Why Apple Doesn’t Need Social Media

Apple has a pretty well-known disdain for social media.

Despite being the one company that, more than any other, raised awareness of podcasting and gave the music industry a kick up the ass with iTunes, Apple is dismissive of social software. The company discourages employee blogging. It sued some of its biggest fans. It shut down online forum posts when people complained about problems with its Leopard operating system.

Jay Moonah mentioned Apple on his (excellent) Media Driving podcast the other day, wondering why brands like Apple and Seth Godin don’t get attacked for not “joining the conversation.”

So… why doesn’t Apple feel the need to engage with other customers? How come it hasn’t descended into Dell hell (and had to dig itself out) yet?

Rabid dogs Because it doesn’t need to. Apple has an army of fans that does the job way better than the company ever could.

Apple focuses on creating a fantastic user experience. Whether it’s the iPod, the Mac or the iPhone, Apple’s strength of design gives an experience that people love.

Sure, they would probably benefit from engaging with customers, listening to what they’re saying and responding like Dell, GM or Comcast. Let’s face it, though, like it or not those companies don’t have the rabid following that Apple does. They need to reach out to convince people.

Apple’s fans do it for them. When your brand is this strong, why take a risk using untried tactics?

Not everyone agrees with me on this. There are plenty of people that wonder if Apple really wants the crazed few defending its reputation and who think the company really needs to engage.

What do you think?

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.