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Now’s an excellent time to work in consumer technology.
Before the pandemic struck the world, consumer tech overall was expected to grow 4% YoY as of January 2020. We have earbuds, 5G, and AI-powered devices to thank for the surge.
For streaming services, the outlook was even better at 29%.
Well, as we all know, the unpredictable pandemic no doubt drove consumer tech far beyond its projections for every quarter in 2020.
Not so fast though.
You’ve certainly got plenty of demand for consumer tech – including apps, software, media, and devices – but the markets also grow more saturated by the day.
A tactful social media strategy for your consumer tech brand is vital in 2021 if you want to reach the right audience. And not only reach your audience, but also pique their interest and earn their trust. Here’s how.
As a tech brand, you have to show your audience that you really know how to use social media technology if you want to earn their trust. Let’s just say, it doesn’t look good when a tech brand totally misses the mark with their targeted ads and content marketing.
Use the strategies, tips, and best practices below to build a winning strategy for your consumer tech brand on social media in 2021.
Each platform caters to a specific demographic and type of content. You might as well set one concrete goal (or two – just not too many) for each platform and laser focus your efforts.
Let’s take a look at some of the top platforms and how consumer tech brands can use these social media apps best.
Facebook is a classic. Despite all the platform’s faults, Zuckerberg offers some of the best targeting technology and business tools.
Although people of all ages and demographics use Facebook, popularity is mostly rising among boomers and the 65+ crowd – so definitely keep that in mind.
For consumer tech brands, videos and groups are your best chances to reach your audience without paying.
Twitter is another platform that gets a bad rap because content has such a short lifespan – some say as little as 18 minutes! Here’s the thing, people who talk smack about Twitter probably just aren’t using it properly.
Instead of forcing platforms to do what we want, we must give up control and use them how they work. For Twitter, that means sharing quick thoughts, jokes, breaking news, updates, bug patches, and anything else important – like a newswire for your brand.
As a consumer tech brand, you might want to keep your Twitter goals centred around information sharing and customer support.
What’s not to love about Instagram? You’ve got young tech-loving audiences glued to their phones, highly visual content, and tons of business-friendly tools.
Unlike Facebook, Instagram is ever-expanding its features and opportunities to reach new people organically:
A lot of folks don’t realise that YouTube functions more like a search engine than a social media platform. People jump onto YouTube and into the search bar when they have a question or idea, and they want the answer in video content.
Like Instagram, young tech-loving audiences love TikTok. Plus, unlike lots of other platforms, TikTok makes it easy to go viral if you can reach the right people with amazing content.
It’s a no-brainer for consumer tech brands. FYI: TikTok and Instagram Reels are essentially the same feature so feel free to repurpose content if you’re short on resources and you think the same topic will work across both platforms.
Technology is disconnected enough from humanity as it is. Use your brand’s social media presence to highlight the people behind your product and the unified culture they represent.
Video is the perfect medium for interviewing your developers, designers, manufacturers, marketers, and anyone else who keeps your company humming along.
Most consumer tech brands don’t make this effort so doing so could really help you stand out online.
Branded hashtags are great. They help you keep track of your user-generated content in one convenient location. Plus, users can browse the hashtags to discover a world of content customers have created using your brand’s products.
Actionable hashtags, now those are even better!
In other words, your ideal hashtag should include your brand name (or a branded term like a specific product) along with an action verb.
You’re probably most familiar with this example: #ShotOniPhone.
Yes, shot is past tense but it’s the past tense of shoot, an extremely actionable verb. It’s also home to over 18 million Instagram posts:
They all look pretty professional to me.
Once you come up with an awesome idea, may sure to use it in every post while explaining how it works and asking your followers to use it for their relevant content. This stuff works but you have to put in the work too.
When you have an amazing product, you never run dry on social media content because your customers will be more than happy to submit content for you.
Apple is smart. Good luck finding any original content on the Apple Instagram page. Everything I see is either a user-generated photo (likely submitted through a hashtag) or commissioned by Apple.
In fact, Apple’s bio asks you to “tell your story” by submitting your photos via the hashtag:
And that’s exactly what people do. Each submission Apple chooses for its page has an interesting story in the caption:
Of course, it’s not only Apple. Most consumer tech brands use social media to collect and post customer content.
Sony, for example, used this photo to show followers how the new wearable speakers are perfect for gaming. Although as the first comment points out, it’s hard to use them for gaming when PlayStations are constantly out of stock – but that’s another story.
Logitech G knows its audience. It dug up this awesome gaming setup from Reddit’s r/BattleStations for the Logitech G Instagram page:
And look at that – plenty of useful hashtags!
As a consumer tech company on social media in 2021, you have a duty to educate people about your products and technology in general.
Only a handful of people out there consistently nerd out on the latest and greatest stuff under development. The rest of us need to know why we need your products and how they work.
A few photos and videos aren’t enough either. People need to know how to use the technology and why it’s better than what they already have.
Before we even start talking about tone, let’s talk about which point of view your page should speak from.
Just like with content, goals, and audiences, you might find that a distinct POV works best across different platforms.
Customers seem to respond well to brands on Twitter when they’re personified, for example. In other words, pretend there’s only one person pulling the strings behind your page. Communicate with customers just as you would on your own profile but in your brand’s dedicated tone.
Your followers want to feel like they’re talking to another human – not a piece of technology. Make it happen.
Speaking of voice, you’ll also want to lay out the personality your brand will maintain both across social media generally and on each individual platform.
Each platform has its own standard “sound” so adapting yours to fit the expectation is smart.
For example, Instagram is a little lighter and airier while Twitter is more in-your-face and straightforward. Provide good and bad examples of what you want your consumer tech brand to sound like on social media in 2021 and beyond.
Sony’s personality is one adjective: confident. That’s exactly how Sony wants you to feel as you buy and use their products: 100% confident and alpha (as the hashtag implies).
I know you already planned to cover the basics like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, right?
That’s great – but what about the places your customers wouldn’t necessarily expect your content to appear?
Spotify is an unlikely but useful place for consumer tech brands to use social media in 2021. Even if you don’t have the resources to create your own original audio content like podcasts and music, it can’t hurt to put together themed playlists.
Of course, original content is always best though.
Let’s take a look at Xbox. On the Xbox YouTube channel, I saw them promoting a Spotify playlist in the description of a video for the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla trailer.
Look at that? The original soundtrack and score to the game. Smart thinking.
PlayStation made a playlist too for their 25th anniversary. It’s a simple playlist with songs already available on Spotify – and it’s the first thing in the results when you search “PlayStation” on Spotify.
You love your customers, right? I hope so!
Facebook, Slack, and Telegram are all great options for building private VIP groups. Why limit yourself to one?
Consider creating a handful of exclusive groups for different topics like:
Aside from the groups for ambassadors/influencers, this is your chance to build conversations around your brand that have nothing to do with promoting products.
A general industry/tech update discussion group for your biggest fans lets you tap into their mind for content ideas and even product development.
Reddit is also an excellent choice for this:
As a consumer tech brand on social media in 2021, you can’t show any weakness regarding technology itself. At least, you wouldn’t want to, right?
WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger are all excellent choices here.
Telegram especially offers some neat bot development options – and has for quite some time – if you have the resources to mess with one. Telegram offers way more features than Facebook too like games, custom tools, integrations, RSS, and more:
The integrations and game features could come in handy for consumer tech brands on social media looking to connect with their audience in new interesting ways this year.
Your customers already spend time on Instagram and Facebook – why not give them the choice to shop and checkout all within the app?
Facebook and Instagram shopping features are particularly awesome for physical products you might sell like laptops, headphones, gaming systems, and accessories.
Sony gets it. Here’s a question though. Do you think many customers will actually purchase a $1,700 TV through Instagram?
Maybe, but most likely not.
Completing the purchase isn’t the entire point of the store though. With the Instagram store, casual scrollers who just so happen to visit the Sony page instantly turn into window shoppers. Anyone who opens the store now has a better idea of Sony’s current products and prices.
It’s a win either way.
Remember, everyone loves free stuff. The only thing people love more than getting free stuff is beating other people out to win free stuff.
Ideally, choose a product that needs a promotional boost. Maybe something with cutting-edge technology people don’t quite understand yet.
Give one away and the winner will tell all their friends about it – both online and off. Don’t underestimate good old-fashioned word of mouth!
Look. The fact is, your customers will end up commenting on your posts with questions, complaints, and problems with your products. Especially with an industry like consumer tech, that’s just the way it is.
Of course, you also need someone staffed to respond to comments and messages on your main profile. However, it’s also smart to divert some of the customer energy to a dedicated customer service page.
Both Twitter and Instagram are useful for this purpose. Customers know if they tweet at your brand, they’ll get a response quicker than if they had sent an email or made a phone call.
See anything interesting on this Apple Support Twitter account?
The option to send a direct message is turned on.
You won’t find that on most brands’ main account – or any other Apple Twitter accounts for that matter.
The Apple Support bio also clearly states staffed hours when they’ll be responding to tweets and messages. If we head over to the tweets and replies, we can see whoever runs the page is extremely active, polite, and thorough:
Don’t just share photos and videos of customers using your products and call it a day. People will still only view this kind of content as an advertisement.
In fact, followers might even get mad if they think it insults their intelligence by using someone who looks like them to promote your product.
Follow Apple’s lead and tell their stories. People connect with stories. Stories don’t sell anything.
We can’t be sure how YouTube’s SEO works, so we might as well treat it like WordPress. After all, Google does own YouTube.
In that case, topic-based playlists would help the YouTube algorithms understand how to rank our content and where to place it in queues behind relevant content from other channels.
Plus, playlists are just smart for helping your viewers find the information they want or need right away without digging through your entire history.
Xbox has tons of playlists set up for different games, events, and products. Each video has a uniform thumbnail with the little Xbox logo in the bottom left corner too.
Let’s also take a look at how Xbox optimises each video for YouTube’s SEO.
This video’s description is a nice length and they’re clearly trying to rank for the keyword “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.” Smart thinking on Xbox for keeping it age-restricted too. You can’t be too careful.
For consumer tech brands, a social media strategy should revolve entirely around your customers.
Every post should either address a problem, highlight a customer story, help customers squeeze more out of your product, or connect customers with the humans at your company.
Just get a solid grasp on who your audience is on each platform and you’ve got nothing to lose!