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Were Apple's 'leaked' iPhone 7 tweets really a mistake?

Matt Kapko | Sept. 23, 2016
The recent iPhone 7 launch presented Apple with a fresh opportunity to tackle Twitter, but the company's first iPhone-related tweets came a half-hour before it officially announced the phone.

However, Apple's disappearing iPhone 7 tweets could also be the result of the company's relative inexperience with social media, according to David Berkowitz, principal of marketing consultancy Serial Marketer. "[Apple] joined the party exceptionally late, and then they didn't care enough to give it the respect it deserves," he says. "Most of that will be forgotten, but compounded with a product launch that some people find tone-deaf given its usability issues, it makes the company seem especially out of touch." 

Should Apple take social more seriously?

Mistakes from Apple are rare, according to Berkowitz. "[Apple] sometimes makes controversial decisions, like removing headphone jacks and launching earphones that need constant charging, but mistakes are unusual," he says. Berkowitz believes the Twitter incident will push the company to take social media more seriously and perhaps revise its access policies and approval process.

"If your biggest announcement of the year is going out, add an extra layer of scrutiny and approval," Berkowitz says. "Practically every single notable social media screw-up I've seen from a major brand could have been prevented if another set of well-trained eyes checked out the content before it went live."

Apple's latest experience on Twitter should serve as a lesson for other organizations on how social media marketing can play out in unpredictable ways, Castanon-Martinez says. "For many companies and celebrities, a Twitter mess up typically entails retracting, apologizing, deleting offensive tweets or even cancelling their Twitter accounts altogether," he says. "For Apple, it meant a lot of free publicity … and media speculation."

Businesses should be careful whenever they upload content to any social platform, according to DXagency's Hordell. "Knowing all the different formats and ways that your content can be live is important, and I think that this is a case where somebody might have missed on that and thought they were scheduling an ad," he says. "In the grand scheme of things, I think they get a pass here. If there was a mistake to be made, this is a pretty safe one."


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