Tim Cook creates a Weibo account
The CEO of Apple is now active on the Chinese microblogging website Weibo. For now, he has posted three messages and the first was “Hello China! Happy to be back in Beijing, announcing innovative new environmental programs”. Tim Cook has now more than 501,000 followers! On his Twitter account, he has 1, 17 million of followers.
Yesterday, he has posted two messages to thank the Elementary School at Communication University of China, which he has visited at the same day.
Environmental projects of Apple
But this is not a coincidence. Tim Cook is planning a campaign to protect the environment. The recycling market and renewable energy is a growing market in China. Apple is working with WWF group (World Wildlife Fund) in order to protect forests used by Apple to produce the packaging of its products. Apple also wants to use more renewable energy in its factories. He wants to build solar power plants in Sichuan and collaborate with several Chinese companies as SunPower. He already worked with SunPower in United States.
China is an important market for Apple
China is a growing market for Apple. For the second quarter, Apple reported 71% revenue growth in the region and China represents $16.8 billion of its revenues. Apple sold 61 million iPhones in January from March. Despite competition from Xiaomi, Samsung, Huawei and Lenovo, it dominates the market for smartphones. Tim Cook says that his success is due to his partnership with China Mobile.
Why opening a Weibo account?
Opening a weibo account that quickly gather such a large community shows that, even though there had been problem between China and the smartphone giant in the past, they still have a huge fan base. Opening a weibo account may be considered as a good instrument to assess how popular the brand is, while getting its CEO known amongst the netizen. It show that the giant is paying attention to the social media landscape and knows where to be.
So, strategy of personal branding like when Steve Jobs was in command or simple test of the market? A bit of both definitely
Besides, given some of the local smartphone aggressive strategy like Xiaomi, Apple can not become complacent, even though it is the leader of the smartphone market. Launching a social media campaign around its CEO definitely shows it.