Apple’s totally bizarre social media strategy that makes perfect sense

Nick Hessler

When you think of a massive tech company like Apple you would probably think that they also have a large social media presence. Having this large presence requires a solid team to curate content, respond to customer complaints, and assist users. Most brands are furiously creating content to stay on the “current trend bandwagon” to attempt to stay relevant in the social atmosphere while also pushing out information about their products.

Then you actually look at Apple on Facebook and Twitter and you realize they have none of that. All 12,921,598 total followers between the two platforms haven’t ever seen a post from the tech giant. But why?

Apple account following on Facebook (Left) and Twitter

Apple doesn’t need the extra exposure

Apple must recognize the power of social media because they have multiple sub-brands active on Twitter. Need help? Use @AppleSupport. What about some new beats to workout to? Try @AppleMusic. Most brands use social media to increase their exposure and brand awareness. Apple doesn’t need to do that; everyone knows who Apple is. In fact, they create so much buzz with their launch events each year that people will literally form a line outside their stores waiting for days to buy their newest product.

A line outside of an Apple store as the iPhone X debuts. (Wall Street Journal)

A very strategic why

The biggest advantage to Apple not using Facebook and Twitter is the lack of negative comments from users clogging their feeds. Users are still able to tweet at Apple but nobody besides that user’s followers are going to see it.

A recent example of this is when the news about batteries inside of iPhones gradually being restricted came out. If Apple would have published a statement about this on Facebook, you could imagine the amount of negative comments it would have received. If this would have happened to any other company, you would have expected a response and how they will fix it. However, since Apple isn’t active on Facebook or Twitter, there was no waiting period. People knew that Apple wasn’t going to post or tweet about it.

You might be thinking, I know that I’ve seen an Apple post on Facebook or Twitter before. Which could be true…kind of. The tech giant uses Facebook and Twitter to promote their products. Although, they don’t just say “This is the Apple Watch. And you need it. So buy it.” so they’re not selling their product. Apple typically pushes out Facebook ads around the holidays to encourage holiday shoppers to give the gift of an Apple product but have recently started pushing out more. Facebook and Twitter users might notice more ads as the company is pushing Apple Pay + partnerships.

Wait…Apple promotes on social media?

Yes. And they’re smart for doing it. Remember, Apple doesn’t sell on social media. When they craft a social media promotion, they are careful to not push a product to be a sales pitch. For example, during the holiday’s they have a “Give the Gift of Go with Apple Watch” campaign. By positioning their ad this way, they’re not saying “buy someone an Apple Watch because it’s an Apple Watch” but instead they’re saying “buy someone an Apple Watch and give them adventure and motivation.” Pretty clever, huh?

A Facebook promotion by Apple

You would think that Twitter would follow the same type of concept, but it doesn’t. They use Twitter to advertise their launch events and keynote each fall. They recently partnered with Twitter to create a “Retweet for updates from @Apple.” which was a brilliant move in itself. People want updates directly from Apple so they’re going to retweet it…and give Apple more exposure on their event. It’s a win win for both sides.

A Twitter promotion by Apple

So, what about Instagram?

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Apple is active on Instagram. However, they have a very strategic approach to that platform as well. Apple indirectly sells their product. While they don’t come out and explicitly say “Buy the new iPhone X” they are showing the pictures that come directly from an iPhone. Realizing and understanding that Instagram is a very visual platform, they positioned their strategy to a spot where all of their content is user-generated and shot from an iPhone itself. If you check out @Apple on Instagram, you’ll find that they make their account seem like a movement and a community more than a promotional attempt.

Apple’s Instagram Bio

Although Apple’s digital marketing strategy might seem a little strange and out of the ordinary (because it is) they know what they’re doing and they do it really, really well.

Nick Hessler

Written by

Digital Strategist | Social Media Marketer | Brand Storyteller

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