It’s almost 2013 and it seems like the whole world is on Facebook and Twitter. That’s pretty much true, except for that stubborn 24% of adult Americans who still haven’t joined Facebook, and for the five brands listed below.
Pretty much every other major brand is tweeting and providing updates to its fans on Facebook, even those you’d think wouldn’t bother, like Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil. The following are brands that have no official account under their name on Facebook or Twitter at this time.
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 the Tobacco 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.
Viagra may rule the social media universe via spam, but there’s no official presence for the drug on Twitter or Facebook. As with Marlboro, it seems to be a category-wide circumstance; there’s no feed or Facebook presence for Levitra or Cialis, either. John Mack, editor and publisher of the Pharma Marketing News/Pharma Marketing Blog, says FDA regulations are a major hurdle for pharma brands on social media “Another factor has to do with reporting adverse events — as may be mentioned in social medai conversations,” he says.
The biggest company in the world is also the world’s biggest social media holdout. There’s no official Twitter or Facebook account for Apple at this point. Obviously, this hasn’t hurt the brand at all. Should you try to mimic Apple’s strategy? Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group, thinks not: “The truth is, if they didn’t have that momentum going into this new, connected generation they would have to do it,” he says. “They already had word of mouth and that word of mouth continues. They already had that momentum.”