More cowbell, less bots

May 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

“The emergence of Social Media has changed the way in which people communicate with each other and companies interact with clients,” Morgan Stanley Smith Barney U.S. wealth management boss Andy Saperstein

Yes, it does seem like the investment world has Pac Man fever for social media. With LinkedIn having gone public, and Microsoft recently gobbling up Skype for $8.5 billion, there definitely seems to be a trend on Wall Street developing. “Duh,” I can hear you saying. The question remains: Are the people going to do what the investors are predicting?

It sure seems that way to us. We know that if businesses don’t, they could be courting disaster. Remember all those newspapers that waited too long to jump into their online ventures? We didn’t think so. That’s because they went the way of the wooly mammoth.

Speaking of newspapers, an interesting discussion was recently sparked over at the New York Times when it decided to drop the bot that automatically tweets every article on the newspaper’s website. Right when we heard about it, we understood their reasoning.

Here at the Hardwicke Blog we like to get down to the nitty gritty details. Like the little ways to make Social Media work for your company. The little ways that can positively affect your bottom line in a major way.

Sure, a Twitter bot has its uses, for niche people that want quick up-to-date feeds, but should companies rely on that alone? No way. It’s much more important to have your social media become part of the discussion—to be active, in other words, at engaging with your audience. That takes time and commitment, not a bot.

But look what you get out of it. A manager from a local restaurant, who prefers to remain anonymous, recently told us the importance that the review site,, has become in her job. She uses it everyday to find out what needs to be improved at the restaurant. “It’s like giving me 15 new sets of eyes every day,” she said. “It’s probably the best way I know to improve our service for customers right now.”

So try it. Ask your followers what they want. Don’t be afraid to engage. And if you don’t have the time, hire someone to do it for you. You won’t be disappointed.

The bottom line for most companies is you simply can’t afford to miss this new form of Social Media marketing that is built more on establishing a personal relationship with customers, and actively seeking out their feedback. You need to go to them in the realm where today’s audiences feel most at home: On their computer or mobile device.

Even when I do find time to watch television these days, as soon as a commercial comes on, my eyes are back on my laptop—if they ever left.

And I know I’m not alone with that.


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