Colorado startups who do Instagram right — and what you can learn from them

by Jess Ryan
May 31, 2016

If you've put effort into marketing your startup, you've probably already realized some of the value of social media. You can show off your product, connect with your customers and even build a community for brand advocates who will spread the word with their personal communities.

Many startups focus their efforts on Twitter and Facebook, letting other networks fall behind. And, of course, it's important to be strategic about selecting which platforms you're on — if you don't have a highly visual product, you likely won't find much success on a super-visual platform like Pinterest. But Instagram can be a powerful tool for marketing your startup not only to prospective customers, but to potential job candidates as well.

Whether targeting their customers, job seekers or the tech community as a whole, these nine Colorado tech Instagram accounts are doing Instagram right, and there's something brands can learn from each of them.

 

 

Havenly View Profile We are hiring

 

 

When you have a room so lovely it's difficult to pick out your favorite part

A photo posted by Havenly (@thehavenly) on

May 26, 2016 at 8:21am PDT

 What they do well:  The online interior design platform's Instagram account shows off the tangible, real-world impact of their tech. Photos are high-quality, well-lit and closely follow many of Instagram's best practices for brands.

What you can learn from them: Keep a consistent visual style across all your photos. Even when cross-promoting your audience to read a blog post or visit a different link, choose photos that celebrate the theme of where you're directing them while still maintaining your style's integrity.

 

 

 

 

They're Hiring | View 25 JobsHavenly is Hiring | View 25 Jobs

 

 

Apto View Profile Follow

 

 

When your CEO is from Louisiana but lives in #Denver he brings the crawfish boil here

A photo posted by Apto (@life_at_apto) on

May 14, 2016 at 6:19pm PDT

 What they do well:  They share photos of the team bonding outside of work, silly videos and photos of the team members' dogs. Their Instagram bio is clear about who they want to hire ("Enthusiastic, conscientious independent-thinkers who approach challenges with curiosity and tenacity!') and employees from all teams — not just HR or leadership — are included in photos.

What you can learn from them: State what kind of candidates you'd like to hire directly in your company bio by listing your team values or mission statement. Use humor in your content, and showcase more than just the same three team members in every picture.

 

They're Hiring | View 0 JobsApto is Hiring | View 0 Jobs

 

 

Inspirato View Profile We are hiring

 

 

Charleston offers the true beauty and grace of the Old South. Travel with Inspirato and stay at the @Belmond Charleston Place.

A photo posted by Inspirato (@inspirato) on

May 10, 2016 at 9:51am PDT

 What they do well:  While at its core, Inspirato is about luxury vacation accommodations, they use their Instagram to strengthen their brand's story — they provide experiences to their members, not just a super-swanky place to stay. The captions are strong and evoke luxury, and they strategically use geotags and hashtags to optimize their SEO value within Instagram.

What you can learn from them: Use geotags on photos with relevant locations people will be searching — like "Pearl Street Mall' or "Downtown Denver.' If you have relevant hashtags, include them after a sentence break in the caption (like an emoji or other symbol,) or as a separate comment altogether.

 

They're Hiring | View 13 JobsInspirato is Hiring | View 13 Jobs

 

 

ReadyTalk View Profile Follow

 

 

Congrats to all the #ReadyTalk teams and #colfaxmarathon runners today! This event gets bigger and bigger every year!

A photo posted by ReadyTalk (@readytalkco) on

May 15, 2016 at 10:27am PDT

 What they do well:  ReadyTalk's team-focused Instagram celebrates its employees — whether they're running the Colfax Marathon, volunteering, doing yoga or playing with the office's new "robot bartender," the account makes it clear the team loves to spend time together.

What you can learn from them: Use Instagram to highlight company perks. Celebrate your team's accomplishments in and out of the office.

 

 

They're Hiring | View 0 JobsReadyTalk is Hiring | View 0 Jobs

 

 

Sphero View Profile We are hiring

 

 

Sphero's making quite a splash. Who's ready for a summer vacation? #SoMuchPun #

A photo posted by Sphero (@sphero) on

May 21, 2016 at 2:36pm PDT

 What they do well:  Sphero's Instagram account demonstrates the versatility of their products, showing them in a variety of situations like underwater, in a home and on sandy beaches. They also capitalize on popular Instagram trends like handlettering and cute puppies.

What you can learn from them: Create different scenarios for your product shots, instead of the same items against a rotation of three different backgrounds. Consider what Instagram trends fit well with your brand, and consider creative ways to style seasonal or holiday posts.

 

 

They're Hiring | View 3 JobsSphero is Hiring | View 3 Jobs

 

 

Zen Planner View Profile We are hiring

 

 

One-legged king pigeon featuring @kjaffe108 from our Sales Team! #EkaPadaRajakapotasana #Yoga

A photo posted by Zen Planner (@zenplanner) on

Apr 5, 2016 at 11:14am PDT

 What they do well:  The fitness-focused software company's Instagram account proves their employees are on brand. The photos show the team hiking, doing squat challenges and even playing human-sized Hungry Hungry Hippos in the office.

What you can learn from them: Use your Instagram account to show job seekers you have a connection to your industry and you live your mission in ways that build your team. Encourage your employees to share photos you can post, and tag them in the caption (if they're comfortable with it) — because who doesn't love Insta-stalking their potential coworkers?

 

They're Hiring | View 12 JobsZen Planner is Hiring | View 12 Jobs

 

 

Bluprint View Profile We are hiring

Craftsy has two official accounts: one designed for consumers, and one for prospective employees.

 

 

 

We're a fan of blooms in every room. Pick up this free #quilting pattern by @sameliasmum in our profile link.

A photo posted by Official Craftsy Account (@becraftsy) on

May 29, 2016 at 7:57pm PDT

 What they do well:  Craftsy posts high-quality photos showing finished products from their creative classes. They highlight the different disciplines their courses cover, and drive traffic to their site with calls to action in each photo's caption.

What you can learn from them: Use Instagram as a conversion tool by changing the profile link and posting relevant photos with strong calls to action in the captions. Be consistent about demonstrating everything your company has to offer, instead of focusing on one or two products and ignoring the rest.

 

 

 

 

 

At Craftsy we make dreams come true. Sean has always wanted to become a falconer. Today that dream came one step closer. #CraftsyLife

A photo posted by Craftsy (@teamcraftsy) on

Apr 4, 2016 at 5:02pm PDT

 What they do well:  Craftsy's team account demonstrates their employees are passionate about crafts and creativity, and that they're experts in their field. They highlight team milestones and events, giving prospective employees an idea of what it's like to work there.

What you can learn from them: Share behind-the-scenes looks at life working at your company, from events to personal profiles. Use a team-specific hashtag (like #teamCraftsy) and encourage employees to use the hashtag when they post about work, too.

 

 

 

They're Hiring | View 6 JobsBluprint is Hiring | View 6 Jobs

 

 

Artifact Uprising View Profile We are hiring

 

 

Off your device, into your life. @danielleguyder, your weekend looks good in the #artifactuprising square print set. Create a set of your own with our iPhone app (link in profile)

A photo posted by Artifact Uprising (@artifactuprising) on

May 29, 2016 at 7:57am PDT

 What they do well:  The Denver-based company's mission is to get people to turn their Instagram photos into tangible objects — but that doesn't mean they can't celebrate their community's talented skills, anyway. Artifact Uprising regularly takes advantage of their community of 454,000 Instagram followers, using user generated content (UGC) for most of the photos on the account.

What you can learn from them: Encourage your audience to post about your brand — and then to tag you or use a unique hashtag so you can be sure you see their posts. Artifact Uprising has the hashtags #artifactuprising and #tellon directly in their Instagram bio. They also give credit whenever they share UGC, which can strengthen that user's affinity toward your brand (and also happens to be the right thing to do.)

 

They're Hiring | View 4 JobsArtifact Uprising is Hiring | View 4 Jobs  

What's your favorite Colorado tech Instagram account? Head to their profile and tag us in a comment: @builtincolorado.

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