Technical content marketing 5: how semiconductor companies can increase Instagram engagement

Guest post by Meg from Straightforword

Our recent study into the social media activity of top companies within the semiconductor industry revealed that Instagram outperformed other platforms on engagement.

We were surprised to discover, however, that many companies are not embracing the platform. Half of the companies in the study don’t have Instagram at all whilst the others don’t post frequently enough to take full advantage of what it has to offer.

It will certainly be interesting to see which businesses learn from these tech giants and go on to leverage Instagram, perhaps pushing ahead of those not taking it so seriously.

But what can we learn from the leading companies within the semiconductor industry?

We looked at the feeds of the eight companies that performed best on Instagram to find out: NVIDIA, AMD, MediaTek, Intel, Toshiba, Samsung, Arm, and Texas Instruments.

Instagram Engagement Table

What to post

We can start to sort their posts into different categories with the aim of discovering which attracts the most engagement.

  • Self-promotional
    Posts promoting their own products or business features heavily on almost all of their accounts.NVIDIA and AMD in particular share many images of their own products and each average 3-8k likes and below 50 comments per post. However, it is worth noting here that AMD has under half the number of followers compared to NVIDIA and is more likely to achieve a higher number of comments on its posts. MediaTek is another company that focus heavily on self-promotion, but with a much smaller audience. Its feed features a lot of branded graphics and only averages 30-50 likes with almost no comments per post. The graphics usually attract less engagement than posts containing real photos.
  • Behind-the-scenes
    A few of the companies use their Instagrams to post photos from conferences, events, and everyday working life. Arm focus on this theme quite heavily, while others, including Intel and NVIDIA, also incorporate some behind-the-scenes shots occasionally.Arm Instagram EngagementWith Arm’s greater focus on this, its engagement is quite consistent across posts but, for Intel and NVIDIA which don’t post as many, it’s clear that these types of posts perform better in comparison to their promotional posts.
  • Employee-generated
    One of the most interesting feeds belongs to Texas Instruments as it concentrates on stories from its own employees and people associated with its projects.Although its engagement isn’t the best out of the eight, its posts do seem to attract genuine comments and have enjoyed the second highest number of shares. Arm also attract more likes and comments when posting about team achievements and celebrations.
  • Videos
    We expected videos to be the most popular style of Instagram post as they have become such a huge form of content in recent years. However, Instagram appears to be a platform where they don’t have as much of an impact.All but one of the companies mentioned use video on their accounts and, with a couple of exceptions, most are outperformed by images.About half of NVIDIA’s feed, for example, is video. Its videos attract a high number of views, but only achieve around a quarter of the likes and comments achieved by images. This trend is also matched by Samsung’s video posts.For Texas Instruments, video seems to have less of a negative impact as it does tend to attract more comments. However, video still faces less likes despite raking in the views.

Conclusions

  • A mixture of posts performs best. AMD benefits from this approach, posting both promotional and behind-the-scenes posts and almost matching NVIDIA’s engagement, despite having half the number of followers.
  • Many post mainly promotional images, yet more visual and employee-generated content does perform better. It would be interesting to see how a company performs building a more balanced feed.
  • Although video is huge at the moment, images still seem to be the winner on Instagram.

Posting frequency

Many articles about Instagram, such as this one, recommend posting at least once a day to maintain a consistent presence and build a following. But, we’ve noticed that none of the companies mentioned adhere to this.

In fact, they’re not even close.

NVIDA posts most frequently with roughly 15 posts a month, with Texas Instruments coming in a close second. Posting schedules for the others are much more sporadic. Arm, for example, will sometimes post up to 15 in one month, then will only post three the next.

It’s possibly quite telling that the company that posts the most has won the Instagram battle in the semiconductor industry. On the other hand, the effects of posting more or less are very inconsistent.

NVIDIA Instagram Engagement

For most of the companies, including NVIDA, AMD, Texas Instruments, and Toshiba, there doesn’t seem to be much impact on their engagement when they post less. In fact, many posts for Intel and Samsung seem to perform better if they’re posted after a long hiatus.

For a couple of companies, such as MediaTek and Arm, engagement does increase when they post more frequently, but even then, the difference isn’t too noticeable.

Conclusions

  • It’s wise to post frequently, as posts could perform better when you’re more consistent. It would be interesting to see how much better these accounts would perform if they posted on a daily basis.
  • Overall, however, posting frequency doesn’t seem to have a huge impact on engagement.

Hashtags

Most Instagram users know that you can use up to 30 hashtags on a post and that they can be used to push your content in front of a wider audience. But how do the companies we’ve studied use hashtags on their posts and how has it worked for them?

Most include less than 10 hashtags on each post, all being relevant, industry-related tags including #AI and #gamedev.

The only company that doesn’t use any hashtags is Samsung, while Intel occasionally uses 1 or 2 for trending topics which do tend to perform better.

For most of the companies it’s difficult to gauge the impact of their hashtags on engagement as their use of them is consistent. It was, therefore, difficult to make comparisons. For Arm, Texas Instruments, and Toshiba, however, we noticed a few patterns.

Arm posts anywhere between 2 and 15 hashtags and the posts with more perform noticeably better. Meanwhile, Toshiba posts up to 25 hashtags on each post and engagement doesn’t increase much at all when using a lot of them.

Toshiba Instagram Engagement

Interestingly, Texas Instruments only uses 1-5 hashtags per post, yet, the ones that only include its own hashtags outperform those that use more hashtags.

Conclusions

  • Posts with hashtags generally perform better but only for accounts with few followers.
  • For larger accounts, hashtags don’t seem to have much of an impact unless they’re used for trending topics or are new, original hashtags created by the business.
  • Posts with up to 15 hashtags attract the most engagement. Posts with 16-30 hashtags don’t make much difference.

Takeaways

Of course, all of our conclusions are to be taken with a pinch of salt as many of the companies featured have benefited from having a lot of fans before Instagram became popular, so have managed to grow followings quickly.

But, overall, the posts that attract the most engagement are images including behind-the-scenes photos, posted frequently, using up to 15 hashtags.

By |2018-07-12T16:09:49+00:00July 4th, 2018|

About the Author:

Jon has been working in digital marketing for over a decade and with technology for over 30 years. He even demonstrated the UK’s first online booking system to the BBC when he was 4 years of age. His expertise encompasses digital strategy, CMS and ecommerce websites, bespoke and mobile apps, SEO and social media campaigns, e-mail marketing, web analytics and conversion rate optimisation.

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