14.01.2015 Instagram overtakes Twitter as number one social network: Our top tips for using Instagram for business

Way back when, we blogged about Instagram as the rising new star of the social scene so we were excited to read that Instagram has just hit 300 million users, overtaking Twitter as the most popular social networking platform.

As we become increasingly time-poor, with so much information demanding our attention from a multitude of sources, the rise of Instagram shows that we are visual creatures, with many of us preferring the stimulation that images provide over the text-based information available on Twitter or Facebook.

We are often to be found advising our clients on how to get more social, but does Instagram have a place in business or is it more suited to consumer brands?

 We say that it can be used to great effect in the B2B space, but it needs careful thought and planning.

Instagram, when used cleverly, allows customers to see the human side of your brand or business. You can invite them in to see some ‘behind the scenes’ aspects of running your company that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to see. This can help form connections with potential customers, helping them to feel positively about you and your people.

As Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform – with active user numbers on Facebook continuing to plummet – we do advise clients to explore and experiment with other platforms to see how they can work for them. We have also put our money where our mouth is by launching our brand spanking new Brighter Comms Instagram feed, which we are looking forward to building on over the next few months.



Here are our top tips for using Instagram for business:

Engaged tone?

  • Ensure you get the right tone. Where LinkedIn is very corporate, Instagram should give followers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your company. Have fun with it! Include photos of your team doing the everyday things clients don’t usually get to see. Of course, perhaps not many people want to see Dave from accounts working on his spreadsheets (having said that, you’ll be surprised what floats some people’s boats!) but there is plenty of scope for sharing images that give a real insight into where and how you work. If your people are on the road, get them snapping. People will feel as if they know your brand personality the more you share – just be clear what it is you want people to think about you before you wade in.


Matt Horwood

Consider content carefully

  • Of course, content is king. While you might want to consistently promote your product or service, your followers won’t want to see this and won’t engage. Post around topics you followers are likely to be more interested in; a team lunch at a local restaurant, the view from a team member’s morning run or perhaps some interesting graffiti near your office, beautiful architectural features you spot…Let your imagination run wild! All of these can be used with corresponding hashtags to encourage a wider audience and really drive engagement.


Hammer the hashtags

  • Your main aim on Instagram should be to generate engagement. You should always follow back those who follow you, as this will give you crucial insights into what interests your followers. Use hashtags! One of the big benefits of Instagram is that you can use as many hashtags as you want to reach the widest possible audience.


Fit for purpose?

  • Fitness and health are popular themes, so if one of your team is eating clean or taking up running, ask them to send in snaps of their adventures. After all, encouraging wellbeing in your staff is to be applauded and will show people that you are a caring, sharing company. It’s not just about customers, your feed could make you a more attractive employer – crucial if you struggle to find the right talent. Of course, images are not enough, the pictures need to be backed up with behaviour and these should be underpinned by values. But if you have all of that in place, why not show the world?

We hope these tips are useful. And if you’re looking for inspiration around how to get it right, here are some of our favourite accounts:


The Adobe Instagram account is full of gorgeous and awe-inspiring snapshots from around the world. The most important thing is that if you were to stumble on their account, you wouldn’t necessarily guess straight away what they do. As we often tell our clients, general brand awareness can be more valuable than pushing a product relentlessly. On social in particular, that approach just doesn’t work. So top marks to Adobe.

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This firm promotes its product very cleverly on Instagram. Instead of boring old photos of pens, they include amazing drawings and works of art created with Sharpies.



Ok it may be a consumer brand but we can learn a lot from the way it uses behind the scenes photographs and shots from team members. These get great engagement and make for an interesting feed full of healthy smoothies, pets and fashion tips.