Over half of the world’s top 100 brands are now on Instagram. We’ve written about brands who are doing cool stuff with the photo-sharing service, our favorite fashion insiders, the top sports teams using the app and musicians who are doing more than just snapping backstage pics.
Recently, however, we became curious about which technology brands were using Instagram in the most interesting and relevant ways. What we found was actually that it wasn’t the tech brands who were using Instagram that was interesting; rather it was the fact that so many tech brands lacked a presence on the site that caught us by surprise.
We were unable to find accounts for some of the biggest tech brands out there, including Microsoft, Apple, HP, Google, IBM and Nokia. When we did find accounts for other big brands, their presence was almost nonexistent (Oracle with 8 photos and 4 followers and Dell with 1 photo and 382 followers) or lacking any direction (Intel with 135 photos and 1873 followers).
It’s hard to imagine these brands haven’t had a discussion about how, why or if they should have a presence on Instagram, especially considering 98% of the 100 leading global brands have a presence on both Facebook and Twitter. In some cases their reason for not participating may be clear (Apple and Google both bought Instagram competitors in 2012), but by not even getting in, they're also missing out. After all, right now, eight brands control 92 percent of the consumer engagement on Twitter. And it’s not easy for latecomers to get in the game.
That being said, it’s always more fun to acknowledge those who are actually playing, so let’s take a look at some of the tech brands who are using Instagram. And using it well. You won’t be surprised to find that the ones we love best aren’t in fact traditional “brands,” but rather “personalities” or sites that have become brands in and of themselves.
Sony Electronics @sony
Not the strongest in this bunch, but we give Sony props for at least trying. Lots of pics of electronics (of course) are paired with the occasional contest or celebrity sighting.
Though most of the pics are simply tech eye candy, Mashable is actually one of the Top 50 most followed brands on Instagram. Behind-the-scene pics, canine co-workers, and lots of gadgets, their feed is more novelty than news-worthy.
General Electric @generalelectric
We have to give GE props for having a presence on Instagram and landing a spot as one of the Top 25 Most-Followed Brands. They’re great at engaging users by encouraging them to post photos with specific hashtags (#IWanttoInvent on National Inventor’s Day, for example) and a lot of the photos are incredibly “techy,” they manage to sprinkle in just enough “wow” moments to keep even non-nerds engaged.
We love how active Wired is on Instagram, sharing pictures of conferences, gadgets, gorgeous SF views, and, of course, latte art.
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Truthfully, we feel like Facebook could and should be doing more with Instagram, based solely on the fact that they acquired the company in 2012, but considering the lack of tech companies on the site in general, we decided to include them in this list. Going forward, however, we’d like to see more pictures of Boo.
Gary Vaynerchuck @garyvee
Gary Vaynerchuck might not call himself a “techie,” but the rest of the world disagrees. He began video blogging in 2005, has almost a million followers on Twitter, is a New York Times best-selling author, and was included in Business Week’s list of the top 20 people every entrepreneur should follow. Is it any surprise then that Gary knows the importance for his brand of having a presence on Instagram?
Om Malik @om
As the founder of GigaOM and a Venture Partner at True Ventures, Om Malik is a very familiar name in the tech industry. What’s refreshing, however, is that his Instagram pics are actually well-composed, visually interesting, and, in most cases, a complete departure from anything conventionally technological.
Dennis Crowley @dens
Foursquare (@foursquare) and its co-founder, Crowley, are both on Instagram, but we were more drawn to Crowley’s personal feed which features intriguing photos with witty captions.
Is it cheating to add Instagram to a list about Instagram? Perhaps. But there’s no ignoring the fact that they have over 18 million followers and some of the very best photos you’ll find on the app.
What tech brands do you follow?