Apple, Microsoft and The Social Media Saga

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apple For the two giants, Apple and Microsoft, yesterday turned out to be quite a day in the blogosphere.

So who started the debate? It was instigated by none other than the Robert Scoble whose post virtually rebuked Apple as his Macintosh didn’t boot after a routine installation update. Robert summed up his extremely critical post by saying, “Well, sorry. The shine is wearing off. Screw you Apple.” The dead machine particularly pissed off Robert for two key reason:

– The advertisements shown claim that Mac is better than Windows.

– There hasn’t been much of assistance from the PR team at Apple.

Some obvious questions which strike your mind after reading this post. Is Apple really inactive in social-media? Has Apple been making some efforts to communicate socially? Did Apple look into Robert’s post? From the post it seems as if Apple is really not concerned to engage in online conversations and relies on its followers to defend its brand.

The debate moved over to Andy Beal’s post at Marketing Piligrim who started by citing Robert and then included his own thoughts. At the end of the day, Andy’s thoughts appear to be in sync. with Robert meaning a weak up call for Apple to engage in online conversations. So who’s making a point here.. Apple’s need realize embrace blogs, forums, social networks, Twitter etc. is realized by none other than its customers. Andy is bang on when he says, “It’s simple: Apple’s customers embrace social media on behalf of the company.”

Sadly, comments to the conversation were closed a little while ago. According to Andy, “It’s clear that Apple supporters are unable to continue the conversation in a cordial manner. After receiving abusive emails and comments from Apple supporters, I’m forced to close the comments.”

On the other hand, Microsoft’s new Windows Live platform gives users a new set of social and sharing tools that aim to address the growing significance of social media. Microsoft had conducted a research titled Windows Live Social Media Opportunities this month before launching the Windows Live service. According to the report it was found that social media tools are vital for consumers and represent a great opportunity for advertisers.Microsoft would now be using these tools to track behavior. Contrasting strategies from the two, isn’t it :)

What do you think, is there a serious need for Apple to participate in online communities, forums, twitters and other social platforms?

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