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Tech Tuesday

Of Skid-Steers and Social Media

Venerable skid-steer loader maker Bobcat dives into the world of social media, for a reason.

Apparently people want to "like" Bobcat. That's been true for some time as a host of unofficial Facebook pages and Twitter accounts have sprung up in the past few years promoting the well-known brand of skid steer loaders. Of course, the company makes more than just skid steer loaders, but it's those compact power units that people talk a lot about.

Trouble is, the word "unofficial." While Bobcat worked away in its factories making quality equipment, fans and friends were out in the world creating those Bobcat-focused social media tools. "We knew that if an unofficial site had 10,000 fans, that there was an opportunity for us," says Laura Ness Owens, director of communications, Bobcat Company.

During a media event ahead of the 2012 Farm Progress Show, Owens talked about how a company must work to protect its brand. Many users of skid-steer loaders - no matter what brand - call them "bobcats" and that's not accurate. A company has to work hard to protect its name.

Trouble in the social media world is, you can't ask someone to back off on their Facebook presence for your brand if you don't have a Facebook presence. The answer for Bobcat? Hit social media hard, so on Monday the company fired up a multi-channel social media approach, which means you can enjoy the Bobcat brand, its story and more in a number of ways.

In fact if you're interested (and judging from the number of Bobcat machines on the market, you are), then check out these links:

Pick your social media channel of choice and check it out. Social media is becoming an easy way to learn about what's happening with companies, in the news and more. Bobcat just wants to take advantage of it for their customers.

But every major company and/or cause is firing up a social media presence, including farm advocacy groups. It's time to stop trivializing social media and using it for a range of communication tactics. Bobcat thinks so.

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