A lot of folks are off track in their criticisms of the Apple social media policy that was allegedly leaked recently, and here is why:
A company’s social media policy should support the unique qualities that make the company successful. In fact, the elements of a successful social media policy must exist in concert with the unique culture and business context of any organization.
In Apple’s case, secrecy has been a critical key to success. While many social media pundits claim that Apple should be more open, very few of those people are running billion-dollar corporations, and the notion that all companies should apply the same level of “open-ness” is, at best, over-simplified.
Comparisons to IBM abound, but that just makes no sense. IBM and Apple take completely different approaches to differentiation, which has led them to create very different cultures. They also rely on different business processes to create growth and value. Both companies are well-run and highly successful, but for very different reasons. (In disclosure, IBM is my client.)
And those differences are the keys to understanding why they use different social media policies.
The chart above shows the business factors that companies should consider when developing an effective social media policy (which I published in The Social Media Management Handbook earlier this year).