The Dell Social Media Transformation

Participants explore the Dell Social Media Lis...

Dell has earned a reputation as a social media leader through its aggressive use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook for reputation management and customer service.  (Just try posting a gripe about Dell on Twitter and see how long it takes for them to respond)

David Strom interviewed Manish Mehta, Dell’s Vice President for Social Media and Community recently in an in-depth article at CMO.com.

What’s impressive about Dell’s efforts is that they’ve resulted in the entire company–100,000 strong–moving to a new level of openness and personal commitment to communicating with customers.  This hasn’t been easy, and clearly there is a core 5,000 or so who push most of the company-sponsored engagement with customers.

But Dell has been able to bring some level of understanding to all of its employees through four key strategies:

1. A clear framework of Twitter and Facebook accounts, with a few clear, simple rules for employees to follow
2. A formal “listening room” that tracks not only mentions of Dell and competitors, but more important, tracks ideas and trends that are important in Dell’s markets.
3. A structured set of internal classes, starting with a two hour orientation to social media, and then leading to certification through testing and experience.  Wow.
4. A clear commitment from the top of the executive food chain, and a willingness to stick to that commitment for years to come.

The biggest result I think Dell is seeing from their social media and community strategy is not just better customer service.  It’s a change in mindset throughout the company, a willingness to be more open with customers and more human.  The authenticity that grows from that builds trust.  That trust becomes an integral part of what you get as a customer when you buy Dell products.

It’s still in it’s early stages, but Dell is a great example of a large corporation slowly turning itself into a new corporation in the era of the Social Internet.

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About Rohn Jay Miller

I'm a strategic designer who works with clients who are transforming their business models because of change brought on by the Internet. Solving disruption is often a problem and an opportunity at the same time. Previously I was a founding partner of Ikonic/USWeb in San Francisco, and Senior Vice President--Product & Technology for Knight Ridder in San Jose.

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