If you’ve ever tried to tweet @Apple, then your words have fallen on deaf ears. The Apple Twitter handle, registered in 2011, has a following of 31.8k – rather measly when you consider its millions of fans worldwide – has never tweeted, and is following no-one.
Top of the Market
For a company so deeply entrenched in the digital world, it may seem surprising that Apple wants nothing to do with social media. The answer lies in control.
Apple love being in control of their public image as THE premium tech brand. Where other huge brands like Starbucks will use social media to promote special offers, Apple hardly ever give discounts – as if to say, ‘we don’t need to do that.’ This may seem aloof, but playing hard to get is what keeps them so desired.
So if not to offer loyal customers a reward, what would be the point of Apple using social media? Product news would be scarce: Apple are notoriously secretive about their new developments. “If they deviate from their schedule,” adds Belus Capital analyst Brian Sozzi, “the market will read it as Apple succumbing to market pressures.”
Many brands use social media as a way to communicate with customers, by taking queries or offering advice. But typing #iPhone into Twitter’s search bar will yield you with a flickering list of constant updates. Sifting through these to find relevant questions would be a massive task, and the character limit of tweets doesn’t provide the best platform for resolving technical issues. Apple would rather keep their customer service limited to its in-store experts.
Speaking of in-store: there’s another reason why social media and Apple just don’t click. What so many people love about social media is that it’s uncontrolled and unpredictable. Think of the noisiness of the Twitter universe – it’s a free for all, where anyone’s voice can be heard if they say the right thing at the right time. Compare that to the slick, minimal quietness of Apple’s retail outlets and it’s suddenly easy to see why ‘joining in the conversation’ doesn’t quite fit their style.
Maintaining the Mystery
This isn’t to say that Apple take no interest in social media, or have never benefited from it.
In 2010, Apple attempted to launch their own music-sharing social media platform, Ping, which was marketed as ‘iTunes meets Facebook.’ (They try not to talk about it.) In December 2013, they bought up the social media analytics firm Topsy, which specialises in tracking customer sentiment. Apple are also backed by one of the world’s most loyal fanbases, who obsessively speculate over every new product. There’s no need for Apple to announce their developments when there are literally thousands of users tweeting their every move.
Apple’s avoidance of social media all comes down to maintaining their mystery. Succumbing to pressures now would indicate a change of heart, or that their current strategies aren’t working. They’re one of the few brands who can insist that their customers come to them – so in that case, remaining silent could be the wisest decision in their part.
Do you think Apple have made the right choice in avoiding Twitter? Comment below to share your thoughts!