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New York Times struggles to understand why social media can't be run by robots

 And people wonder why the newspapers are in trouble . . .

Newspapers have some of the most powerful brands in the world. But decades of monopolized media have made them soft in the ways of brand management. For instance today the New York Times explains about its daring social media experiment. 

Tin_toy_robot They have decided to turn off their automatic feed on their main Twitter account for seven days as "an experiment to determine if a human-run, interactive approach will be more effective."

So we can deduce that up until now they believe that real people prefer to interact with a bot? A better experiment would be to mind map the thought process that lead them to use a bot in the first place. 

In his article, Jeff Sonderman writes "Full-time, human hosting of a brand’s main Twitter account is unquestionably a better approach, said Zach Seward, the main voice behind The Wall Street Journal’s @WSJ account.

The @WSJ account has been run by people since January 2010, Seward said. “The metrics went up considerably and almost immediately after switching from automated to personal. We’ve seen the same effect with several other accounts.”

“What we’ve seen by measuring it closely,” he said, “is that human-powered feeds do much, much better than automated ones, by any relevant metric.”

As is the case in many companies senior management can't see the ROI in dedicating a person to adequately staff their social media assets like Twitter and Facebook. Social media editors Liz Heron and Lexi Mainland hope to change their minds this week. I wish them luck. 

Read the full article by Jeff Sonderman 




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Reader Comments (1)

Well, I give them credit for admitting their mistake and making the change. But why would a corporation try to automate a business Twitter account or social marketingprogram? This would isolate them from valuable customer interactions.

Makes me wonder how many other businesses are doing this. It shouldn't take long for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn participants to figure this out.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAustin Social

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