Do all companies need to be on social media? Opinions are divided on this. The two most popular arguments I hear are:
- Only if they can devote time to it.
I think the debate between these two answers really lies in the question.
What does it mean to be ‘on’ Social Media?
Typically the person asking the question means “Should every brand be on Facebook or Twitter?”. It is difficult to argue that an account is always required when two very successful brands; Apple and Klean Kanteen, don’t have social accounts. This does not mean they have no social presence. Whether they are there for it or not, these brands are on social media.
How do they get their message across?
It is the strong brand image and values that Apple and Klean Kanteen have, which made it possible for those brands to allow their community to be their voice. This is demonstrated by looking at the top searches for their brand name. On Twitter, searching “Apple” turns up news and gossip about the latest gadget. A search for “Klean Kanteen” produces less results, but all people sadly having misplaced their bottles or excitedly taking their bottle out with them. The brands’ ability to create this kind of attention from their community is why it is so important to build a strong community.
Neither of these brands are ignoring social media. Listening is an important skill and Apple are likely paying close attention to the gossip and reviews. Although not the monolith that is Apple, Klean Kanteen’s products are reviewed and blogged about frequently. The brand shows it is listening by promoting planet friendly blogs on their corporate website.
Does this mean you can close your Facebook page?
Not likely. Klean Kanteen and Apple invested highly in their reputation. It is a risky move and there are limitations:
- The inability to respond to upset customers
- Their brand community is very powerful
- Potentially they are missing important advertising opportunities
No brand can afford to ignore social media just as no brand can ignore their community. However, brands with values that their community understands and advocates may not need a Facebook page.
Do you agree or do you think Apple and Klean Kanteen need to be more engaged in social media? How do you think a brand develops such a strong community?