Dell: Social Media Outreach — Live from BlogWell

4:30 — Kurt Vanderah introduces Dell’s Chief Blogger, Lionel Menchaca.

4:30 —  Lionel explains how Dell is changing its listening and engaging strategy. Has been doing since 2006. Is becoming more sophisticated.

4:32 – Lionel shares timeline showing growth from blog outreach in 2006 with very small team monitoring blogosphere and responding. When appropriate, would link back to discussions on Dell Community Forum. Legitimized the work. Showed really was Dell.

4:35 – Lionel points out that it’s about extending the conversation and going out where it’s happening.

4:36 – Lionel says there are 4,000-5,000 specific mentions about Dell every day. Found out that engaging in brand reputation and topic discussions worthwhile. Centralizing efforts in social media only gets you so far. Had started with a small, centralized team. Pulled in tech support, Dell Community Forum – made one big centralized team. Able to stay on top of things. Knew that couldn’t grow the team big enough to be involved in the conversations want to be involved in.

4:38 – Lionel says they are heading to a model with three buckets  — brand/reputation discussions, social media responder team, segment SME discussions. Brand reputation – Twitter, YouTube, Facebook. Social Media – Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, flickr. Segment – LinkedIn.

4:40 – Lionel says listening team is working with Radian6 to find conversations every day and segment them out. Parse data into buckets. Have a pilot on consumer side that completed. Starting one on large enterprise side. Concept: Core people in business unit who only want to see conversations relevant to be a part of.

4:41 – Lionel says challenge is to narrow down to something a team could do as a side project.

4:43 – Lionel says sales and tech support will be involved. Must be trained to handle sensitive issues. Build up a team that understands where support exists, where to direct customers looking for support. Will see a more focused presence on Twitter.

4:45 – Lionel says must come up with good content that helps customers and directing to sites that can help them.

4:46 – Looking for customers who have questions, suggestions (IdeaStorm), loyal fans, says Lionel. Been so focused on fixing problems who are out there. Will reach out to fans and thank for saying good things about Dell. Will feature on blog those who post video, photos.

4:49 – Lionel says Dell has a “listening czar.” His job is to connect the dots. Where are we seeing a pattern. Using Radian6. Has a customized dash board. Identify issues. If something reaches a certain threshold, will blog about it.


Q: How much effort is put into managing forums?

A: Need to invest more. Sees non-Dell employees spending a lot of time there. Is a lot of moderation that needs to happen. To keep the conversations on track. Need more people moderating.

Q: What’s your experience with getting traction with experts, selling them on the value of getting involved?

A: Has been easy. Have many contributors on Direct to Dell. Barrier had been too much  information. Want four or five areas where can make a difference.

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