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Apple's Social Media Strategy | Tech By TBR

- February 20, 2019
Hey guys, I'm Rohit and today we're going to explore Apple's social media strategy. Because if you haven't already noticed, Apple has a very unique approach to how they utilize various social media platforms. They have a Facebook and Twitter account, but they've never actually posted anything. Apple also has an Instagram, but it's only to feature photos from their Shot On iPhone campaign. And this begs the question, why doesn't Apple take advantage of their huge social media following by promoting products and services on Facebook, Twitter, and instagram? And the answer is, they actually do, but probably not in the way you'd expect.

Apple's Social Media Strategy

Apple's Social Media Strategy

Now when it comes to understanding Apple's social media strategy, we should break it down into three parts: control, promotion, and value. These are the three pillars to Apple's strategy that explains. why they do things so differently than other companies. But before we get into the details, let's first set a benchmark by understanding how the vast majority of big companies approach social media. Because if we take a look at Google's Twitter page, we'll find plenty of posts. And the same goes for Samsung, Microsoft, Huawei, HTC, and even IBM.  These companies are also active on Facebook and Instagram. And the benefits of posting to social media probably seem obvious. It gives companies an opportunity to connect with their user base in a more personal way than ever before, it gives them a huge platform to promote new products and services, and it's a great way to receive feedback from customers. Not to mention all of this publicity is totally free. So why on earth would Apple not take advantage of social media? Well, let's think about this from the perspective of control. Apple has a reputation of being a very controlling company when it comes to managing their brand image. That's why explicit adult content isn't allowed on the App Store, because they want Apple to be perceived as family-friendly. And when it comes to retail Apple Stores, the company actually implemented a policy back in 2015 that required all third party accessories to have packaging that was co-designed by Apple themselves.

Apple social media strategy

That way the store's aesthetics could be carried through to the accessories section, and customers would be guaranteed an Apple-level unboxing experience from anything purchased at their stores. And this isn't even considering how Apple prioritizes total control over their products user experience. Which is why Apple has always refused to license their mobile and desktop operating systems to third party hardware companies. A move that gave Microsoft dominance over the desktop market and Android dominance over the smartphone market. But Apple understood maintaining control over their hardware and software would result in a premium product that customers would happily buy for a premium price.

So now you're probably thinking Rohit  what does any of this have to do with Apple's social media strategy? Well, if you think about Facebook or twitter or Instagram, they're platforms where people talk, comment, like, dislike, argue, and complain. All things that Apple has no control over, which means if they make a post about a new iPhone they just introduced, there could be thousands upon thousands of negative comments and threads all saying what they hate about Apple's new iPhone that hasn't even been released yet. And that kind of negative publicity is the last thing Apple wants associated with their new products. You also have to consider that Apple is probably the most hated tech company on the internet. And we can go through all the reasons why but that's probably better left for a different video. I just want to point out that Apple understands how negative people on the internet are about them, so it would just be asking for trouble to have that group of people brigading every post Apple makes on social media and tarnishing their brand image. And that's exactly the reason why Apple doesn't post anything on their Facebook or Twitter pages. I mean just look at the amount of hate their profile picture received, so who would be surprised if every post they made just devolved into this same kind of Apple-bashing echo chamber. And if you're Apple, you have two options. Moderate the comment section by replying to angry users, or simply don't post anything to begin with. And I think the second option is much safer, considering that things on social media tend to go viral especially when a big company makes some kind of snafu. Now things start to look a little different on platforms like YouTube, where Apple does have several accounts featuring hundreds of published videos. But the catch is that they disabled comments on every single one. Therefore preventing the same problem they might have on Facebook and Twitter. But I should mention Apple does allow likes and dislikes on their YouTube videos, which is actually surprising since sometimes the dislike ratio does get pretty crazy. Now this has caused some controversy since it appears Apple is trying to avoid facing criticism from the public, but I don't think that is the case at all. I think Apple's simply trying to maintain control over their own social media pages. They are not keeping people from saying negative things about them on all of Facebook or Twitter, Apples just preventing that from happening on their own pages. And I think that's a reasonable measure to take considering how unpopular Apple tends to be on the internet. Now I mentioned at the beginning of the video that Apple does take advantage of social media, just not in the way you might expect. Because although Apple doesn't post to their Facebook and Twitter pages, they do create posts for their new products. And this brings us to the second element of the company's social media strategy, promotion. Apple buys ads on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Tumblr to promote recently announced products because they have full control over everything from who sees the post to who comments on it. Allowing Apple to take advantage of their presence on social media without the threat of any negative publicity. And this is very similar to the other type of advertising Apple does on TV and print. Where they show a product without giving the viewer a way to publicly voice their opinion to others seeing that some ad. So it makes sense that Apple is taking the same approach to social media as they have been with other means of advertisement. But there is one last element to their strategy that I don't think gets as much attention, likely because it isn't as controversial. And that is Apple's method of offering value to their users through social media that almost acts as an extension of their retail stores. Because if you look up Apple on Twitter, you'll find that they have multiple accounts that include everything from Apple Music to Apple Support. And within these spin-off accounts you can find hundreds of posts from the company that pertain to each specific topic. For example, on the Apple Support Twitter feed you can ask questions about any issues you may be having with a product and receive an answer from 5am to 8pm Pacific time. On the Apple Music feed you'll find new music releases, playlists, and performance updates. And the Apple News feed features the latest headlines that readers might be interested in. So it's clear that Apple's approach to social media is heavily built around services for their users that compliment the devices they own. While keeping product promotion to a minimum by utilizing paid ads. But some people think this is a mistake and believe Apple missing out on a huge opportunity to communicate directly to their users. For example, when thers an epidemic of email phishing scams that pretend to be Apple in order to steal your account information, it could be very helpful if Apple sent out a tweet notifying users of the phony emails and advising how to discern legitimate Apple emails from fake ones. In fact, Apple often makes statements through press releases, which typically get picked up by tech blogs. But everyday Apple users don't compulsively check these blogs like most of us do, so they're almost always left in the dark on issues that may effect them. So wouldn't it make sense to create a FaceBook post or sent out a Tweet alongside these press releases? Or perhaps Apple would rather suppress news about problems with their products. Because back when the iPhone 6 was experiencing its touch disease issue, the Apple Support Twitter page never tweeted out the fix that was eventually found for the issue. Instead, that information was inconspicuously located on Apple's website. And this is something I wish Apple would be more clear about, since they do have the infrastructure in place to keep their users informed. Now there is one last point I want to make about Apple's social media strategy, and it has to do with how they promote their events. Because based on what we've covered so far in this post, it kind have seems like Apple is okay with not taking advantage of every benefit social media has to offer. But they were one of the first to utilize a new feature on Twitter called heart for reminder, where users could heart a tweet in order to opt in to a future reminder tweet.
Apple tweets on twitter

For example, Apple sent out a tweet in 2018 promoting their upcoming September 12 event. And if users wanted to be notified on the day of the event, they could simply heart the tweet.

Apple streaming live on twitter

But I think this is about more than promoting an Apple Event, and I think this helps build Apple's most effective form of publicity: hype. Whether on social media or national news, the hype and anticipation surrounding new Apple products earns the company hundreds of millions in free publicity. And I think this advertising through word of mouth is what Apple is most interested in capitalizing on. So it's clear that Apple isn't opposed to trying out new social media features if it aligns with their own strategy, but I'm really interested to see if and when Apple's approach to social media changes over the coming years. Because their Twitter account was made in 2011, and is very much in its infancy. So perhaps Apple will devise an improved plan to better connect and communicate with their users, or maybe they'll stick to the same gameplay that appears to have served them well so far.

Alright guys so that is Apple's social media strategy, and if you like this article than what are you thinking, share it with other peoples.
Thanks for Reading :-)
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