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Dell Leveraged Twitter To Generate 6.5 Million Dollars

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Dell, the third-largest  maker of PCs,  founded in the year  1984 has been  amongst the best examples who Leveraged social media in order to increase sales. Dell has been a lot in talks about how they generated $6.5 million in sales using Twitter alone. Twitter led a remarkable increase in revenue of the company.

Dell on social media

It was in June 2007 when Richard Binhammer from Dell first initiated the project of connecting the company to social media. Over a year and a half, in December 2008 itself Dell had produced $1 million in revenue through sale alerts via Twitter. Within 18 months,there was a phenomenal increase in revenue of $6.5 million by using Twitter only. The company  has more than 25000 conversation worldwide over social media everyday. Dell initially launched their social media strategy in 2006 with 5 call center people proactively searching and engaging with Dell users. Nine years later, they now have more than 10,000 employees. For a manufacturer of desktop and notebook computers, the presence on social networks can be seen as marketing investment to display the company’s digital competence.

Business objectives of Dell

Dell is now closing 4,000 service tickets a week on Twitter in a 140 characters or less. Dell also discovered via their Social Media Listening Command Center that issues/problems would surface in the social channels 2 to 3 days before they showed up in the mainstream call centers. This provided them a competitive early warning system to get a head start on things that were trending and the ability to address problems before they became wide spread. Dell also has several proprietary social initiatives, like the #DellLove Thank You Program, a unique platform where Dell’s customer service team members thank their customers for spreading the word about Dell and its products. The #DellLove team has posted over 450 individual videos as of December 2013.

“We listen and learn from our customers directly. Our first version delivered the Dell Mini netbook with an apostrophe near to the traditional enter key, so people complained about hitting it instead of return. We developed and delivered a second version of the Dell Mini where the apostrophe key was moved,” says Dell’s senior manager for corporate affairs, Richard Binhammer who also initiated the idea of connecting social media and the company for marketing purposes.”

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Karen Quinton, the CMO of dell in an interview with Forbes says, “It’s an extension of our brand, which is all about enabling people everywhere to use technology to grow and thrive. From training 10,000 employees in our Social Media & Communities University program to be brand advocates online, to listening and engaging in conversations through our Social Media Listening Command Center to our in-person Social Think Tanks where we exchange insights to shape our business, I’m proud of how far we have come. And every day I learn something new about how we can leverage social to better serve our customers.”

How Dell approaches the customers

People who follow @Dell on Twitter receive messages when there are discounted products available in company’s home outlet store. @dellhomeoffers  is the one which tweets about new system deals. The company follows consumer opt-in PR mechanism. They tweet only Dell tweets so the customers who follow their feeds or search them would find only Dell tweets. This shows how targeted channel it is and also a medium to garner feedback of customers. Dell has found success responding to comments over Twitter. @dellcares is the account only for customer support and @dellcarespro is for business support.

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Dell’s strategy

Dell follows very clear strategy when it comes to leveraging Twitter. In regard to sales, the account that posts coupons product info tended to do well than others. Dell tweets religiously about various offers and schemes to the customers. Dell has demographically segmented twitter users by setting up different twitter accounts. Dell ventures into each new social media channel. At first they would observe and listen. Secondly,  Engage and act. Every channel has different set of rules and the business be wise enough to treat them each uniquely. For instance, Dell discovered that it is acceptable (and expected) to engage users who post comments about Dell on Twitter, it is not acceptable to engage users on Facebook in the same way. Each of these twitter accounts spoke to users in different country with localised product offerings. Dell now has more than 80 dell branded Twitter accounts. @direct2dell is dell’s official corporate blog. For Indian customers, the company has been running an account as @dell_in.

The new marketing program was, of course, announced on Twitter, as well as on this Direct2Dell blog post:

Beginning today, Dell will offer deals from the Dell Outlet exclusive to Twitter in the U.S. With over 11,000 followers, our team wanted to show their thanks to the Twitter world through these new deals which will continue each week.

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As much as the company was listening to consumers on Twitter, they started paying more attention to how successful their responses were. Dell’s Stefanie Nelson Says:

“Listening helped us identify gaps and find better ways of meeting customer expectations.”

Image courtesy: Dell

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