what each of those pictures will look like together once they are on one whole page.

#2: Create Engagement With Contests

Instagram with its popular picture platform is a great place for business photo contests.

Businesses using instagram can use the platform as a way to do photo contests. The easiest way to track the pictures when you are doing a contest where the favourate picture will be picked is get your audience to tag the Picture with # tag for example #socialsyntax

For this contest, Sony asked people to first follow them on Instagram and then post pictures of anything that represents “love.” The pictures could be anything that represents love to you, like a person, product, place or anything. One person at random was chosen every day to win a $50 Sony Store gift card. Other winners would get some of the new Sony merchandise based on appropriateness to theme, originality, creativity and technique.

This example of a contest is a sure way how to get more followers on instagram and build your engagement with your audience.

With your contests, whats important like other social media is that you consistently post and give your audience a reason to follow your brand.

#3: Reward Followers With Promo Codes

A Promo code in a posted picture to instagram is a great way to keep your customers attention and coming back over and over. Its rewarding your audience and potential customers for reading your profile and content.

A company called Topshop is a clothing store that has an Instagram following of 473,000. Not only do they frequently post pictures but they have high engagement by including promotional codes with some of their posts. Also as a by product of this they have a large ammount of likes and comments

The trick with your business is to research into what your customer wants and use that to keep them engaged. Its very much like on other social media platforms, keep them excited and engaged.

When thinking about promotions, find out and list what you know about your audience, such as demographic information all the way to what gets their attention. then put together a campaign calendar for Instagram. (this maintains consistency)

Before adding promo codes to your campaign, think about whether they are relevant to your audience. If they are, find unique or creative ways to share them on Instagram. Not only will your followers appreciate the codes, but Instagram is also a creative way to give them away.

Its important before you add promo codes in your campaign to check and think of the revelvance to your audience. If it passes the test then look for unique and creative ways to spread them around. Your followers will love the promo codes and instagram is a trendy way to give them away.

#4: Feature Your Customers

Nothing beats seeing a happy and friendly face on instagram when you are looking at a company profile. Your customers are the greatest fans and also a great way to tell your companys story from a different perspective.

You might have reviews online about your products and services but it makes a big difference having a picture and review from you customer via instagram.

The way to do this is a quick picture of your customers and showcase a small part of what they experience and what your brand is like.

An Example of featuring your customers on Instagram is Virgin America Airlines. Virgin in the spirit of its founder Richard Branson, they frequently put pictures on surprised customers that just won a contest fairs, and the places they were jet setting to thanks to Virgin America. Also featured are celebrities to give them a bit more star-power and brand awareness.

When you post to Instagram with a picture, while highlighting your customers experience aim to show your brand values at the same time.

Posting a picture of your customers experience puts a real face to your brand, which encourages your audience and creates more connection. This is invaluable for your audience and critical for more followers.

#5: Get More Interest in Your Events

Traditional business with trade shows and events the main objective is to teach and demonstrate products and services with the hope of turning them into a customer. Instagram can help with this by giving a snap shot of where you are at an event and even give your attendee an experience before he arrives.

Most conferences have a hashtag that attendees can follow on Twitter and Instagram that can be used to show others everything that’s going on, whether it’s visual or in 140 characters.

Most events and conferences have hashtags for an attendee to track on Instagram or Twitter this documents to others just whats going on in a picture or 140 characters.

An example of this is at Dreamforce 2012, Appirio uniquely decided to promot their booth area, and show off some visually engaging work they were doing plus also their location using #df12

Adding Instagram to your event marketing mix can help you reach more people, get more people to visit your booth and increase engagement with your audience. By following the hashtag of the conference, attendees are drawn to your Instagram shot and able to locate your booth quicker. At small or large conferences, this can come in handy to stand out from the crowd.

When thinking about your marketing strategy its important to consider Instagram in your mix of promotion for an event. utilizing this can increase engagement with your audience and generate more visitors to your promotional booths. With the 1 2 punch of hash tags and instagram pics you can attract more people to your event as your audience will locate your booth faster. Stand out in the crowd.

#6: Take pictures of people in action in your business.

Finally a great way to show authenticity to what you are doing for your business is to take pictures of the processes and people (with permission). Giving your company a better view of what goes on and the intricacies of effort that goes into creating your product or service gives your audience a stronger bond to the products they love.