Apple’s Social Media Policy

Apple Inc. was founded in April of 1976 by the one and only Steve Jobs with the mission to pioneer technological innovation in its products. With the evolution of technology, especially social media, which Apple has played a substantial role in, the company has adopted a social media policy for its corporate and retail employees to follow.

The first section of the policy calls for respect of coworkers, customers, and audience in general. The document emphasizes that as an Apple employee, what a person posts on the internet is a reflection of their environment, which looks bad on Apple if the person openly announces their employment for the company. Privacy for Apple’s confidential information is also highly stressed in the document, which is one of the most important aspects of the policy as the company is constantly releasing new technology into the market and leaking of this information could compromise the newest technology releases. An excerpt from the document outlines some of the examples of this type of information:

Examples of Apple confidential information include, but are not limited to the following:

sales and financial information of any kind including store and individual metrics
product availability and constraints
information shared through store meetings, corporate meetings, RNN,BulletNews, Kbase, or any other internal
Apple resource
hiring and training information including salaries and bonus programs
Apple policies and procedures
Retail Store Websites
As an Apple employee, you may not create store websites displaying storerelated activities. This includes but is not limited to theater presentations, storeopenings, posting schedules or other store events.

A “lowlight” of the outlined policy can be found in many sections, as it stresses to use “the best judgment of the employee”. The vagueness of this can create dispute between employers and corporate policy, depending on the circumstance, since many retail situations urge the social media personnel to not offer opinions of products. This can cause an uncertainty when consumers ask for recommendations via Facebook or Twitter of products that the company offers.

Social media policies can be a very beneficial practice for company’s to enact. Since most of what a company does is confidential, it is imperative that the private internal business practices be protected and since social media allows news to travel at record speeds, one post can jeopardize what a company does. Through social media policies can businesses, such as Apple, keep releasing technology that no one has seen and the excitement will never leave us when they release something that will change the world.

 

Link to Policy: http://www.macworld.co.uk/apple-business/news/?newsid=3322764

 

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“Dandiest at the Derby” – A Case Study

Brooks Brothers was founded in 1818 by Henry Sands Brooks as the first major clothing emporium in the United States with the opening of H. & D. H. Brooks & Co. in New York City’s Manhattan burrough. As of 2010, there were 210 Brooks Brothers retail stores all throughout the world as they produce some of the finest quality products in clothing. The brand prides itself in holding true to attributes of fashion innovation, fine quality, personal service, and exceptional value throughout their almost 200 year tenure in the international clothing market. 

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Brooks Brothers positions itself to appeal to a wide age demographic, from college prepsters and greek life members, to upper-class citizens in their 30’s-80’s. The brand is able to do this due to the many sales that allow college-aged supporters to afford the company’s clothing, including their recent 70% off promotions that take place twice a year. This allows Brooks Brothers to be affordable to those who enjoy fine “preppy” clothing at a price that won’t break the bank. The types of people that take an investedinterest in Brooks Brothers’ products are typically those in the middle-upper socio-econmic classes who enjoy activites such as golf, tennis, and boating. 

 

Since the brand appeals to the higher class citizens, the Kentucky Derby is an event that Brooks Brothers enjoys tapping in to with their Twitter campaign “Dandiest at the Derby”. Through this promotion, followers tweet photos of them in their attire at the Kentucky Derby using the hash-tag #dandiestatthederby or by direct tweeting their photos to the Brooks Brothers Twitter account. The five winning photos, as voted upon by Twitter and Facebook followers, receive what most upper-class citizens love: bragging rights. The open voting allows for free publicity as finalists post about the brand’s contest and where they can vote: The company’s social media pages.

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Brooks Brothers has tapped into numerous social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTubePinterest, iHeartRadio, Spotify, IMDb and many many more.. Even with all of these sites to maintain, the brand see’s a high amount of engagement and interaction by its followers and advocates. One perceived reason behind this is that the value of the product produces a high rate of brand loyalty. Those who wear Brooks Brothers take pride in doing so. These aspects are what help the company appeal to a wide range of ages, as I learned through research on the brand. Brooks Brothers promotes an image of high class and presents multiple means through which this class can be found on social media. Since college aged consumers are constantly engaging in social media, the brand’s message is everywhere. 

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A Southern Tide Case Study

Southern Tide was founded in 2005, by college student Allen Stephenson. At the time, Stephenson was only 23 years of age and was inspired while on a trip to Italy with the country’s beautiful architecture, sports cars and high-end clothing that was found throughout his time there. He decided to take these elements and apply them to his own line of clothing, which he included in the addition of high quality, clean lines, and classic designs. Southern Tide’s first, and premiere line of clothing, the Skipjack Polo, is the article of choice for Southern Tide enthusiasts, as it put the clothing line on the map and has allowed the company to expand itself in only seven years.

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Sand-sculpture of the Southern Tide Skipjack logo

Southern Tide uses the inspirations Stevenson found in Italy and applies them to life in America, with the position of the ocean life and inspiration of the sea. The clothing is marketed to the early twenties-mid thirties age demographic, making it popular with college students in the “preppy” scene of clothing and greek-life members throughout the country. The bright colors, such as coral, yellow and powder blue, make the brand a summer-favorite, especially in America’s southern states. 

Just as the sea and ocean life have stayed with Southern Tide since its inception, the brand runs a social media campaign that creates exposure, and a high amount of buzz, as the company sponsors “Spring Break, Southern Tide Style”. This campaign is promoted leading up the months where college students drop their studies for a week and head to the beach for a week of relaxation. Southern Tide urges spring breakers to send in photos of them and their friends to the Southern Tide Facebook page sporting their Southern Tide clothing, or holding one of the brand’s many Southern Tide flags or beach towels. Three winners are selected through a Southern Tide followers voting system and are given a $1,000 Southern Tide gift card. Through the finalists promoting their photos to be voted on through their personal social media sites, this creates exposure for the brand, its products and its social media pages.

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Through this case study, I have learned that Southern Tide has more followers, fans and supporters than initially assumed. With over 83,000 “likes” on Facebook and more than 10,000 followers on Twitter, the numbers can not be disputed. Southern Tide not only has upwards of 95,000 advocates, but they are all engaged in the social media pages, as the brand knows what appeals to these followers and posts content that they respond and interact with. Southern Tide also holds a campus ambassador program that allows for the brand to have exposure on college campuses that may not be located in the southern states (Marquette even has a college ambassador). This is a non-paid position that allows for free publicity and could lead to followers, fans and generated revenue. 

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̶T̶w̶o̶ ̶…T̶h̶r̶e̶e̶… Foursquare

As a kid raised in the 1990’s, I remember the days of good cartoons (I wonder where Stood Kid is nowadays…), computer games that actually had meaning (Anyone remember Zoombini’s or Math Blaster?) and the glory days before cell phones. I know thinking back that far seems prehistoric, and technology has come a long way since then, but it’s become incredible when we think about what life would be like without these devices that we as humans become so attached to. Foursquare is one piece of technology that is changing the way society interacts and lives. Thinking back to 2nd grade when I had Mrs. Spindle at Indian Knoll Elementary School (Go Timberwolves), my life was very basic; wake up, go to school, come home, maybe go to a friend’s house, bed, rinse and repeat. In today’s modern world, everyone is always moving and on the go and Foursquare has tapped into the smart-phone market and presented a new way that we view our daily travels.

In the 1990’s, the phrase “checking-in” meant you called your parents when you successfully rode your bike two blocks away to Jimmy’s house for an afternoon of video games, Dunkaroos and Gushers. Also, Foursquare was a game you played on the playground at recess (CHERRY BOMB!!). In the growing technology age that we’re currently in, Foursquare is now a cell phone application that has changed the way humans “check in” by offering incentives such as badges, mayorships and a way to connect with friends and brands. Brands…. Brands. Upon learning of brand pages on Foursquare, I was eager to follow the ESPN page, being an avid sports fan and college athlete. My first check-in at Marquette’s Al McGuire Center after following the page earned me the ESPN Foam Finger Badge, which came as a surprise to me since I probably check in to the athletic facility at least 50 times per week for workouts, study sessions, meetings and more. I’m interested to see what other badges I can earn at places I check-in each day like Valley Fields, The Marquette Gym and Norris Park.

Although Foursquare is doing an incredible job integrating consumers, brands and locations in one application that is growing everyday, there is always room for growth. Think back to the 1990’s and the time you were a child with the world as your oyster and your parents had no idea where you were-I’m sure they were calling the neighbors, friends, family and until you arrived home on your bike from a day at the local park, did your parents reprimand you for not “checking-in”-it happened to everyone at least once. Foursquare has an opportunity for the market of elementary school students and the parents who worry for their safety to be able to track where their children are, because let’s face it, I saw what couldn’t have been a kid older than 6 with an iPhone the other day and this wasn’t the first time I’ve seen this and I’m sure most can relate. By using GPS on kid’s phones, especially through Foursquare, parents can be aware of where their children are and could even result in a lower rate of successful kidnappings since the constant whereabouts of children can now be tracked.

I know this idea will have many privacy issues and as always there are ways to block privacy settings, but it’s just an idea to help grow the great service the application already provides.

-M

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Everyday I’m Twitterin’

Twitter was a resource I was extremely hesitant in jumping in to when I first decided to make an account. I had no idea how to use it, what to post and who would even care what I was doing. 375 followers and almost 2,900 tweets later it’s safe to see the early butterflies have settled. Twitter is so much more than posting things like “Just made a grilled cheese sandwich. #gome”, as I initially thought. It’s changing the way news travels, the way students find jobs and network and also how family members keep in touch. The brevity of 140 characters makes you have to tell a long, intricate story in a few short sentences. It drives me crazy at times, but makes me appreciate it when my mom wants to tweet me about something that happened at work today (Love you mom!).

Being a senior in college and really immersing myself into my Advertising studies this year, I use Twitter to pass along interesting stories I come across on sites like Mashable, AdAge and AAAA.org. It’s also used to live tweet in my emerging social media class-THROW IT UP ADPR43oo- which has been an interesting new practice for me since most professors find a way to embarrass a student at the sight of a cell phone in class. I also use Twitter for my job as the Marquette Men’s Lacrosse Manager since I maintain the Twitter and Facebook pages for the program (@muathletics_lax). When I’m down at practice with the team at 6:30 AM and it’s 19°F with snow pelting your face, I like to snap a photo on my iPhone and show those who follow the account the treacherous Milwaukee climate we have to fight. I have to say Twitter has probably surpassed Facebook on my list of preferred social media sites.

This semester I’m working with Marquette’s Lacrosse Club, which I am a member of, to promote the 2012 season with press releases and Twitter support (@marquettelax). The team managers already live tweet score updates at games, but rarely post photos. Seeing that we travel to exotic locations such as Minnesota, Nebraska and Illinois I will be suggesting the inclusion of photos and videos to help make those who are keeping tabs on the club from their computers or smart phones feel as though they are right there with us.

Be sure to follow me (@MattHetrick) and both Lacrosse programs (@muathletics_lax and @marquettelax) for all your Lacrosse Twitter needs and enjoy a fun ride as we play, compete and practice this Spring.

 

-M

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Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow…

“Steve Smith “likes” Nike”, “Julie Brown “likes” Forever21″, “Greg Dean “likes” Chicago Blackhawks”. Ever wonder why there’s a parenthesis in “like” on Facebook posts? Well, for one, these relationships can be easily ended. It’s like breaking up with the love of your life-or the exact opposite-that girlfriend or boyfriend that just doesn’t do it for you anymore. There are many reasons males and females break off relationships that can be very (and in some instances, scarily) similar to the reasons a consumer breaks their relationship with a brand on social media.

So according to this image, the number one reason for a consumer-brand break up is simply an over-abundance of posting- it’s kind of like that boyfriend or girlfriend who won’t give you your space. The constant posting is equivalent to excessive calling or texting by a significant other. You have to limit the posting to three EFFECTIVE posts per-day. This is the ideal number to shoot for, even on weekends. Couples interact most on weekends, and brands should not overlook these two days also.

The second highest reason for a consumer-brand split pertains to reptition or lack of excitement in posts. In human dating relationships, you have to spice it up, keep it interesting and fun- same goes for social media. Posting about the same things over and over again can lead to a brand’s demise. Be sure to switch it up and keep it enjoyable. Photos and videos can help with this to give the consumer that visual to go with your post.

Another highly-seen trend shows that consumers no longer “like” a brand because they only did so to take advantage of a one-time offer. This is like using a boy for his fast car or a girl for her good looks. Once you realize it’s not worth it, you dump that sucker like last week’s news. In social media, this happens when brands go on what is described as “discount-a-palooza” (no discount double check here). By posting about nothing except deals, coupons and sales, consumers are no longer connected to brands themselves, but only what brands can give them which isn’t really a connection at all. Discounts are important in social media, but use it sparingly.

So with all of this said, be sure to treat a those who “like” a brand page as if they were your significant other. This will create an enjoyable relationship for both sides and a larger ROI in funds and exposure through word-of-mouth. Just show them a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T and keep it cool. Always.

-M

Graphic from http://www.ragan.com/Main/Articles/44431.aspx

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Let’s Get the Boys Pinterested

Pinterest is booming. It’s plain and simple to see that. The site has hit ten million active users faster than any site in the history of the internet, new companies are jumping on board to tap in to this social media resource everyday and the average length of time spent on the the site in one visit dwindles around 90 minutes. It’s addictive, it’s visual (huge plus), and it needs to change its direction if it’s going to flourish. That’s right. I said it.

Pinterest is doing a great job of getting the female demographic hooked, specifically those in the college-aged segment. With a focus on wedding planning, children, fashion and sappy love quotes, there is a reason this site is slow in grabbing male involvement. I signed up for a Pinterest account to see what the hype was about and was reminded numerous times by my older sister, who sent me an invitation to join, that “it’s a girl site”. She was right. I was able to make my own boards that include Music, Sports, a Bucket List, Marquette University and Places I’ve Traveled, but coming up with those were hard enough and many of the images in them were uploaded by yours truly.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m against marriage or children, I’m actually very excited that I’m getting to those points in my life where they become a (not-so near future) reality, but what I’m saying is that a majority of men my age aren’t going to be searching the web for their perfect wedding tux or quotes motivating us to get those sexy legs we’ve always wanted. I definitely can see how clothing companies, wedding retail stores and travel sites can tap into this to gain exposure for their brands and products, but by adding more categories that pertain to men, the site can see a whole new expansion of members and great ways to increase revenue for the site with a broader demographic base.

I can even see how colleges and universities can use visual messages to attract potential students. Marquette’s account does a phenomenal job with this. From sunset photos that leave Gesu Parish as a simple silhouette in the sky or by enstilling tradition in the heads of current and future students with pictures from its “Dear Marquette” project, the university is taking Pinterest and running wild with it. This includes their Marquette Marriages campaign. This is the perfect idea to use with Pinterest’s wedding-dominated mentality and it’s working. Everyday there are new photos from Marquette grads from all around the world that are repinned numerous times until someone comes across the Marquette page and becomes hooked witht he images on their computer screen.

Pinterest has nowhere to go but up, as long as they can instill some male-specific content. Until that happens, I’ll keep pinning to the best of my ability, and if I somehow stumble upon the perfect tuxedos for my future groomsmen, I’ll be sure to inform everyone.

-M

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