Apple is an enigma. They basically do the opposite of what other successful tech companies do and thrive – they shroud their new products in mystery rather than giving sneak-peeks of what’s to come; they don’t use focus groups for product research; they typically release their products in “generations” over releasing brand new products; they don’t use their Facebook page; they barely use Twitter (a single account for the iBookstore app); they don’t advertise in digital media and they don’t blog.
I wanted to talk about Apple and blogs today, so here goes. A blog can be very beneficial to a corporation yet corporations only account for 8% of the blogosphere as of 2011. Between 2009 and 2010, the percentage of Fortune 500 companies that had corporate blogs only rose by 1% from 22% to 23%. Based on these stats, Apple isn’t too odd for not having a blog. Overall, blogs are an underused resource that can help a company in numerous ways:
- Blogs increase a company’s exposure on search engines.
- They help promote feedback from customers.
- They give a company a human quality in an online world.
- They increase the dissemination of controlled communication to maintain the brands message.
- They enhance media and investor relations by giving them easier access to concise company news and information.
- They help drive traffic to the company’s website.
Many of Apple’s direct competitors including Nokia, Motorola, Dell, Sony and HP have blogs. But, does that mean Apple should have a blog? Does Apple need help in the areas mentioned above? Truthfully, no and no.
Sometimes a corporation doesn’t need a blog because they’re coving their bases just fine. Apple doesn’t need extra exposure on search engines for example because 1) they receive a good amount of traffic from search engines already (15.8% of their visitors came from search engines) and 2) they receive even more traffic from the 750,000+ inbound links from other sites such as Google, YouTube, Yahoo, Amazon, Wikipedia, eBay, LinkedIn, Twitter and Craigslist, all of which are high traffic sites which is a benefit for Apple.
Apple doesn’t need to seek feedback from its customers. Steve Jobs always felt that the consumer needed to be told what they wanted and that if you did in fact ask them what they wanted and made it for them, they would want something else as soon as they got it anyways. Even though Apple doesn’t seek customer feedback as a way to improve products, they still succeed in building and selling some of the most sought after electronics in the world.
The Apple subculture alone can “humanize” the Apple brand without the company even getting involved. There are dozens of Apple fan sites and blogs out there that enable followers to be involved in the conversation about what Apple is and what it means to them, which is exactly what Apple would want them to do. Apple is a lifestyle brand which means its values and meaning are manifest in everything an Apple fan thinks, does and says. With so many people living and evangelizing the Apple lifestyle, there is no need for a blog to help humanize the brand. The brand is already human; it created its own lifestyle.
Apple doesn’t need a blog to disseminate a controlled message or to enhance media and investor relations. Their keynote addresses are famous for doing that and are awaited for and watched by hundreds of thousands of fans, media agencies and investors alike. The keynote addresses are announced in advance and can be watched live. They then are accessible for later viewing from Apples YouTube channel along with their current and past TV commercials which also act to disseminate the Apple message.
Regarding driving traffic to their website, Apple wouldn’t need a blog to help with that. Apple.com is ranked as the 30th most visited site on the internet globally. Nokia.com is ranked, 596th, Motorola.com is ranked 2,316th, Dell.com is ranked 261st, Sony.com is ranked 1,005th and HP.com is ranked 242nd.
A blog is a great way to help a corporation gain more web traffic, improve customer relations etc. but Apple has those things covered. That doesn’t mean Apple fans wouldn’t follow their blog if they had one though. Maybe Apple should have one just to appease the masses?
- AAPL Approaches $500 Per Share as Apple Considers Paying Dividend (mobilemarketingwatch.com)
- Apple becomes most valuable U.S. company again (intomobile.com)
- Apple Beats Out Google, Amazon For Highest Corporate Reputation Score (techcrunch.com)
- NPD: Apple grabs almost a fifth of all holiday consumer electronics, Apple Stores second only to Best Buy and Walmart in revenue (9to5mac.com)