Social media marketing

Getting started with @fourjsdevtools

Social media has come a long way since its inception over the last ten years. It has become an important channel for broadcasting information and doing e-commerce. Common myths that say it is inappropriate for business, that decision makers do not use it, or that only ‘family and friends’ view its content are largely disproven (learn more).

Social media has most definitely come of age. It is by far and away the most efficient way for us to discover who our customers are. Better still, it can help us find new ones.


We have a developer community – of sorts – but is it really effective as a community? Does it share ideas, experiences and successes? It is clear from our developer conferences around the world that many are behind in Genero feature implementations and few connect with each other outside of our events.

A small set of developers are leading the way – pushing us to our limit – but the vast majority struggle to keep pace with their own customer demands for new functions. They have neither the time to read the documentation nor the knowledge or inclination to really innovate by themselves. Many need to be pushed or shown by others. It comes as no surprise that the ‘customer experience’ sessions during our conferences are often the most popular.

Social media is a way to start fixing that. It is a short, sweet and convenient communications medium. It helps everyone stay in touch, creates goodwill and ties bonds that would otherwise be difficult to make. It stimulates the desire to share knowledge and ideas. It also serves as a valuable reference point that will reassure newcomers and encourage developers outside our niche.

Getting started

In February, we shall officially launch our own Instagram (IG) feed. That means we need to start ‘filling the pipe’ now. If you do not yet have an Instagram account, I encourage you to create one and search for @fourjsdevtools. You will see our ‘sandbox’ where we have been playing around with content.

Instagram is about sharing creative and unique visuals with like-minded individuals that form a community. It is also about marketing and (soft) selling to that community. It is a way of targeting similar, adjacent communities more precisely than most other media. Like targeting the Swift community with Genero Report Writer for instance. Traditional marketing doesn’t enable this level of precision and efficiency.

This is why we shall start with Instagram. It is very simple to use – most things can be done from a mobile device. It takes very little effort to create content; no need to take days or weeks writing white papers on ‘deep topics’ with short lifespans. Just snap, film and post. Not anything – content needs to be pertinent in some way to us. Otherwise we will lose our audience.

We will communicate frequently – once per day when we are up and running. And we  can only achieve that if we all pitch in. We need to draw on everyone’s talent and imagination to make the content valuable. And if we do, it means an item or two per person per quarter. This way, we’ll stay at the top of our customer’s mindshare.

Over the coming 12 months, we’ll create more sophisticated video content conveying key product concepts and corporate messages. The feed will become a permanent record we can use to prospect new customers.


We need to do this in a controlled manner in order to give the feed some sense of structure. How will we do that? What happens next?

Each region has nominated a social media ‘champion’ responsible for creating, gathering, and curating local content. Each person with something to publish will submit their content to their local champion, who will validate it.

Those champions are:

The regional champions will submit their content to Olga who will centralise, sort, apply hashtags, geotags and publish according to a weekly content plan.

That content plan defines a theme for each day of the week:

  • Monday – “Motivation”: start-the-week words of wisdom, quotes, inspirational future features
  • Tuesday – “Spotlight”: feature-of-the-month, customer, staff, team, technology, market focus, hints and tips
  • Wednesday – “News”: wins, events, announcements
  • Thursday – “Well-being”: fitness, nutrition
  • Friday – “Culture”: corporate culture, values, life at Four Js, life in the community, births, marriages, humour


Image guidelines


  1. Photos should be in .jpg or .png format
  2. Photos are typically square in format with a resolution of 1080 x 1080 px. Do not worry too much about this – Instagram is quite forgiving and will crop photos or scale them to fit if they do not comply. Be careful though, the final composition may not be what you intended
  3. Videos should be no longer than 60 seconds in .mov or .mp4 format
  4. Filesizes should not excceed 8Mb
  5. Images may be accompanied by a caption which should not exceed 2,200 characters in length


Styled Images

Make an effort to style and compose images in a way that’s visually interesting.

Unique Product Uses

Show off interesting ways customers use our products, and share some of their cool ideas.

Unique Customer Photos

Even if none of our customers have tattooed their bodies with a Four Js logo, they might share some creative photos of our products or brand in an interesting place or situation.

Sales, Product, Event Announcements

Update followers about local sales events or product announcements.

Inspirational Images

Share images that tell stories or inspire. Maybe the glimpse of a product future.

Milestone Celebrations

Celebrate business milestones, birthdays, births, marriages, etc.

Contest Previews

Host local/global contests for followers. Instagram makes it easy to challenge followers to post their own photos as part of a contest or giveaway and then track the entries using hashtags.

Behind the Scenes Shots

Followers will love to see what goes into making our products. Share photos of dev teams or sales teams hard at work. It’s a great way of putting a human face on our business.

Employee Appreciation Posts

Thank employees publicly to show followers that we have a great team.

Holiday Themed Product Photos

Share a festive or holiday photo that may also include some logo shots.

Project Ideas

Followers may be interested in creative and unique DIY projects or ideas, such as a home IoT project using Genero. Share a short video (60 seconds) or series of photos to demonstrate a cool new way to use our products.


People like getting the opportunity to win free stuff. You can post a photo and ask followers to repost it with a hashtag, or even post their own photos or tag others in a specific post. The first 5 win a Four Js goodie etc.

Creative Challenges

Set a creative challenge by asking followers to develop an intuitive interface or application.


Post photos featuring Four Js staff or customers with quotes that bare relevance to our business.


What do we hope to achieve with this initiative?

  • Discover who our customers are
  • Inform them of new features
  • Stimulate interaction between them
  • Reassure and inspire them
  • Deepen our relationship with them
  • Keep everyone in good shape


What is the goal of this initiative?

To cultivate a true sense of community and create loyalty that will solidify existing relationships, while creating new ones.

Key Performance Indicators

How will we measure success?

Very simply, by the number of followers we have, by the number of posts from within our community and by the quality of the information that gets shared.