Intern-For-A-Day Series: Apple Joins The Conversation, Finally

February 15, 2011

Editor’s note: This is the second in our latest series of Fast Horse Intern-For-A-Day posts. We recently asked wannabe interns to offer up their predictions for 2011. We picked four winning posts and we’ll run them each Tuesday for a month. In March, we’ll have the writers in for a one-day paid internship at Fast Horse.

MeganToday’s post is from Megan Barrett. Here’s a little about her:

Hometown: St. Paul

School: College of Saint Benedict, communication major/English writing minor. Graduating in May 2011. Enjoys writing for The Record (school newspaper) and serving on the CSB/SJU Communication Club Executive Board.

Some things I love: The color pink, PR, country music, social media, blogging, Law & Order SVU, fizzy water (aka sparkling water), the Minnesota Twins (#7 specifically) and Target Field in the summertime, to name a few.

Find her on Twitter, LinkedIn and her blog.

Tweet Tweet: Apple Joins The Conversation

By Megan Barrett

Fans of social media everywhere have long wondered, “Where is Apple?”

In 2011, fans will have to look no more as Apple finally joins the ongoing social media conversation.

It’s no secret that Apple has shown disdain for social media in the past; the company actively discourages employee blogging and has been reluctant to join social networks such as Twitter and Facebook since the beginning.

apple and twitterApple prides itself on letting the products speak for themselves. The company is essentially focused on one goal: To create a great product for consumers. Apple has built and maintained a strong base of loyal customers who start the conversation for them. Just take a look at the Twitter 2010: Year in Review; the Apple iPad ranked No. 6 in overall top trends and Apple products took three of the top four spots in the technology category.

So why does Apple need to join the conversation?

In light of recent concerns about customer service and engagement, I believe that Apple will realize the pressing need to get more social and engage with consumers on a personal level in 2011.

Take the recent controversy over the iPhone 4’s reception problems for example. Apple CEO Steve Jobs waited several weeks to address the problem at a press conference; too little too late for many loyal customers outraged by Apple’s lack of communication about the issue. A couple tweets or a blog could have gone a long way in easing customer concerns and served as a meaningful step in addressing the problem.

As technology competitors such as Verizon and Blackberry continue to get better at interacting with consumers, Apple will soon realize that it needs to step up its game to stay at the top.

It might be true that the quality of Apple’s products can speak louder than a presence on Twitter or Facebook could, but together, great products and social engagement with consumers have the power to transform Apple into more than just a top-notch company. Together, they have the power to transform Apple into an untouchable consumer experience; an experience that includes exceptional products AND unmatched customer response and engagement. Think of it as an “iPerience.”

It’s my prediction that Apple will soon see that its consumers are craving this sort of “iPerience” and will make a greater effort to show customers that the Apple team is listening and genuinely wants to connect with people on a more personal level. In the age of the social media boom, consumers not only want, but expect this type of personal connection with the brands and companies they choose to support.

So, I’d like to take this time to extend a warm (pre)welcome to the Apple team, “Thanks for joining the conversation, @Apple!”