In a world where social media has been dominating every sphere of marketing, technology and software companies are leaving no stone unturned to be the show stealers. In this blog, we have not only analysed various strategies used to increase the engagement rates, but also present numerous insights on how social media platforms have changed over the past few years. This will help various brands to shape their social media strategy (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) better. The benchmarks were based on channel observations, the best type of posts, most popular hashtags on Instagram and Twitter and much more.
Social media benchmark is a tool that measures the performance of all brands in an industry. It acts as a yardstick to measure your own performance.
The accomplishment of a brand’s social media standards and performances are generally evaluated through a social network’s inbuilt analytics still, brands and agencies don't have immediate and easy access to the data of their competitors. Without spending days of trouble, there is no way of indeed approaching how a competitive brand is working on social media.
To start off, brands need an adequate set of tools and an appropriate strategy, to comprehensively analyze their own performance. As enhanced analytical capabilities of various social networks have given leverage to brands to evaluate their performances across these channels, there are still many limitations with overly simplistic numbers.
Success on social media is not defined by the number of comments or likes: It’s about increasing the engagement levels while increasing the percentage of audience engaged as you expand your reach.
To measure true social performance we have included detailed engagement rate alongside frequency of posts, post type, hashtags and more.
Why “Likes” are not the only standard to measure success on social media?
Where 1,000 likes may look like a great achievement for a brand with 2,000 followers, it would seem like a small drop in the ocean for a brand with 100,000 followers.
Comparison is drawn with all industry verticals along with social media breakdowns. This will help readers to understand how things shape up across all platforms.
Engagement rates per post is the standard to measure any brand’s performance on social media as it controls the volume of posts and audience size and help the marketers understand their position alongside their competitors.
Note: The correct methodology to measure social media engagement levels is, engagement/unique reach outs (total count of unique people who saw the content) or impressions (total number of times the content was displayed). As Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have restricted APIs, we were unable to include the statistics for the same.
Brands had average engagement rate on Facebook & Twitter, lower on Instagram: Brands connected 1:1 on Twitter with their followers, which is a positive sign but engagement rate on Instagram saw a dip.
Carousel posts managed to pull in a lot of engagement: Posts should be combined with carousel and brands shouldn’t shy away from exploring this opportunity. Carousel is generally reserved for those, who do not engage with the posts for the first time.
Frequency of posts continues to reduce: Brands are refraining to post frequently on social media channels for the second year in a row. Reason cannot be generalised.
Covid not a reason for reduced engagement rates: None of the industries remained untouched from the disastrous effect of Covid-19, but it didn’t play a vital role in the decline of any industry in particular with regards to social media engagement.
Right hashtags key to enhance engagement on any social media channel: Brands shouldn’t shy away from experimenting on what works best for them. The strategy that works on Instagram might not be suitable to derive an expected footfall on Twitter. Proper research must be carried out for designing the best strategy.
Despite producing slightly lower engagement rate on Twitter last year, tech & software brands made some great inroads this year with a slight boost.
The reason why these posts worked is because of the awareness these tech giants created towards their innovative products and services.
Top B2B companies may already benefit from brand name recognition. But social media allows them to increase awareness for specific messages, campaigns, product launches and other initiatives.
IBM, for example, used their Twitter and Facebook ads to promote awareness about their AI (Artificial Intelligence) and cloud to enhance audience experience during the US Open.
Points to consider to enhance audience engagement
Every tweet comprises a combination of the following:
Google has always fascinated its audience with creative advertising, which they can associate with easily. Google picks an example from daily lives of people and inserts its ad smoothly into that particular aspect of their life with they are most familiar with. This is exactly how a tech & software company should advertise their service.
Google came up with a creative advertising demonstrating the capabilities of their Android Wear smartwatches. They built interactive ads replicating the smartwatch interface and made it available on various social media channels. They created ads that showcased specific features of the watch, which accordingly appealed to the users and drove tremendous engagement across various social media channels. Google continuously optimises their ad creatives based on the level and kind of engagement they receive from the audience.
Google’s social media team also incorporates technology along the way. Google Marketing Platform solutions allow them to develop dynamic, adaptable content for a wide range of segment viewers. This approach enables Google to measure engagement effectively so that teams can build on past successes by evaluating the results. It also allows Google to explore different design features and copy them to prepare campaigns in real time. Recent Google app ads, for example, have used real-time data to deliver real-time search results such as restaurants nearby and the weather, based on user locations and time of the day.
Note: Technology, detail, and creativity are central to the entire campaign. Combining those three elements fetches powerful results.
Salesforce has come up with a unique campaign to promote its services through “Astro”. Astro is one of many other characters that Salesforce has introduced to describe its fun side. Audience generally get associated with the characters much more quickly. Salesforce also tried to implement these characters in the new work from home scenario and described how employees have adapted to the new work environment. This fetched them good engagement.
Amazon has always been way ahead of its competitors when it comes to showcasing their brand in terms of technological advancements. Being one of the major company that holds huge data of users, Amazon is creating awareness among its audience about data analytics and how it helps in accelerating business growth. Learning fro this is to keep highlighting your USPs in accordance with the recent trend and helping your audience to understand that how your product/service can help them grow their business.
• Focus on the user and all else will follow.
• One thing at a time, but do it well.
• Informative and short is better than long and confusing posts.
• Democracy on the web works.
• You can derive high engagement without doing something cringe worthy.
• There's always more information out there.
• The need for information crosses all borders.
Point to note:
Although Facebook is the # 1 source of traffic for social media blogs, 38.68% of its social traffic is a minor contributor here than it is in most niches (the average for tech and software on Facebook is 65.36%). On the other hand, tech blogs receive more than double their traffic from Twitter and Reddit as many blogs do and their traffic from YouTube is exaggerated too.
Insights from various social media posts lay the foundation of everything advertisers do, starting with the brief they build. Tech giants (Microsoft, Google, IBM, Intel) start their campaign with in-depth information, but in order to move faster they use methods that are more effective than traditional research.
In a recent Amazon campaign, for example, AWS (Amazon Web Services) read public data and trends from their web services database (Meta Data) to learn which television shows their viewers are most interested in. They then used that data to establish what they might want to see with the Firestick.
Similarly, Google did data analysis for their chromecast to see what the audience’s likes were towards their favorite channels and shows. Google also employed other Google products off the shelf, such as Consumer Surveys and YouTube. Using these resources and partner agencies, including Essence Digital, Google collected information that informs every step of every campaign.
Microsoft strives to drive their audience back to the golden era of technology boom. The 1990s being a crucial time for Microsoft when they were producing new innovations in their software, is the reason people still want to be associated with them due to their continuous improvement. On the other hand, it takes users in the world of nostalgia.
Netflix does two things better than its competitors: Engaging with its fans and actively listening to them. With this strategy portrayed here, Netflix drives a whopping 480,000+ likes. This states that they closely monitor the content being consumed by their audience and what will trend. Learning here is to listen and closely observe what your audience is consuming daily.
It can be observed that Netflix’s social media accounts have became meme accounts. But in this era, memes are a new way to express and convey, hence this must not come as a surprise. Even in these tough times, Netflix decided to lighten the mood while also promoting their original movies through exciting and funny memes.
Visual marketing has a 40 times greater chance of being shared on any social media channel.
Although this sounds obvious, you will be surprised by the upcoming information. Too many social media accounts are filled with text only, lacking anything visual. Although videos and GIFs usually rank higher than pictures but images are still worth a thousand words. When selecting your photos, be sure to select those that do not play too strongly with your emotions, though some of the negative emotions-depicting posts may work best, if used aptly. Think about what kind of image would make you stop scrolling your feed. Now, put on your tech thinking hat, put your own spin on it and keep it smart. People have moved away from the usual stock photos of boys in suits smiling and crossing their arms. If the image does not pull you in or makes you look a second time, try staring at it for a while until you think it is relevant (or not).
Post ideas: Quotes and images, use of contrasting colors, employee features, events, black and white images and black background images
Research reveals that 58% of IT buyers use social media to make decisions related to buying tech products.
Honestly, it is difficult to create an effective social media strategy for tech companies and generalising those strategies to fit all of them. Most of the companies that have been part of this research are B2B, which generally have limited and less accessibility to their customer base in comparison to B2Cs. Social media strategies for tech giants should focus on educating their audience, showing thought leadership and building trust through creating awareness.
Technology companies know that doing research before devising a communication strategy is vital for their social engagement and success. It is always important to consider the tactics competitors are using. To create a social media strategy, tech giants are always trying to figure out what the audience is talking about. Companies should start asking the right questions to their social media team. It is very important to find out the unique aspects audiences are expecting from you. One should then organize those conversations using the fun chat starters of the social media platform. By doing this, companies can not only enhance their engagement levels, but also stand out and move ahead in the competition.
Most of your audience are not expecting a unique, artistic post from tech companies. However something unique coming out even once in a while, is more likely to stand out from the crowd and bring out the best in them.
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.
Being brave and creative (in the form of a technology company), tech companies should also do what is hot right now in the world of communication — and do it differently and uniquely for their product, which helps them stand out to their competitors.
Social media for enterprise level businesses is generally a large enterprise within itself.
Giant tech conglomerates like Microsoft, Google, Netflix and others usually use a number of social media channels in different regions and languages to diversify their reach. Depending on the verticals they are operating in, tech & software companies generally use a number of different support social media accounts as well as for marketing, administering different product/services, divisions and even hiring.
To get a glimpse of this, typing in Disney in the search bar on any social media channel will give you numerous results.
Activities pertaining to social media marketing generally involves large groups of people, multiple marketing agencies, legal oversight and large scale business management tools. In order to maintain consistent brand voice and messages across the platform, companies rely on various style guides for social media to keep up with the trend and follow a number of social media guidelines and policies.
This is where Transfunnel comes in with their inbound marketing expertise helping organisations to revamp their online presence with a 360 degree approach.
Our approach to marketing on social media is not at all definitive. That's the beauty of discipline and tools: they are so diverse that there is no "one size fits all" approach. It takes time and research to find out what works best for your company and your audience.
What we have shown you are the principles behind the approach to derive a successful engagement strategy; accepting that consumers of our products and services have a say in how we do business with them. We can, at our own risk, choose to ignore that change, but we choose to listen.
Knowing who is responsible for your product is important. Tracking fans who re-tweet your Twitter updates or send traffic to you via posts or updates helps build an image of what you are doing well. Offline reach to promote that relationship is essential. Bad news and negative emotions are the result of viral properties. Positive PR is very hard to find, so as soon as it occurs, jump on it and express gratitude to your audience.
On the other hand, having procedures to warn your teams of negative criticism, tracking that feeling, getting down to the specifics of something that might happen, and being able to respond quickly are essential to eliminating any criticism of your company.
Postponing things and delaying responses has no place on social media.
The speed at which news can circulate and the inaccurate myths being spread due to inactivity can often have a lasting and damaging effect. Knowing how you want to be viewed online is just as important as any other product statement of intent.