Social media is embedding itself in the human DNA as we connect and interact globally in an increasingly mobile social web. We have it wherever we go, on our iPhone, iPad or laptop. If we aren’t connected we feel isolated, not in touch and feel like we are missing out. We are are social and the companies that we work for are social and there is a growing awareness that we need to weave the social media DNA into the fabric of the corporation.
The benefits include:
- Crowdsourcing of technical assistance with customers providing answers to questions from other customers on forums and blogs.
- Leverage of your brand name through your content being shared on social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube
- Product development ideas provided on blogs by customers for free
- Becoming aware of issues before they become PR disasters
Companies that are operating like islands are missing out on opportunities to connect with their customers, increase sales, provide superior customer service and educate their customers with blogs, forums and online video.
One company that is integrating social media into its corporate DNA with great results is Dell which is weaving social media into its business in the following areas.
- Customer Service – Monitoring of online conversations and responding in real time. In 2005 Dell had a customer service issue that turned into PR disaster and is still known today as “Dell Hell“. After this debacle Dell started weaving the social web into its DNA with online listening tools like Visible Technologies and Radian6.
- Customer Engagement – It initiated forums and corporate blogs that have now grown to six in total including healthcare and education that are targeted at their core vertical customer demographics and that fix problems before they turn into a firestorm such as happened with Dell Hell
- Marketing – It has many Twitter channels including Dell Outlet on Twitter (with sales approaching $6.5 million in 2009). Dell has also woven social media into the corporate website with share, comments and reviews permeating the website from the homepage to the product pages. Dell has created active advocate engagement through its Customer Advisory Panel that engages with power bloggers and influential online personalities.
- Public Relations – The public relations is better managed through its online monitoring and its active participation on Twitter and forums
- Product Development – Dell started a blog style website called Ideastorm where they capture ideas from their customers and rank them and then implement the ones that make sense.
So how can you integrate social media into your company?