Did you know 58% of IT buyers use social media to make tech-buying decisions?
I’ll admit, creating an effective social media strategy for tech companies can be tricky. Most of these companies are B2B, and don’t always have the available options or accessibility to customers that B2Cs have. A tech company’s social media strategy needs to focus on educating their audience, showing thought leadership and building trust. The “hard sell” approach will quickly lead to the block list. However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t TONS of cool things technology brands can do on social media to connect with their audience.
Planning your social strategy for tech companies
A savvy technology company knows that doing research before planning a social media strategy is critical for success. See what your competitors are doing —and not doing. Discover what your audience is talking about. Ask yourself what kind of unique value are they looking for you to provide? You should then frame those discussions through interesting social media conversations starters. Doing this preliminary work is a golden opportunity to stand out and get ahead of your competition. Why? Many of your followers are not expecting unique, creative posts from tech companies. If they don’t see it coming, it’s more likely to stand out amid the noise and yield higher engagement.
Along with being bold and creative (in a tech company kind of way), you also have to do what’s currently hot in the social media world—and do it in a way that’s unique to your brand, helping you stand out.
Seven trendy content types for tech companies
This list gives you seven types of content that are currently “trending” in the social media world, along with suggestions to incorporate into your own social media strategy.
1. Live video
80% of brand audiences would rather a watch live video than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.
Video is good. Live video is great. If you’re surprised this made the list you’ve either been living under a rock or you’re in denial. Live video is THE HOTTEST thing in social media right now. You can go live on Facebook, Instagram, Periscope (Twitter) and YouTube. Going live shows brand personality by putting a face (or voice) to the business, which is extremely important, especially for companies that don’t sell directly to the customer. It also lets your audience engage with you, weigh in and participate in the conversation—in real time. In addition, live video tends to get a higher reach and more impressions than any other type of content across all social channels. And here’s a hot tip for you: Not a lot of technology companies are currently leveraging this trend in their social media strategies. Anyone smell an opportunity?
Ideas for live streaming: product releases, events, interviews, campaigns, and company functions
When Dell ran their first GIF-centered email campaign, they received a:
- 6% increase in open rate
- 42% increase in click rate
- 103% increase in conversion rate
- 109% increase in revenue
Are you impressed, or nah? I am. But again, not surprised. GIFs have a tendency to stand out in the feed because of their movement and repetition, similar to regular video. On top of that, people tend to watch them more than once. GIFs can be serious, funny, informative, silly, sarcastic or educational. But since we’re talking about social media marketing for tech companies, I advise you to stick with educational and informative—with a dash of humor.
Ideas for GIFS: Product demos, clips from videos and original animations
3. Polls / Surveys
91% of B2B buyers prefer to consume interactive and visual content.
Interactive is the operative word here. Sharing content that encourages audience feedback not only increases your average engagement rate, it makes your audience feel heard, appreciated and increases the likelihood of sharing. Polls and surveys are excellent opportunities for tech companies to get valuable, timely feedback and learn more about their audience. A savvy tech company then incorporates these insights into their social media strategy. Twitter polls are a great way for a technology brand to engage their audience (see example below). They’re quick, simple to do and extremely shareable. Creating a survey for your audience via SurveyMonkey is another way to get feedback using a simple tool.
Ideas: Quiz the audience on their industry knowledge, ask them to vote for their favorite product, campaigns, product/service suggestions and opinions on industry happenings
4. Industry-expert quotes
51% of marketers report acquiring a better quality of customer through influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing arose a few years back and is steadily on the rise. In fact, Google searches for “influencer marketing” have increased by 325 percent in the last 12 months. In other words, it’s a thing. Mentioning industry experts in your social media post gives you the chance to interact with thought leaders, expose your brand to a wider audience and position yourself as a thought leader, all at the same time. These are also great opportunities for you to start a conversation with the influencer or your own audience. Either way, it makes your brand look good.
Ideas: Pull a direct quote from an article, blog or analyst and paste it on an image, ask for an expert opinion or provide your own provocative insight on the subject
5. Images that evoke emotion
Visual marketing is 40X more likely to be shared on social media.
Seems obvious, right? You’d be surprised. Too many social media accounts are filled with text-only posts, lacking any visual at all. While videos and GIFs typically rank higher, pictures are still worth a thousand words. When choosing your images, be sure to pick ones that illicit emotion, preferably positive ones—although some slightly negative ones can work if used sparingly. Think about what type of image would make you stop scrolling in a feed. Now, wearing your tech company hat, put your own spin on it and keep it creative. People have evolved away from the generic stock photos of guys in suits smiling with their arms crossed. If the image doesn’t draw you in or make you take a second look, leave it where it is and keep looking.
Ideas: Images with quotes, use of contrasting colors, employee features, events, black and white photos and images with dark backgrounds
6. SM holiday trends
Did you know #NationalPancakeDay was the number one trend on U.S. Twitter earlier this year?
Hard to believe, but people LOVE to participate in these types of posts, which gives your business front row seats to the action. My advice? Have fun with it! If you can relate it to your brand somehow, that’s great. In fact, the ones that specifically align with your brand are great opportunities for promotions. However, don’t forget this is SOCIAL media. Meaning, if it’s #NationalSunglassesDay, why not take an office pic of the employees rockin’ their favorite pair of Ray Bans? You’d be showcasing images with real people instead of stock photos and showcasing brand personality. It’s another form of brand awareness. Check out the list of all the holidays here. There are also everyday hashtag trends you can participate in such as #WednesdayWisdom and #ThrowbackThursday.
Ideas: Industry insights for #WednesdayWisdom, old technologies for #ThrowbackThursday and polls or surveys for #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay
7. Your very own hashtag
Tweets with hashtags receive 2X the engagement as those without hashtags
We already know personalization is preferred in the marketing world; but not only for the customer. Sure, you can technically make any word or term a hashtag, and you can participate in the popular ones, but why not take it a step further and create your own? Doing this not only generates a loyal following, it increases brand recognition and encourages engagement from your audience. You can create more than one of these and make them specific to various targets. For example, one hashtag could be specifically for employees, one could be specifically for an ongoing campaign, or you can create one and run a contest with your fans. Here are a few examples.
Ideas: Create specific hashtags for tips, quizzes, polls, employee contests, fan contests and event campaigns
Share the social wins for your tech company
When it comes to social media for tech companies, your goal is the same as every other brand — to connect with the right audience and to stand out above the noise (and your competitors). Hopefully, these 7 ideas inspired you to up your social media marketing game. Stay tuned to this blog for more useful ideas. Have you already tried any of these or does one in particular stand out to you? Tweet me @BiancaLynch, I’d love to spark a conversation and learn more.
You can learn more about how to be a social savvy tech brand in my previous blog 3 Key Ingredients for a Successful Social Media Strategy.
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