Welcome to our case study series which puts a well-deserved spotlight on the companies that are doing things right on social media. Our first example is the iconic brand of IBM.
It feels like just yesterday the connotation behind IBM was that it was just another dinosaur in the technology industry. Then one day, we found IBM on Instagram and were shocked by their use of colors, creativity and awe-inspiring images of technology. In this blog, we’re going to break down each of IBM’s social media channels to see where they may need improvement and where they are killing it. We chose IBM for our first social media case study because we were shocked by how well (overall) they are using each platform.
In 2015 IBM began an effort called #NewWaytoWork which incentivized IBM employees to share work related content on their personal social media accounts. With about 1000 employees as the initial test subjects, they received points for every IBM related post they shared on Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook. The goal was to share IBM related content while simultaneously making employees feel appreciated, and it was a major success. This campaign created buzz around IBM’s social media presence amongst their employees, which soon expanded to the general public.
Instagram: 194k followers
IBM’s Instagram page is incredibly engaging and has a consistent aesthetic. By posting fascinating images of tech developments, partnerships and creative uses of their technology, IBM stays true to their brand while being visually appealing. Perhaps one of the most captivating features of their Instagram page is when they integrate employee life and highlight different IBM facilities around the world. These posts give viewers a sense of belonging as they get “exclusive” peaks into the life of IBM. Instagram is meant to be a platform for visually creative people, which doesn’t always line up with the type of work IBM does. However, through the use of images and videos, IBM manages to make technology look like art and innovations seem digestible to their Instagram audience.
Twitter: 417k followers
The first detail noticed while analyzing IBM’s Twitter page is that they post nearly every day, numerous times a day, which is a must if you hope to get noticed on Twitter. In each post there is an image or video attached which makes their page look more appealing. Along with the graphic, nearly every post includes a link to an external article or blog on IBM’s website. Some of the links include information about blockchain innovation, IBM Watson’s newest venture or even their most recent quarterly earnings. The constant posting cadence of rich content on Twitter is important for IBM to stay relevant within their competitive market. IBM is using Twitter to share news and educational material, which is exactly what they should be doing. However, one potential improvement could be more engagement with their audience. IBM only posts IBM created content and never reposted any tweets from their audience, which would be an easy way to seem more invested in their audience.
Facebook: 981,030 followers
After looking through IBM’s Instagram and Twitter pages, we’re a bit let down by their presence on Facebook. Much of the content is the exact same as what they post on their Twitter with little editing on the captions or images. However, not everything on their Facebook page is recycled content. While their Twitter page is filled with only newsworthy information, their Facebook page includes some more uplifting and motivational posts. An example of this was on January 4th when they posted a picture of a woman smiling while holding a book with the caption, “Two simple words form the core of the IBMer’s purpose: Be essential.” IBM also utilizes Facebook to post longer videos that wouldn’t fit well on a platform such as Twitter where viewers have much lower attention spans. Overall, IBM is using Facebook effectively; we would just encourage them to continue using more Facebook focused content instead of simply copying and pasting from Twitter. Their Facebook posts that create a sense of “keeping family in the loop” will continue to build up their community and audience.
LinkedIn: 3,922,912 followers
LinkedIn is an extremely straightforward platform where businesses are able to focus on business related content, and IBM is doing this well. Every post on their LinkedIn page is informational and newsworthy, much like their Twitter account. However, they diversified their content on LinkedIn so it does not include the exact same graphics and captions as their Twitter page. With about 1 million more followers on LinkedIn than Facebook’s LinkedIn page and almost as many as Apple, we can confidently say that IBM is killing it on this platform.
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