When you think about social media marketing for tech companies, Instagram probably isn’t the first platform that comes to mind. After all, isn’t Instagram mostly for fitness, fashion or artsy businesses? How could a site flooded with fitness models and coffee art be useful for a tech company?
Surprisingly, some of biggest names in tech use Instagram to showcase their business and rock it: IBM, Dell, and HP are just a few. Using social media marketing for your business boosts SEO, helps your business establish a sense of trust and familiarity with your target market and industry alliances, and gives you greater access to potential customers.
When it comes to social media marketing for tech companies, Instagram can be an excellent platform to build a presence on—especially if your products are appealing to the millennial market—and pending you know how to use it well.
And Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Overlook It:
Instagram has a comfortable seat among social media’s strongest players and continues to grow rapidly. The visual platform is projected to reach 1 billion users in early 2018. With potential reach like that, it sure seems worth it to start posting some photos.
But what if you’re not photo savvy? What if you think your products aren’t really all that photogenic? How will you use Instagram for your tech company? Here’s 4 tips to get you started on building a presence for your tech business on Instagram:
#1 Start with Well-Received Content
Figuring out what kind of content best suits your brand image—and appeals to your ideal end users–can be difficult. But there’s no shame in starting with content that’s been proven to perform well. Instead of sales announcements, begin with high-quality photos.
Examples from IBM’s Instagram account. (Source: https://www.instagram.com/ibm/)
Scenery is one popular option but be sure to give your photos a little context: Was it taken after a long day at work, on a business trip, or submitted by an employee? Company outings or conferences can be a perfect time to snap some photos for Instagram.
Scenery can also include warm & fuzzy shout-outs to the coffee shops and lunch joints you and your colleagues often stop at during the workday. Locally relevant posts can also help you connect with other people and businesses in your community (always a plus and super relevant since social media is about building an online community; not just advertising on a digital billboard).
Just because Instagram is all about images doesn’t mean you can’t post words. Quotes placed on a tastefully-designed graphic are popular too. Consider posting encouraging or motivational quotes that match the values of your brand. With tools like Canva or Adobe Spark, you can create branded social media-ready graphics quite easily.
#2 Give Your Fans a Glimpse Behind the Scenes
Examples from Asana’s Instagram account. (Source: https://www.instagram.com/teamasana/)
Photos of Your Process Can Be Both Interesting and Promotional:
- Have an upcoming project in the works? Share progress photos with your Instagram following. You could consider only revealing close-ups or partial shots of your project to leave your audience guessing and to generate excitement.
- Have a question or want feedback on one of your product iterations? Post a screenshot and ask a question.
- Do you and your colleagues have interesting sprint meetings or blow-off-steam with a game of ping pong or silly office pranks? Capture snippets from these moments with your smartphone and share on Instagram with relevant captions and hashtags.
- If your business is a tight group, and your brand is casual and friendly, consider sharing photos of your office mascot, colleagues’ pets (e.g.: your programmer, Martin’s, pet goldfish: “Gidget & Gadget”) and happy news about your people.
The idea is to share impromptu snippets of what it’s like in a day-in-the-life of someone on your team.
#3 User-Generated Content
If you have enough Instagram followers or fans in general, consider creating a campaign to encourage user-generated content. When users post about your brand, your name reaches a wider audience and may even be more influential. Hearing positive reviews from another consumer acts as “social proof” that encourages others to try your product or service too.
Examples from Canva’s Instagram account. (Source: https://www.instagram.com/canva/)
Host a Contest or Giveaway:
To start using user-generated content, you might create a photo contest or giveaway that uses a unique company hashtag. You can require participants to like your post, follow your account, and tag a friend to expand the reach of this contest.
If You’ve Got Swag’ger, Give It!
Rather than a one-time event, you may also choose to use user-generated content as an ongoing strategy. In that case, you should commit time to search for relevant content regularly and ask permission to repost on your account. Consider showing your appreciation to your favourite contributors by sending them gear or cool company swag.
Using Instagram’s Collections Feature:
Instagram’s Collections feature is an excellent way to save and organize others’ posts. Saving posts may even count as engagement to the Instagram algorithm, so using the Collections feature instead of an outside way of organizing may help your account look active and engaged in the community, which is important for increasing the visibility of your posts.
Repost User Generated Content that your business has been tagged or mentioned in. You may have noticed that there isn’t a native feature in Instagram that allows you to share other users’ content on your Instagram account. But there are a few third-party apps ways as outlined in this article by Hubspot that let you do just that. Just make sure you only post content where your business has been tagged or mentioned (or you have the original creator’s permission) and pending the content reflects positively on your brand.
#4 Try an Instagram Takeover
Another way to get new content on your Instagram account without struggling to come up with ideas is by hosting an Instagram takeover. This popular strategy involves allowing another person to post on your account for a set period of time. Often the person “taking over” your account is an influencer (a person who has a strong following and wide reach on their social media platform). Influencers can generate excitement among your fans and bring their own fan base with them. A business leader on LinkedIn might be influential in the real world, but on Instagram, you could be partnering with popular vloggers or travel photographers who like and use your products.
Examples from Mavelink’s Instagram account. (Source: https://www.instagram.com/mavenlink/)
For a More Budget-Friendly Takeover, You Could Host Your Employees:
Set guidelines and any restrictions you have for Instagram content, and allow an employee to post on your behalf for a while. You could follow a theme, like a day in the life of [insert-job-title-here] or give them more freedom. This strategy also lets your followers put a face (or multiple faces) to your brand name.
And don’t forget about taking advantage of relevant hashtags, Instagram Stories and Direct Messaging. There’s an art to doing each, which you can learn more about here.
But First, Coffee + a Strategy
You wouldn’t set out to develop new hardware or software without caffeine and some kind of plan to ensure everyone’s awake and working towards the same outcome. To do so would result in wasted time, resources, confusion and chaos—and ultimately, project failure.
Examples from WordPress’s Instagram account. (Source: https://www.instagram.com/wordpressdotcom/)
Don’t Fly by The Seat of Your Chinos:
For the businesses that “wing-it” by approaching social media marketing without a strategy, wasted time, confusion and chaos is exactly what they commonly experience before abandoning their efforts.
While social media marketing for tech companies isn’t rocket science, doing it well–and effectively–requires a strategic approach.
We’re Your Partners in ROI:
This is where we come in. Everything we do for our clients, whether it be branding, web development, advertising, or digital and social media marketing, starts with a bespoke strategy that’s based on real business objectives and metrics. Strategy first, then creativity. Or in other words: Function comes first, and then Form.
Effective Social Media Marketing for Tech Companies Starts with a Tailored Strategy to:
- Ensure every piece of content you post is reinforcing your brand image.
- Identify your brand’s voice and mannerisms and reflect this in all of your content and interactions.
- Create a style of imagery and messaging that is consistent across all of your social media platforms, advertising, landing pages and website.
- Hone in on tactics to optimize your customer attraction, conversion and retention rates.
- Have a plan to work from and benchmarks to measure against.
Instagram isn’t just for cutesy photos anymore. Building a following on the platform and executing well-targeted campaigns can be the difference between companies that keep up with their customers and those that fall behind. For help staying on top of social media marketing for your company, get in touch with our team at McAllister Marketing today.
We’re super easy to work with, offer no-obligation quotes and marketing audits, and work with you–as a natural extension of your in-house team.