Dell’s Social Media Command Center – Innovation And Collaboration February 10, 2011 by Brett Prince Dell has been innovating when it comes to customer relationships and social media, starting at the beginning of “be direct”, their core business model. As the social landscape has progressed throughout the web, Dell has continued to build on their social media strategy and customer engagement. In fact, there has been a lot of positive news about Dell’s Social Media and Communities (SMAC) lately. Last December SMAC debuted their Dell Social Media Listening Command Center – a coordinated, collaborative effort for listening, following, and contributing to all conversations Dell related throughout the web (including Dell product launches, Dell earnings, and customer feedback). With more people adopting social media every day, many are turning to the web for answers first, and not just search, but social media. Online reputation management has never been more important – for both the good and bad. Dell has taken a proactive approach, using their command centre as more than a problem solving machine, but also using it to identify discussions throughout the web and to give useful social tools to their employees throughout the globe. Dell has taken social media strategy to another level. They’re not doing this by innovating through command centre hardware, but by innovating through global coordination, building standards on how to successfully monitor the web while contributing to business objectives. There’s always been a lot of talk about social media, but there hasn’t been enough discussion on how to directly apply it to a business strategy. How do you scale a social media operation? If you consider the logistics, there’s much more to scalability than hiring those who are familiar with Facebook or Twitter and then placing them in a structured social media team. The smartest approach is to use existing resources and employees to listen and engage on behalf of your brand. We’ve seen integration and collaboration across many business processes throughout the years, social media is no different. Real value is built through social engagement, and this certainly doesn’t come easy for any listening operation, getting a large group of people to adopt and engage is hard, it takes time and a careful strategy. Dell now has many different visual reminders of key activities that all their teams focus on – Listen, Engage, Act. To complement these reminders, Dell has recently created a social media training and certification program directed at employees. Coordinated listening and employee engagement may not sound like an innovative approach to a social media strategy; however this is where the majority of companies fall flat on the path to social engagement. You also have to consider tools and processes required for broad employee participation, tools that will enhance and improve a social media operation. Taking a look at what you know about Dell’s social strategy to date, what would you recommend? Share your suggestions in the comment section below!