Posts Tagged ‘Cisco’


How to Use Instagram for B2B Brand Management

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
flickr user Jason Howie under CC BY License

flickr user Jason Howie under CC BY License

As a visual medium, Instagram is a product-friendly social media platform. But for B2B brands, leveraging such a visual platform is more of a challenge, especially if you offer a service, not a product. Plenty of B2Bs successfully use Instagram for brand management and user engagement, and while it’s not appropriate for every B2B, there are ways to make it work. And since Instagram is now in the top ten social networks, it’s a valuable marketing tool, so here are some tips for maximizing your B2B Instagram potential.

Remember the goal

The goal of putting your brand on Instagram is not to generate sales or leads; the purpose of Instagram is brand engagement, awareness, and management. Using Instagram may not even increase your blog traffic by much – if at all – since links aren’t live. So make sure your goals are in line with the reality of the platform, and that if you’re going to put in the effort, it’s a platform conducive to your brand.

Take compelling images

Don’t go posting grainy, under-lit photos; make sure whoever is in charge of the Instagram account knows how to take and edit a photo. Learn about basic composition, and try out some free photo editing apps like Snapseed or VSCO Cam. If your organization has a photographer on staff, get them to take pictures and send to the person in charge of Instagram.

Share your company culture

If your organization volunteers, goes on team outings, or attends a lot of industry events, Instagram is the place to post shots of the fun in action. Think of it as displaying the human side of your brand and promoting who you are as a community. This is an especially valuable tactic for brands that are very involved in the community and/or host a lot of events. For a B2B brand that has a very active, well-done Instagram, check out Cisco’s account.

Get creative

Think beyond your services to your brand values and your customers. How do your clients benefit from your service, and how do those fit in with brand values? FedEx’s Instagram shows their vehicles around the world delivering packages, but also uses a visually stunning – and sometimes amusing – format. Don’t be afraid to think beyond your brand and hijack a trend or two, like FedEx did with last fall’s hit song “What does the fox say?”

Fedex Instagram What Does the Box say BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas B2B Instagram

#Hashtag

Just like Twitter, Instagram is no place to skimp on the hashtags. They’re what make you discoverable, since search functions are only by user name or hashtag. Consistent use of relevant hashtags will help your content succeed, but don’t go overboard – stick to five hashtags. Beyond that and you’re annoying or spammy.

Hold contests

If your brand regularly holds contests or giveaways, start moving them to Instagram to grow engagement on that platform. Advertise them on other platforms, but make part of the contest include commenting or liking a photo. This drives engagement and helps build up and retain a base audience.

What Instagram strategies does your B2B use? How has Instagram worked – or not – for you?

How Technology is Changing the Way We Connect

Monday, November 25th, 2013

by flickr user Eric Fischer

by flickr user Eric Fischer

by Bill Werner*

On November 21, I attended the IABC Phoenix luncheon, where Cisco’s Senior Communication and Marketing Manager Brad Whitworth gave a talk on how technology is changing communication in the world.

Whitworth noted that these days technology is so relevant in our daily communication world that we now notice where we cannot communicate instead of where we can. With widespread wifi hotspots and vast cell phone service coverage, we know where we can’t use our devices, whereas not so long ago, it was the opposite.  Now, we expect service wherever we go. We expect to be connected at coffee shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, and airports. What used to a bonus offering is now a must, and if one of these spots is lacking connectivity, we’re not very happy.

Wifi is also becoming part of activities that usually seem mundane, and becoming a way to control and monitor entire cities and organizations. For example, some cities are implementing systems that notify you of available parking spots. With the ready availability of wifi towers, GPS systems, and apps, one can find a parking spot on a mobile phone. With these same resources, cities are revamping plans for trash pickup, with sensors that indicate how full cans are and routing trucks only to areas with full cans.

The changing roles of technology are also changing the way we network and create our network. Whitworth advised that effective communication is all about building your network and using modern technology to your benefit. To do so, he explained that we must live outside our comfort zone, and not be afraid to use all types of groups and applications, including but not limited to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

A handy rule he recommended is to “build your network before you need your network.” It’s a lot more beneficial to have a network when you can offer people something instead of asking for something. Finally, Whitworth believes that face-to-face networking is still relevant, and that we should always take advantage of it whenever possible, as, he explained, it’s the best way for people to really know you.

This was my first IABC meeting, and I look forward to putting Whitworth’s insights and suggestions into practice. I plan to integrate plenty of face-to-face events into my networking strategy while also building my networking groups digitally. Do you know of or are you part of useful networking events in the Phoenix area? What sorts of networking events have you found to be the most valuable?

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Bill Werner is an Arizona native and Business Development Director at BurrellesLuce, where his focus is developing client relations and providing clients with a comprehensive solution to their needs. His background is in the construction industry, where he learned that developing relationships and communicating are the keys to success. Bill’s family of three includes Katie and their newborn son, Gavin, as well as two cats and two dogs.