Tag Archives: Apple

“MacBook Error: Six Tips To Apple On Social Media Marketing”

It’s MacWorld fever in San Francisco. I think their new Macbook, the MacBook Air, is beautiful, but everytime I hear the new name, I hear MacBook “Error.” Today I want to address the biggest MacBook Error: the thinness of their conversation in the social media realm.

Yes, I know they are on top of the world, but there are voices from the blogosphere that point to cracks in the MacBrand base; early adopters and super fans feel left out. As Apple becomes more of a consumer brand, more mainstream users will purchase Macs. This means more complaints, stretching the ardent fans–and customer service–thin; no longer will every negative Apple post be bombarded with super users flaming the blogger. To address this, Apple will need to stop pushing products and messages at its community. Instead, they will need to become more engaged with their community.

Steve, are you listening? Here are some of my top tips for Apple on refreshing their Social Media efforts to revive the Fan Base:

  • Stop trying to silence your superfans!
  • Beautiful Ads and Demos, set them free!
    • Sharing is Caring. Let the videos into the wild by allowing them to be embedded into other sites and shared. Just by sending a link back to the page is tres 1.0. Do this with Steve’s keynote, too.
  • MacBook Air: Behind the Scenes
    • For movie buffs, the “Extra Features” on a DVD are one more reason to buy. Same goes for tech geeks. Show us the behind the scenes of the MacBook Air. Intimate video chats with the Hardware Design team. Live podcasts (with call-in) featuring the User Experience team.
    • Too hardcore? Ok, open up developers’ blogs!
  • Like a shepherd herding the flock…
    • A Community Manager could address the worries early adopters are having re the MacBook Air. They can also hit up the Green bloggers upset about Apple’s lack of true environmental concern, or just common users P.O.-ed about Leopard’s constant crashes. Go and address those posts head on. Cut the messaging and speak to them like people.
  • Open up a dialog
    • Apple currently has a web-based form for feedback, but it feels like you are sending it out into a void. Make it a community, like Dell, where users can submit suggestions/concerns and then vote on the ideas. Yes, there is a forum, but it relies heavily on super fans…and forums are SOOOOO 1.0.
    • Customers also need to know that they are taken seriously. Close the feedback loop. Let them know the status of their suggestions.
  • I’m Streaming of a Live MacWorld
    • Ok, it may be a little far fetched, but I want a cam to be following someone through the MacWorld experience, like a fly on the wall. Bonus points if that fly is STEVE JOBS!

I love all my Apple products, but I’ve been a little upset since upgrading Leopard. No longer can I play music on Front Row through my Airport Express. I filled out a comment form and have not received any sort of follow-up. I’ve dropped so much money on my desktop, laptop, keyboard, Airport, Airport Express, and I deserve some sort of acknowledgment.

What do you think? Is Apple heading towards Dell Hell or are they on the right track? What suggestions would you give Apple on reinvigorating their fan base?

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Filed under Best Practices, How To, It's A Conversation, Marketing, New Media, Rants, Sharing is Caring, Social Media, Video

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: iJustine, iJustine.TV”

“ShareaSale & The Conversation Group Party: Blogworld Expo, iJustine” by Brian SolisIt’s the last Thursday before Christmas. If you aren’t out shopping, join us for another installment of “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min.”

Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. The videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

Today, socialTNT is celebrating the shortest day of the year by offering you 3Q’s in One Minute with Social Media Diva, iJustine. That’s right: In one minute, iJustine is going to peer into the videostream of time to tell us what she thinks will be hot in 2008!

For those of you not familiar with the queen of the new Web Celebrity set, iJustine jumped into mainstream with her video about the insane bill she received from AT&T after buying her iPhone. The video made national news and prompted AT&T to reconsider e-bills for their data plans. She also has an amazing blog, Tasty Blog Snack.

Her facebook’s “About Me” simply states: I am the Internet. Since you can catch her on Facebook, MySpace, flickr, twitter, Revver, YouTube, and every other social network, I’m gonna say that could be true. Oh, and when she’s not saving trees from telco giants, iJustine is busy streamcasting her life.

Although not employed by Apple (yet), she SHOULD be the social media/community evangelist for the trendy tech giant. Even though she says Steve Jobs got up and walked out of a trendy Mountain View cafe after seeing her sitting next to him, iJustine claims that Steve Jobs is in love with her–and how could he resist: She has an apple tattoo on her shoulder blade.

In today’s “End of the Year” edition of “3Q’s in 3Min,” iJustine tells us her prediction on the biggest trend in social media in 2008, expresses her love of Twitter, and weighs in on the GOOG vs Facebook battle to dominate your social graph data!

Check it out:

I agree with iJustine, video is gonna be HUGE in ’08; you’ll certainly see more of it on socialTNT in 2008. I also want Wiki’s to gain momentum for Enterprise use.

What do YOU think will be the big trend in 2008?

This is the last “3Q’s in 3Min” for the year, as socialTNT is closing down for the break. We’ve got some great interviews lined up for 2008, so add us to your RSS reader, or sign up for our email, and you’ll never miss a post!

If you liked this post, check out the other video’s in our weekly Thursday series “3Q’s in 3Min.” Also, check out my review of Apple’s current social media PR/marketing strategy.

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[The above photo, “ShareaSale & The Conversation Group Party: Blogworld Expo, iJustine” by Brian Solis, is used under Creative Commons]

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Citizen Reporter, Enterprise Public Relations, Future of Media, New Media, Social Media, Social Networking, Video, Video Interview

“Apple’s Social Media Efforts Need to Ripen”

During the last several years, Apple has undeniably been the innovator in hardware design, software and personal consumer tech. They’ve also been on the cutting edge of entertainment by effectively bringing the music industry into the digital age.

Last Friday and Saturday, Robert Scoble wrote two posts that remind me (and others) of Jeff Jarvis’ Dell Hell rants. When Scoble installed last weeks updates, his computer got stuck in reboot. Here’s what he has to say:

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.

His second post discusses the brand promise that Apple makes through advertising and how he sees it flawed. You can read his full list of grievances in the post. While I don’t necessarily agree with everything he writes, I agree that Apple will need to change soon if it wants to keep up in the Post-Dell Hell era.

In its current state, Apple has a strong community of devoted users. Do an online search and you’ll find plenty of mac forums and mac blogs. There’s even a fake Steve Jobs blog. The company itself is surprisingly lacking in engagement with this community. In fact, it has actively sued bloggers in the past. In the last few weeks, Apple has even sent a cease and desist letter to a nine year old.

As Apple computers (not just iPods) are purchased by more mainstream consumers, Apple will find itself slowly being pushed into the conversation. Andy Beal at Marketing Pilgrim sees two situations that will force this change:

  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.

So what can Apple do to increase it’s social media marketing and PR efforts:

  1. Create a Community Evangelist position to monitor the Apple dialog on Blogs for negative conversation threads and comment as a human. This helps consumers feel like they are being listened to, while simultaneously allowing Apple to more-or-less steer the conversation.
  2. Be honest. So I said they could steer the conversation…within reason. The users will be able to smell PR spin, so don’t try to incorporate too much messaging. If there is a problem, acknowledge it. Right now the Leopard install has caused crazy bugs that people are talking about in forums. Mac continues to deny it. I’m getting PO-d.
  3. Create a blog. Steve Rubel said it in 2004. Apple is the only large tech company to not have one. I understand corporate secrecy in product development, but come on. Dell’s is a great example. They talk about OpenWorld, Word of Mouth Marketing, Green issues, geeky consumer tech, servers, etc. They also have videos!
  4. Close the feedback loop. Wait, first create a feedback loop! Back to Dell: they have a created the IdeaStorm community to allow users to submit ideas and then other users vote on the ideas. The whole process is tracked with transparency and also shows results at the end. This is key: It lets consumers know they have a voice and that someone is not just listening but also acting as a result.
  5. Instead of suing bloggers for leaking things, show videos of products as they are being developed. Transparency and openness. Of course, you need to wait until you are close to release. If others are going to do it, owning it makes Apple cool again.

Oh, and putting out ads that show this:

When this is the reality:

Is really, really bad. It makes Apple look removed from reality, disengaged with the consumer and, frankly, a little arrogant.

What are your suggestions to Apple? Or are they doing ok? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Any Mac Marketing or PR folks wanna speak to socialTNT’s readers? Tell us what’s up!

Before I get flamed: My whole house is full of Mac equipment from desktops, laptops, network gear, etc.

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“PR to Enterprise: Beam Me Up”

“Dell Hell Freezes Over: A Great Example of Turning Lemons into Lemonade”

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Mario Sundar, LinkedIn”

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Filed under Best Practices, Community Relations, It's A Conversation, Marketing, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Sharing is Caring, Social Media, WTF?