Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel

Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel is sponsored by Trackur.

Apple’s Social Media Hell – Why it Needs to Repent

iStock_000000582779XSmall At the recent BlogWorld Expo, I discussed two companies that "get" social media and one that doesn’t. The two that get it were Nike and Dell. Nike’s excellent community efforts–especially Nike+–and Dell’s efforts with forums and blogs are helping both companies join online conversations. Both companies are benefiting from either higher sales–40% of Nike+ users end up buying Nike shoes–and better stakeholder relations–Jeff Jarvis just recently wrote a glowing report on Dell for BusinessWeek.

Apple Doesn’t "Get" Social Media

So which company doesn’t get social media? That would be Apple. Apple doesn’t have any explicit efforts to engage its online stakeholders, doesn’t have a blog, and even tries to sue those bloggers that help build the passion for Apple’s products. If the company were Microsoft, it would have died a long time ago.

So, why doesn’t Apple embrace social media? It’s simple: Apple’s customers embrace social media on behalf of the company. Need proof? Write a negative blog post about Apple and see how many Mac-heads come to the company’s defense (UPDATE: Even this post, which is not an attack, but an observation, is bringing out the Apple supporters in droves). It happened just today. A-list blogger Robert Scoble posted about the issues he was having with his Mac computer. Here’s an extract:

I just loaded the latest Apple Macintosh updates.

Now my machine won’t boot. Well, that’s not really true. When I power it up the Apple comes on. Then the screen gets dark and a little message comes up:

“You need to restart your computer. Hold down the Power button for several seconds or press the Restart button.”

So I restart. And get the same message. I do it five times just to make sure.

And so, now I’m back on my Windows machine.

Screw you Apple and your ads saying you’re better than Microsoft. Screw you. Screw you. Screw you.

Sounds very much like the infamous "Dell Hell" rant by Jeff Jarvis, don’t you think?

Apple Won’t Engage

So what, happened? Did Apple realize that its reputation was under fire from one of the most respected tech bloggers on the planet? Did it email Scoble, leave a comment, or call the cell phone number he publishes on his web site? Nope. Instead, Apple relied on the many Apple evangelists to come to its defense. Commenter Wonderplanned came to Scoble’s rescue, not Apple.

Even Scoble notes that Apple couldn’t care less about him…

What’s ironic is lots of other computer companies would LOVE to give me free stuff (I don’t take it) but Apple is the only company that’s never raised a PR finger to help me. Instead I feel so honored to spend my money on this crap. Why? Just to have a shiny machine?

Well, sorry. The shine is wearing off. Screw you Apple.

Apple’s Going Mainstream

So, back to my BlogWorld presentation. I told the audience my theory that Apple would soon need to embrace social media and join the conversation. The reason? Apple is going mainstream. Its products are reaching more people; people that are buying Macs as their first computer.

Mark Evans explains it here:

…Apple/Mac market has changed dramatically in recent years. It’s no longer just a relatively small group of rabid (avid?) Mac users who were more than willing to give Apple the benefit of the doubt because it was trying to be better and push the envelope. If things went wrong, the Mac Nation not only carried on but happily pitched in to help.

As Apple reaches mainstream buyers–and grows its market share–two things will happen.

  1. It will reach customers that aren’t capable of tinkering and tweaking with their own stuff. Even Scoble didn’t know he could fix his computer by a "start in Safe Boot (press and hold the Shift key at the startup chime)? Starting in Safe Boot forces a directory check, so will verify if there is a problem with your startup disk."
  2. The Apple evangelists–the ones that have always come to Apple’s defense–will be stretched too thin. They simply can’t jump in to every conversation and defend every forum comment and blog complaint.

How Long Before the Wake-up Call?

So, how long will it take Apple to wake-up and realize that it needs to embrace blogs, forums, social networks, Twitter, et al? They’re not ready yet. Proof of that is that Apple didn’t want to be interviewed for my book–a book about engaging your stakeholders online and managing your reputation!!!

Still, I think the realization isn’t too far away. Apple’s made enough missteps to see that it needs a better plan for building more evangelists and holding conversations with customers. If there’s not an Apple blog, forum, social network of some kind by the end of 2008, I’ll eat my iPod.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Apple’s online conversation engagement. Drop me a comment.

P.S. In anticipation of Apple supporters accusing me of being an Apple hater. Consider this before leaving a comment. I own 4 iPods,a Mac Mini and I have just ordered a Macbook Pro. ;-)

  • http://pcsnetworks.net J McPheeters

    Oh, I thought this would be a serious article, but you make so many overstatements, generalizations, and use Scoble as your benchmark for objectivity that it must be a joke? Are your seriously attempting to make a reasonable point by using this kind of writing? I assume you are pretty young, with limited experience with corporate policy with regards to public discussions? Not being a fan of Apple corporate, myself, I can’t really speak to the ‘social networking’ need you seem to feel is obvious. But I would guess that if Apple, MS, HP, IBM, and others decide to join MySpace, we might as well all start buying Euros.

    By the way, Apple doesn’t even take part in their own forums, but I do understand they employ a number of people that know how to read and they apparently do so. So don’t hold your breath if you think they are going to market themselves differently just because so many new customers are showing up. I doubt many of them were really Windows loyalists. Remember, most people use Windows because it’s there. The average computer user world wide is more and more agnostic when it comes to the operating system itself. This helps Apple, indirectly, because they are a small percent of the overall OS landscape. If they can market their name positively, then people will buy the name, not really caring so much what’s under the hood so long as it takes them where they want to go and gives them the ‘experience’ they feel they need, want, deserve.

  • Tom B

    The fact that Apple doesn’t participate in social media doesn’t mean they don’t “get” it. After all, what are you going to PUT on YouTube or Flickr? If you’re lucky, something made or processed on a Mac.

    The hypothesis that Dell “gets” social media doesn’t mean much. They have no product to sell. If I wanted a Windows-only PC (instead of, for example, a dual booting Mac), I could get a better one through HP or Sony.

  • http://www.amazing.com/communities/show/3796 David H Dennis

    As you so rightly pointed out, Apple has its own customers to participate in blogs and the like on its behalf. I would simply add that they are enormously more credible than Apple’s paid shills would be.

    Apple has an enormous advantage over Dell in that they have a truly unique product that their customers prefer over the competition by an enormous margin.

    Seems to me that Apple’s doing things like this just fine. They probably realize that speaking PR-speak through a blog isn’t going to get them nearly as far as letting their customers do the heavy lifting for them.

    After all, there are always going to be a lot more Apple customers than hired Apple bloggers … even if Apple did want to hire bloggers.

    D

  • Louis Wheeler

    Any article which would cite a Microsoft shill like Robert Scoble is biased. Apple has a defensive stance, because Microsoft would take advantage of any weakness. Apple learned long ago that it does not pay to defend itself from Microsoft FUD. The honest people will appreciate Apple’s products. Anyone who buys into Microsoft’s propaganda is not a good market for Apple products. Apple would rather win through excellent products and services than through dishonest marketing. Even when that dishonesty is filtered through Microsoft bootlicker’s like Scoble.

  • http://www.brianchappell.com Brian Chappell

    “Apple would rather win through excellent products and services than through dishonest marketing.”

    dishonest marketing ≠ simply acknowledging the community around them

  • Don

    Ignoring the use of Microsoft shills like Scoble, Andy Beal’s article makes clear that he doesn’t understand social media at all.

    Working social media does NOT mean following the heard and doing what everyone else does. By the time something appears in TV Guide it is so very out. It has to do with creating trends so that people will want to share–be social–with you.

    Oscar Wilde wrote, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” Andy, most people (other than Microsoft hacks like Scoble and Rob “never right” Enderle) who talk about Microsoft do so because they hate MS. Most people who socialize over Apple discuss how they love Apple’s products. Even when they bitch about Apple they do so because they want Apple to do better, not because of hate.

    Apple has hundreds of people running social media for them. Why should they do it themselves. Which is more believable, if you so you’re great or if 500 people, independent of each other and independent of you, post that you’re an ass?

    Andy, you’ve fallen into the trap of thinking you know more about social media than the masters who manipulate it. Are you still a sophomore in college?

  • Phantom Shadow

    I hate the term “stakeholder.” It’s right out the Socialist’s Guide to Politically-Correct Language.

    Just because you use a certain company’s products doesn’t give you ANY kind of equity interest in the company. If you want an equity interest, buy stock in Apple. If you don’t won’t to buy their products, don’t buy them.

    If you had been an Apple STOCKHOLDER over the past 5 years, then I imagine your opinion would be different than it now is.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    WOW! Thank you so much for proving my point. Apple relies so heavily on its fans–such as you–to jump into social media conversations. @Louise, thank you for being the first to call “Microsoft FUD” :-)

    This is not an attack on Apple. I like Apple. This is an observation and opinion on why I believe Apple needs to join the conversation.

  • Chuck

    Andy,
    Why do you believe Apple (or any company for that matter) has to join the social media phenomenon? What evidence do you have it does any good (increased profits, customer loyalty, etc.)? Ford tried this a year ago with its Bold Moves site. They tried to act like they were exposing themselves in regards to who they were behind the scenes, and they failed. They closed the site down after less than a year.

    Apple on the other hand has the best customer loyalty on the planet. They have realized long ago, about the time Jobs came back, that if they micro-manage the marketing and PR, and produce fantastic products with great design and usability, they don’t need an outlet for their customer’s opinions/rants/feedback. You think they care about what someone thinks they need to design and build? Ha! Jobs knows what a lot of people want, even if they don’t realize it. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t fail, and it doesn’t mean his products are for everyone. But after 120M iPods, the most Macs sold in any quarter and millions of iPhones sold, who is going to argue with him? The facts are Apple’s market share, market cap and stock price, though it has fallen a bit with the rest of the market, is at an all-time high. And you think now they need to blog?

    I can tell you they monitor a lot of the Mac-centric sites. They know what their customers want and how they feel. Apple is not a closed ecosystem. And the only reason MSFT has been so open lately is because they have close to the worst consumer brand image in the tech industry. They have to talk about upcoming products because their consumer offerings are financial failures. Even the XBox has yet to make a profit when you include the $1B they had to fork out to fix a third of the devices. When a company is failing, of course they want to do whatever they can to make themselves look better.

    Frankly, when you look at the numbers, Apple doesn’t need to. And they won’t. The exception is the iPhone rebate. And even that was closely managed to appear to be a “sorry” when in reality it was also a slick plan to get their customers back in the store. Not saying it was right or wrong. Just that it was pure genius.

    If you look back at 1997, a year when Apple lost over $1B, they still had lots of people who wanted Macs. The problem was the lack of product focus, logistics issues and selling crappy Macs at Sears. Jobs has fixed that. Now they are a company that is bringing great new technology to the consumer, and they are being rewarded.

    Just because they don’t blog doesn’t mean they don’t listen, that they don’t “get it,” and that they are shooting themselves in the foot in the long run.

    And how certain are you that corporate blogging isn’t just a fad? It sure was with Ford.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Chuck – thanks for your thoughts. I gave two examples of companies that have benefited from engaging social media:

    “Nike’s excellent community efforts–especially Nike+–and Dell’s efforts with forums and blogs are helping both companies join online conversations. Both companies are benefiting from either higher sales–40% of Nike+ users end up buying Nike shoes–and better stakeholder relations–Jeff Jarvis just recently wrote a glowing report on Dell for BusinessWeek.”

    I agree that Apple has strong followers, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll always be there to help the company protect its reputation. Nike has strong followers, but it still benefited from social media engagement. Southwest has its fans, but it still maintains a corporate blog.

  • http://www.webomatica.com/wordpress/ Webomatica

    Apple isn’t going to jump into social networking until it’s proven there’s a market there and they can come in and apply the “Apple touch” to that market and dominate the inferior competition. Take the iPod – Apple was not first to release the Mp3 player – they let other companies do the groundbreaking, and when all of their players didn’t do the job, Apple saw that they could improve on the Mp3 player and do it “right”. Same with the iPhone. I don’t think they will make a blatant social Web 2.0 whatever play until it’s a proven revenue platform. Despite all the web 2.0 hype that has definitely not been established yet – all money is from advertising and huge buyouts which are not businesses apple is in.

  • Chuck

    Andy,
    Point taken about Nike, Dell and SW Airlines. But I still have a gut feeling that corporate blogging is a fad. Time will tell.

    Thanks.

  • http://www.toddearwood.com Todd Earwood

    Andy- I enjoyed your points during your Blog World session and several more good points here. I am also a Mac user and have to agree with you.

    I know this opinion isn’t popular in the Apple community, but Apple is a very closed company. Being involved with social media wouldn’t allow their m/o to work. Yes, they make outstanding products, but they don’t nourish this raving group of fans. To have a conversation, you must have two parts and Apple prefers to keep it one-sided. They keep us waiting on the edge of our seats to “unveil” their mystery products and could build even more hype/press with at least some small conversations.

    Again, I love many of their products and today they still have cachet, but any company is fallible… including Apple and especially, Microsoft. :)

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Todd – thank you for bring some balance to this discussion.
    @Chuck – It could well be a fad. I still believe that the internet is a fad. ;-)

  • Vince Enfly

    I, and I suspect many others regard “blogs” with the viewpoint that they share commonality with opinions and anus’s, IE that everybody has one.

  • http://www.advicenetwork.com/contest Advice Network

    I’m with Andy. I love Apple products, (I’ve never owned anything but Apple computers) and I think the Apple Inc corporate image is coming across as arrogant.

    I think being a corporate jerk is the wrong way to go. Maybe I am naive, some of the companies I like least are doing great (Walmart, Starbucks, I’m sure they care that I think they are predatory) Still, I would love Apple to put on a better face.

  • http://www.govisithawaii.com Sheila

    Wow – the personal attacks in these comments are simply ridiculous.

  • http://www.brianchappell.com Brian Chappell

    @ Sheila

    Apple fan boys at their finest :)

    I knew this thread would get heated.

  • zahadum

    re: scoble … with friends like him, who needs enemies?!

    andy beal presumes that apple is heading for trouble cuz a genius like scoble doesnt know mac 101 basics (like the decades-old firmware-based startup options used for trouble-shooting).

    wrong.

    scoble is not a genius; he is a dolt (and yes, apple doesnt need or want customers like that – but that is a separate brand issue).

    scoble’s lack of rudimentary knowledge –which is inexcusable for a supposed technorati– should come as no surprise to anyone who watched his baleful performances on the microsoft video blog, where the scope of his technical ignorance was just breathtaking.

    [edited - irrelevant and just an attack on Scoble]

    If he cant even get at the basic issues when he is using other people’s money (as an interviewer), can we really expect him to make even a half-hearted effort to learn the basic 101 info when he using his own money?

    nope.

    he is [edited - refrain from personal attacks]

    no one takes him seriously.

    [edited - again please stay on topic]

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @zahadum – Scoble’s not the point of the story.

    He can defend himself, but I would imagine Scoble is smarter than 90% of Apple’s customers.

    “and yes, apple doesnt need or want customers like that – but that is a separate brand issue”

    Yeah, contact Apple and ask them to confirm that they only want to reach the uber-geek buyer and don’t want the masses to buy their producs. Let me know what they say.

  • Tycho

    I think Steve Jobs’ open letters show that Apple is aware of what’s going on and responds, when appropriate, with something other than products.

    But the success of their products alone is a darn good argument that they’re listening isn’t it? Are Nokia and Motorola listening? If so, why didn’t they come up with Visual Voice Mail?

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Tycho – Jobs open letter is a great example that they are listening – I feature that in my book – but there are few examples that Apple is using/engaging social media. His letter was posted to the Apple.com site.

  • rcjordan


    Google, Apple slip from “loved” to “well-liked”

    http://svextra.com/blogs/gmsv/2007/08/google_apple_slip_from_loved_to_well-liked.html

    Recent anecdotal evidence from some un-choreographed & unscripted Mac/ipod owners I know seems to confirm the slip in Apple’s standing.

    But as for corporate blogs…
    Andy, I read online in order to continue to make a living online. Out of the hundreds of sources I have in my reading list, not one is a corporate blog …unless you count the likes of MP.

    Given the choice between between profits and disclosure, companies lie.

  • Pepe

    LOL
    Some of you are dismissing Scoble as a Microsoft “shill”? Ever read his blog? He rips Microsoft to shreds every week. (Not because he hates Microsoft, but because he wants them to do better, but he’s certainly no “shill”).

    And he loves Apple. Was first in line to get three iPhones. Was one of the first to get AppleTV. His son worships Apple.

    If Scoble is having problems with his Apple product, you can be sure those problems are very real. And Scoble’s problems with Leopard are child’s play compared to Rob Hyndman’s:
    http://www.robhyndman.com/2007/11/15/your-leopard-is-eating-my-self-esteem/

  • jbelkin

    You hit the nail on the head with the statement, “It’s simple: Apple’s customers embrace social media on behalf of the company.”

    Apple is to social network as Coca Cola is to distribution in convenience stores.

    Are there ANY convenience stores open that doesn’t sell Coke or wouldn’t think of selling Coke?

    That’s not to say they can ignore their custoer base but clearly, Apple IS the ULTIMATE social network and needs no more. Maybe as a consultant, you hate anyone who you can’t sell more services to but that’s the bottom line.

    Why do you do social marketing? Because your current methods are too inefficent to tell your message or you want people to think differently about you like MS (we are not monopolist copycats and boring … when you are in that postion in mindshare YOU NEED SOCIAL …) when you have an army of a tens of millions, how much more social do you need? In fact, at that point, your anti-social adds cachet …

  • Pingback: Why Apple Hasn’t Gone Web 2.0 » Webomatica - Technology and Entertainment Digest

  • http://www.podcastingnews.com/ James Lewin

    Andy

    Very interesting post – but the post comments are almost more interesting.

    I hope your backside isn’t singed too much by the comment flamers.

    I had a similar experience recently, when I blogged about leopard upgrade problems. An observation about a bad experience with Leopard elicited a lot of bizarrely fanboy comments, with people suggesting that it was my fault the upgrade failed, that I should have backed the computer up (which I had) or quibbling over whether or not the computer was bricked or not. It may have been unusable – but at least it booted up!

    Maybe we’ve discovered the ultimate link-bait strategy – write a fair criticism about Apple.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @James – the thought never crossed my mind. ;-)

  • RLSweet

    Other than when the Steve’s (Jobs and Wosniak) were members of the Homebrew Computer Club oh so many decades ago – and maybe not even then – Apple proposes and the customer either consumes or disposes. I can’t imagine a more honest and straightforward conversation.

    Apple either refines the product or tries something else. What’s so hard to figure out about that? If you don’t like it – don’t buy it. If you bought it, learn to use it. If that doesn’t work – complain, and write about it.

    Oh…

  • http://www.endwritersblock.com Mark B

    Well put Andy… er, did I just say that out loud?

    I’m an Apple fan. Drank the kool-aid, worn the black t-necks, waited breathlessly for “one more thing”. It was a unifying thing to be the downtrodden, made fun of everywhere for still using a toy, holding firm to the thought that we would be proven right by “the Steve” and his return. Those were the days…

    Truly though, many of Apple’s products rock. And some have seriously sucked. They have winners/losers and problems like most successful companies.

    Apple has somehow allowed (put up with grudgingly really) that love of Apple to just keep going, without nurturing it at all. It’s worked for a long time, hasn’t it? I don’t think Steve thinks there needs to be another way.

    I agree with you, that will prove to be a mistake.

    But don’t you love the iPod touch?

  • HG

    Most social expressions on the internet, especially concerning technology, seem disingenuous and/or ignorant.

    It seems that it’s practiced mostly by underdog companies trying to disrupt the market to their advantage and the sparks of their effort come from our ceaseless fountain of contempt for the familiar.

    Ironically, among these companies are super corporations like Dell and Microsoft. So their social networking is distorting reality, to say the least.

    Social networking isn’t where corporations make money and money is what they need to focus on. Surely Dell would prefer that PlaysForSure had worked out instead of wasting money moderating some blogs.

    Dell has the social network today because its corporate network failed it. Microsoft failed Dell. Besides finding warmth and comfort among its user-base, maybe Dell ought to establish another social network–call Steve Jobs and start improving the communication with Apple that Dell destroyed some 10 years ago. That would the kind of social networking that Dell’s investors would appreciate.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @RLSweet – I’m assuming this was said in jest…

    “Apple proposes and the customer either consumes or disposes. I can’t imagine a more honest and straightforward conversation.”

    How is that a conversation? Erm, this is how we are going to do it – we don’t want your input or suggestions.

    Which leads me to @HG

    “Social networking isn’t where corporations make money and money is what they need to focus on.”

    Ask them about their IdeaStorm.com blog and the resounding support from customers for the Linux platform. Dell found a winning product – and revenue – thanks to their social forum.

    @MarkB – a balanced comment from someone that actually read my post. Thanks!

  • Eric

    Apple doesn’t get social media?

    iTunes and Podcasts, anyone?

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Eric – please feel free to link to any official Apple podcasts – I’d be interested to listen to them.

    And iTunes is a different type of media – as in music – not social media.

  • GC

    Just because Apple doesn’t directly engage their ‘stakeholders’ through social networks and blogging doesn’t mean that they aren’t engaging their stakeholders. As a matter of fact Jobs himself engages them twice a year through his keynote speeches at Macworld and the Mac Developers’ Conference and almost monthly during his new product announcements. All of those events get huge media coverage and that’s something you neglect to consider. And other then the developers conference, those events are quite unique in there frequency and coverage. No other company, in any industry, does them, especially like Apple does.

    Also, don’t forget that the Apple stores are all about engaging their customers on a daily bases. That’s thousands of current, new and potentially new customers being directly engaged by Apple employees everyday. Remember, the Apple stores are all about getting the Apple message out because the other retail and ‘big box’ stores just weren’t cutting it.

    Have you listened to the leading tech podcasts or read the average tech blog. Apple doesn’t need to directly participate in these mediums. Coverage of all things Apple far outweighs their market presence already and it’s done in a more genuine and honest way. Even Windows Weekly, the leading Windows podcast is more about Apple than Microsoft.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @GC – I can’t argue that Apple does things outside of social media AND they have many people evangelizing their company, but individuals want to talk to companies using social media – Apple just doesn’t talk back.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Tycho – an update for you. It looks like Motorola is listening after all: http://www.rev2.org/2007/11/16/motorola-recognizes-the-power-of-social-networking/

  • Eric

    @ Andy

    Your claim is that Apple doesn’t get social media, and then you choose to arbitrarily define what “getting” social media means.

    I assert that they get social media quite well. In fact, they get it so well, they have created a huge repository that champions the Apple message: iTunes + Podcasts.

    That they don’t produce their own AppleCast is irrelevant, unless we choose to narrow the definition in ways such as you presuppose. Apple doesn’t make it’s own personal cast because it has created a giant warehouse for everyone to not only do it for them (free of charge no less), but to do so in an environment completely set up by Apple.

    So, between you and Apple, it really seems to me like the latter “gets” the concept of social media a tad more than the former.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Eric – I guess we’ll agree to disagree. Creating a product that is used to download music does not mean the same as using social media to engage your stakeholders. By your definition, my local electric utility company “gets” social media better than anyone as they provide the power to my laptop, microphone, and video recorder.

  • Eric

    You do realize that iTunes is about far more than downloading music, correct?

    I hate to sound snarky, but you seem to be overlooking the giant podcast resource it has become.

    To be more concise, Andy, in my opinion you expose the answer to your own question without even realizing it.

    Q: So, why doesn’t Apple embrace social media?

    A: It’s simple: Apple’s customers embrace social media on behalf of the company.

    That’s exactly the genius of it; Through podcasts Apple employs, free of charge, a plethora of evangelists and provides them their pulpit.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Eric – yes I am aware that iTunes is used to download podcasts.

    I’m glad you went back and read my post. Did you also see where I said…

    “…Apple would soon need to embrace social media and join the conversation.”

    You, like many other Apple fans/employees seem to be just too touchy about any attack on Apple. I agree totally that Apple has a great fan support and employees that spend time leaving comments on blogs – but at some point–which I predict to be in 2008–that approach will start to be stretched too thin. Then Apple will have to engage officially.

  • Eric

    I wasn’t aware you were attacking Apple. Nor was I aware I was touchy regarding them.

    I have a different opinion on what they’re doing than you do. That no more makes me an Apple fanboy than it makes you a Microsoft fanboy or Dell freak.

    There’s no need for labels beyond “two adults that disagree.”

    I’m sorry I can’t carry on a spirited conversation with you. Adieu.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Eric – good night!

  • Joe

    Amazing. You attack Apple for poor marketing because they don’t jump onto the type of marketing that YOU prefer. What incredible arrogance.

    Apple is highly regarded as one of the best marketing companies on the planet. The success of their marketing speaks for itself. Look at the adoption rate of the iPod – the fastest uptake of any electronic device EVER.

    Apple doesn’t do social marketing the way you want them to. Big deal. That doesn’t make them inept or incompetent.

    And, no, that’s not accusing you of Apple bashing. It’s simply pointing out the fact that saying that Apple is incompetent at marketing is ridiculous.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Joe – did you read my article?? I don’t think Apple is incompetent at marketing – THEY ARE GREAT AT IT – but they’re not embracing social media conversations and that is something I believe they will need to do soon.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    From this point forward, I’m reserving the right to moderate comments where the author doesn’t use their full name or link to a site of theirs. When you’re collecting a paycheck from Apple–and not making that known in your comments–you’re hardly presenting a balanced opinion.

  • Joe Anonymous

    Just who is collecting a paycheck from Apple? That’s another stupid blogging tactic- accuse everyone who disagrees with you of being in the pay of Apple.

    As for the rest, you are the one with the big headlines saying “Why it needs to repent”. That implies pretty strongly that you believe that they need to adopt what you’re telling them to do. What credentials do you have to tell Apple that they’re doing it wrong?

  • Pingback: links for 2007-11-17

  • http://www.brianchappell.com Brian Chappell

    These are some of the reasons brought to the table so far that emphasize Apple is already engaging its customers sufficiently enough to negate the need for Social Media engagement:

    “By the way, Apple doesn’t even take part in their own forums, but I do understand they employ a number of people that know how to read and they apparently do so.”

    “Apple has its own customers to participate in blogs and the like on its behalf.”

    “As a matter of fact Jobs himself engages them twice a year through his keynote speeches at Macworld and the Mac Developers’ Conference”

    “I assert that they get social media quite well. In fact, they get it so well, they have created a huge repository that champions the Apple message: iTunes + Podcasts.”

    ———————

    Engagement – Requires TWO sides to interact. This can be facilitated through social media channels.

    Apple is simply negating any interaction. Keynote speeches are one sided. Apple forums are one sided. Itunes and podcasts, thats not even either, was a bit confused when that was brought to the table.

    “Apple is to social network as Coca Cola is to distribution in convenience stores.

    Are there ANY convenience stores open that doesn’t sell Coke or wouldn’t think of selling Coke?”

    Here is a prime example. As of late, apples rep got a little tainted with the Ipod pricing, and have not done much to amend.

    Coca Cola is a staple as you said, I bet if a store took Coca Cola of its shelves you would see some Coke reps negotiating with the store owners to get them to sell it again. They wouldn’t sit on the asses waiting for some coke fans to come in the store and complain about it not being on sale anymore.

    —————

    If this is all you guys have to bring to the table then it is clear that Apple needs help. They simply cannot rely on their fans to be their only means of communicating with the public.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    Comments are now closed.
    It’s clear that Apple supporters are unable to continue the conversation in a cordial manner. After receiving abusive emails and comments from Apple supporters, I’m forced to close the comments.

    As Brian points out, Apple supporters have failed to discuss the topic at hand, i.e. my opinion that Apple needs to engage social media themselves. Instead, they’re simply pointing out what things Apple does well and throwing insults.

  • Pingback: The brand promise of Apple « Scobleizer

  • Pingback: Should Apple’s brand image be contested? - MAC.BLORGE.com

  • Pingback: Component Apple » Blog Archive » Should Apple’s brand image be contested?

  • Pingback: Apple Doesn't Get Social Media? Them's Fightin' Words : Ignite Social Media

  • Pingback: I little Mac love | Savage Nomads

  • Pingback: “Apple’s Social Media Efforts Need to Ripen” « socialTNT

  • Pingback: “MacBook Error: Top Six Tips To Apple On Social Media Marketing” « socialTNT

  • Pingback: A Starbucks Blog? « Unique-Frequency

  • Pingback: THINKing » Soft Economy? No, Soft Marketers.