If you have ever searched for @Apple on Twitter, you were probably surprised and confused by the results. Yes, there is an @Apple handle, but it only has 26.8K followers, and there is absolutely no activity on the page, with no tweets and no followed accounts. So this begs the question, “Why isn’t Apple on Twitter?”
Apple is not completely absent from Twitter. They do manage the following handles: @iTunesMusic with 5.4M followers, @AppStore with 2.4M followers, @iTunesTrailers with 2.3M followers, and an additional nine accounts that total 2.5M followers. All accounts considered, Apple has a combined 13 million followers. But, it is strange that there is no official general Twitter handle for Apple as a company.
Apple is definitely a maverick. Most companies, large and small, maintain a Twitter account. The larger companies even have entire staffs devoted to updating Twitter and interacting with followers. @Google tops the tech giant list with 8.37M followers, @Microsoft has 4.62M, @BlackBerry has 4.1M (surprisingly close to @Microsoft), @Intel has 3.08M, @Sony has 2.31M, @Yahoo has 1.21M, and @Samsung has 1.06M (it probably doesn’t help that the Samsung page and Tweets are all in Korean, with no other languages represented).
Many people theorize that Apple isn’t officially on Twitter as a company/brand because they always want to be in control of everything, and Twitter is an environment that cannot be controlled. Even Apple’s YouTube channel (with 1.8M subscribers) does not enable comments, forcing viewers to only be viewers, not participants.
Also, the company would not stand to benefit from a Twitter presence. It’s not like they run daily deals where their products go on sale (we wish) every week. Also, Apple products have an established timeline of product releases (that people are always talking about), so updates on new products would be redundant. It appears that Apple may be the only company that is “too good” for Twitter The truth is, Apple is such a popular company that the people do the social networking for them. Even without an official @Apple handle, @Apple has been tweeted over 422,000 times.
Social networking is an investment of time and resources. A successful presence requires engaging content that encourages users to like their Facebook Page or follow them on Twitter. Apple is beyond appealing to the masses; you come to Apple, Apple does not come to you. The lofty persona of the Apple brand aligns with the perceived premium experience associated with Apple products. Although, Apple could not get away without having a Facebook page, and they have an impressive 10M Facebook Fans. But this fan following was not due to any Facebook campaigning efforts. Apple has failed to produce any news or share any content on their Facebook page since inception. This lack of social network activity does not stop Facebook Fans from attempting to interact and engage with the Apple brand; users have “Checked In” more than 146,000 times at Apple retail stores.
Apple surely has a strategy behind their hands-off social media presence. But we wonder if Apple’s lack of social interaction will hurt the company in the future. We live in a world where companies are forming personalities and participating in conversations with their customers, generating relationships and creating a bond between the company and its customers. Will Apple’s high and mighty attitude cause consumer backlash in the future? As long as they keep producing products that people want to use, they may be safe. But it is a difficult task to stay on the cutting edge of design and technology. Only time will tell if Apple will maintain its social silence, and if that strategy will continue to work for (or at least, not hurt) them.