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Apple’s Odd, Yet Effective, Social Media Strategy

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CIO’s Matt Kapko recently explored why Apple’s social media strategy seems to play the game differently, according to its rules, and not the best practices of everyone else. We  talked at length about it now and over the years. This time, I focused specifically on the question about why/why not have an @Apple account. Part of my thoughts made it into the final article, the rest is below for you to see.

Excerpt:

Apple does social media differently than its peers in the tech world, and though it isn’t ignoring social to the extent it did in the past, you shouldn’t expect to see any official @Apple account on Twitter anytime soon.

Why isn’t @Apple the voice of the company on Twitter?

This is a question that rears its head every few months. And it’s a valid question at that.

Let’s not forget or belittle the fact that the company boasts highly followed accounts for Beats, iTunes, AppStore, et al. Even Tim Cook Tweets from his personal account. Let’s also remember that Twitter is an information network unlike Facebook, which is more of a social network.

Twitter binds people together around shared interests mostly creating an interest-graph. Facebook is largely comprised of relationships creating the world’s largest and most connected social-graph. Apple doesn’t need to, nor does it have a history of, communicating updates to either graph.

In a post-Jobs era, who or what is the voice of the company?

Having a Twitter account, if you want it to mean something, takes care, intention and thoughtfulness. At the moment, all of Apple’s needs, and more importantly its customers and stakeholders on Twitter, are covered. Anything else requested by those posing the original question might benefit from taking a step back to think through their question. Maybe the question is why would Apple, a highly strategic, secretive and possibly introverted company need a Twitter account? The answer can’t be, “because, every company should open a branded account to talk to people.”

If you believe that, I have some shares in a shady startup I can sell you.

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Think about the majority of branded accounts out there, who’s running them, the voice + person, the governance (of lack thereof) of its engagement.

It’s an art, not a mandate. I think too many companies talk more than they listen and act before they think through mutual value.

Let’s start there.

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7 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Apple’s Odd, Yet Effective, Social Media Strategy”

  1. Paul Segreto says:

    Twitter = Brand Voice but from a person, not the “brand” – Hard to imagine Apple, the quintessential brand of the digital era with no Twitter account. Very interesting, but it does make sense. Especially with Steve Jobs as the voice, and even with Tim Cook. But what about for brands with less visible/popular Founders/CEOs? What then? Is it then a simultaneous, complementing effort between the brand and person? Maybe the brand just shares info with no perspective other than the message. Ergo, no interaction or engagement, which then comes from the person’s voice? In essence, a 1-2 punch?

  2. Timmy Jones says:

    I never really thought about Apple having a Twitter account or ever really wanting to follow an Apple twitter account. Twitter is a good way to get your name out there and a lot of brands have used it to get their foot in the door through posting clever content and getting involved in conversations with their customers. If there’s any brand that doesn’t really need to do this, it is Apple. Although it would, in theory, be useful to communicate with their customers, I am sure they have other more effective ways already implemented to do so.

  3. Laurel Rutherford says:

    I had never realized that Apple didn’t have a Twitter but the more I thought about it the more the thought of Apple having a Twitter became strange. I agree that there’s nothing wrong with Apple’s social media strategy. Too many companies do talk without listening like you said. They’re too busy chasing after the social media trends to stop and think through a strategy. And sometimes that strategy should be to not use certain media outlets. I think Apple is smart for adding to their allure and secretive nature by staying off Twitter.

  4. Sofia Araya says:

    I think part of the appeal of the brand that is “Apple” is that it “plays it cool”, if Apple were a person it would want to seem uninterested, it just makes you want them more. Everyone is so eager to hear about their next product or information about the company that people, specially apple fans will go out of their way to find the leaked picture of the new Iphone or the conversation that someone overheard apple’s employees talking about. Apple as a brand is “too cool” to be “mainstream”, it is our friend that doesn’t own a facebook page because he just doesn’t want to be like everyone else. Apple is a simple OCD guy and social media is the messiest place for him to be. I do know that they own a facebook but I personally feel that maybe it would even make more sense if they didn’t (in terms of keeping the brand’s personality)

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