Apple woos former Nike social media head Musa Tariq

Apple signals efforts to ramp up its social media activity, a discipline it has been slow to embrace, with the appointment of Nike’s Musa Tariq to head up its digital marketing.

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Tariq confirmed his appointment as digital marketing director for Apple’s retail division through a Tweet yesterday evening (4 August). It sees the former Burberry social media director reunite with the fashion house’s previous chief executive Angela Ahrendts, who became senior vice president of Apple Retail in May.

Apple has very few social media accounts with the company discounting the need to engage fans constantly to buy its products until recently. Tariq is tasked with resolving the limited presence, an area chief executive Tim Cook has looked to address through a string of high-profile hires and acquisitions.

The former Nike marketer is viewed as one of the pioneers in the social media space in industry circles for his focus on community management and viral content.

It was this focus on nurturing advocacy online that attracted Nike to Tariq in 2012 and he went on to play a key role in shaping some of its most popular campaigns over the last two years. He is said to have devised a campaign that saw the sportswear maker tease a new trainer through videos describing it without actually revealing what it looked like. Nike did not respond to a request on Tariq’s replacement by the time this article was published.

Prior to Nike, he worked on several campaigns for Burberry during its renaissance as a luxury brand. His London Fashion Week “Tweetwalk” campaign, which offered online fans photos of Burberry’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection right before the models hit the runway, is credited as a key turning point in the company’s digital strategy.

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