These days almost every company is using some sort of social media to communicate with customers. From retail giants to beverage companies, you can find a Facebook or Twitter page for just about any of the huge brands that comes to mind.
Recently, Todd Wasserman wrote an article for Mashable called, “4 Huge Brands That Still Aren’t on Social Media.” In his article, he features four major companies that still are without social media profiles. Trader Joe’s, Marlboro, Viagra, and the world’s biggest company, Apple, are still lacking profiles. Wasserman provides insight as to why these major brands have opted to avoid social media. He suggests that Marlboro and other cigarette brands aren’t on Facebook because “it would risk running afoul of the numerous marketing restrictions placed on the category.” He continues that it may have contributed to their decreasing sales. Similarly, Viagra and related products are not on Facebook in large part due to “FDA regulations are a major hurdle for pharma brands on social media.” Meanwhile Trader Joe’s and Apple are thriving with great websites that reach their target markets.
With these four huge brands not using social media, it questions the power of word of mouth. Facebook and Twitter allow thoughts to travel instantly, but will conventional conversations keep sales up? Will their current marketing strategies keep them afloat if word of mouth becomes a thing of the past?
Read more about the companies in an excerpt from the article.
1. Trader Joe’s
The quirky, much-loved grocery chain has a fine website where it highlights new items in its stores and recipes. But you’ll notice there’s no prompt to “follow us on Twitter.” Like many things about Trader Joe’s, the company’s social media marketing strategy is a mystery. It’s in keeping with the company’s marketing philosophy, though. Trader Joe’s doesn’t do any traditional advertising, either. The lack of Facebook fans doesn’t seem to have hurt the chain: Sales in 2009 (the last year such figures were available) were around $8 billion — the same as the social media-friendly Whole Foods, according to Fortune.
Facebook is not Marlboro country. You won’t see any other cigarette brands on the social network, either, probably because it would risk running afoul of the numerous marketing restrictions placed on the category. (Though theTobacco Master Settlement Agreement that set many of such limits, occurred in 1998, well before the birth of social media.) The lack of visibility appears to have hurt the brand: In 2006, Marlboro was no. 10 on Interbrand’s 100 Best Global Brands list. This year, it dropped out of the top 100.