Andy Beal committed heresy. He dared suggest that Apple doesn't really get social media and that they will need to figure it out sooner or later if they want to continue to thrive. While it's not surprising that Apple fans defended Apple, what is surprising is how many intelligent people showed by their comments that they didn't get social media.
Like Andy, I'm an Apple fan. I love my iMac. Hate my PC. Like my iPod. Love the new iPod Touch.
But Andy's right. Apple doesn't get social media the way Dell does. They are not taking maximum advantage of communicating with their customers and prospects. And their market share, while growing, is under 4%, so they certainly have room for improvement that will positively impact their bottom line.
Here's what's interesting about the commenters on Andy's post (and they got so heated that Andy had to shut them off):
1. People equated social media with corporate blogging. Done properly, it's much more (or much else, as corporate blogging is not a requirement of "getting" social media).
2. People equated social media with social networking. Apple does have Facebook groups and other types of social networking tools. I don't think they should create a niche Apple social network, and I don't think Andy does either.
"Getting social media" means finding ways to talk with customers. It shows up in product development, it shows up in customer support, it shows up in a variety of ways.
Yes, Apple is hot right now in product development (and again, I love their products). But what Andy's post shows is how people who "get" social media are so far speaking a different language than those who don't. That's a tremendous opportunity for those companies that show the way to connecting on a deeper level. And it's a shame that Dell makes Windows-based products (because Vista is h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e!!!), because they really are doing some great stuff in terms of two-way customer communications.
Hang in there Andy. While you got skewered by some, your fundamental point was correct. That so many missed it just shows how far we have to go in this business...andy beal, apple, dell, ipod, Social Media, social media agency, social media marketing, Social Networking
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