Apple’s Weird (or Interesting?) Take on Social Media

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apple PRAs most of us probably know, Apple held its annual launch event last week where they announced what we can expect in their technology for the next year. This year’s launch included the unveiling of the iPhone 7, which was a bit more exciting than the launch that introduces the “S” version of past year’s phone.

Besides now seeing nearly  every news outlets posting articles about what to expect, I also noticed Apple ads in my Twitter feed announcing the launch. I mistook these as actual tweets from Apple opposed to ads at first and was really surprised! Why, you ask? If you didn’t know, Apple doesn’t utilize social media for the brand as a whole. They have verified Facebook and Twitter accounts which don’t have a single post on them. And then if you visit there is no account associated with it… I find it hard to believe someone hasn’t snagged that account, which makes me believe Apple is the owner of the account, but has somehow worked out with Facebook/Instagram to not show the account at all.

And just because Apple doesn’t have social accounts for the brand as a whole, they do have social accounts for some of their other products, like iBooks and iTunes, although these accounts aren’t particularly active (their iTunes Twitter has a gap of nine months when they didn’t post anything).

Something else to note is that their other @Apple product social accounts don’t interact with users at all . On Facebook you can generally write a post on a page. Well you can still do that, I suppose, on the iTunes page, but it also says “Be the first to add a post.” I also find this hard to believe that of the 31 million people that have liked this page, not a single one has bothered to write a post, which makes me believe that Apple has to approve all posts and just doesn’t?

Here’s why I think Apple has stayed off social media (for the most part):

  • They don’t really need it. They’ve developed their advertising so well that you can pretty much always tell when something is related to Apple. Whether in a commercial or advertisement. Their tone in commercials and advertising is very apparent. It might be hard to maintain this on social media, especially if you have multiple people handling the account.
  • They don’t want to troubleshoot on social media. In recent years troubleshooting has become HUGE on social media because it’s essentially instant. (Want an example? Check out pretty much any airline’s Twitter account.) If someone at a brand isn’t replying to your email, tweet at them instead—you’re almost guaranteed a response. Apple has pretty good customer service already, which they’ve achieved through the old- fashioned way—an online form and email. I’ve submitted refund requests for rented iTunes movies that didn’t download before a flight on several occasions and have always gotten a prompt response and refund. So they’re not lacking in that regard for not using social media.
  • They’re protecting themselves from posting something that could be insensitive or misinterpreted. All of Apple’s ads, commercials and branding have to be going through months of overview and changes. Social media is not a place you can do that. If you don’t remember, DiGiorno’s used #WhyIStayed as a way to promote their pizza not realizing it was a hashtag bringing light to abusive relationships. Not using social media at all is preventing anything like this from happening.

So, is this smart? For Apple, I think so. But for any other company? Probably not. Apple already has their brand built, and while I’m sure they still spend millions on marketing, social media is really not something they need to worry about at this point.

Sara Goodwin
Sara Goodwin
Account Coordinator Sara is a Maryland native who moved cross country to join the team at HMA. She is passionate about digital media and knowing what’s upcoming in new technology, whether it’s apps, social media platforms or hardware. She enjoys hiking, reading and traveling. Check out Sara's full bio

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