by Jonathan Haile
It’s almost hard to imagine a major American company in 2013 that doesn’t utilize Facebook, Twitter or Youtube, yet you really don’t have to look very far. You won’t find Apple on any of those channels (so if you’ve become a fan of Apple on Facebook, it’s an unofficial fan page).
In fact, you can’t even find Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, on Twitter. People like visible CEOs. It makes them seem “human”. Clearly that’s not Apple’s priority. They want to make products that challenge the status quo and that’s why their following continues to grow.
Their products speak for themselves. Their sleek and minimal aesthetics are almost futuristic-looking. Couple that with software that’s easy to use, understand and organize and you have phones, computers and tablets people love.
The brand benefited from Steve Jobs intellect, charisma and leadership. People were eager to know what Steve had in store at the next keynote speech. He was the face of innovation. You’ll see now that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has his speeches where he’ll introduce the next wave of the site’s technology. He probably wouldn’t be doing that if Steve hadn’t made it so cool.
Since Steve’s death, the company has taken a bit of a tumble. Tim Cook is a smart guy, but he’s no Steve Jobs. Apple is still more than afloat, however, ranking as the most valuable company in history. That speaks to how much people love their products.
If there has been a major criticism of Apple, it’s the company’s unwillingness to compromise. Their prices are reasonably high and they’re a secretive company. Being active on social media would give customers another avenue for voicing frustration with prices.
Don’t get me wrong. Apple is okay with customers having a voice. That’s what word-of-mouth is for. When someone gets a new iPhone, they tell their friends. They show them what the phone can do and why it’s so innovative.
Maybe they’re an extreme exception, but Apple proves that social media doesn’t have to rule how they interact with customers and followers. Keep that in mind, PR students. Social media isn’t everything. It’s good to be skilled and knowledgeable when it comes to online social networks, but don’t overlook those traditional PR skills. Apple’s communication team certainly hasn’t.