I had a chance to sit down with Richard Margetic, Dell's Social Media Lead to discuss some of the topics that you will see at the Social Shake-Up Conference where Richard will be speaking. The following is a transcript of that conversation.
SMT: Dell really was at the vanguard of social media company-wise. You guys were blazing the trail for everyone. Talk a little bit about the role of social media and how that plays out in Dell today?
Richard Margetic: Social media has become integral to many of the functions here at Dell. One of the things we'd seen early on from listening which is really how we got involved in it was that the conversations were talking about everything from customer issues to marketing keywords to product group information and feedback. So today, we've gone to a way of embedding social media across the fabric of the company. And therefore its become part and parcel to a wide variety of team's roles here at Dell.
I see you won an ITSMA award. Was there an award-winning campaign that you guys did that you can talk about?
Yes. We won the Diamond Award on that for the work we're doing here on Dell. Actually, that was about how we had become a social business, which was one of the divisions that we had from the beginning that Dell was going to need to do that. We were going to need to scale across the company; we were going to need to measure and leverage the impact that social media has had across Dell.
Can you describe how social tools are breaking down those barriers and making you guys a truly social business?
There's definitely an element of social tools that helps bring an aggregate view of social media. Then we can turn around and pull from that aggregate data, individual, or functional, or business unit insights actionable data out of those things. A lot of the work we do here is on the processing of data to get it in front of the correct people at the correct time. Whether that be the leveraging of our Radian6 Command Center customization work that we've done, whether it is leveraging the content calendar which is global that allows us to get information back into the appropriate channels in social, whether it is understanding employee impacts on the Dell social initiatives and how they're driving business impact.
We've launched a subject matter expert program where we're working with different pieces of the business to get our own expertise in front of the right people in social media to drive relationships. And we're using a variety of tools to help drive that both internally developed and leveraging out-of-the-box tools as well. Data analytics is stuff that we're doing some work ourselves. We have some proprietary tools that we've developed and we've also leveraged third-party tools as well to help process some of that data.
How is Dell leveraging the concept of big data, maybe specifically in social?
I'll talk about one of the primary manifestations of big data here at Dell, and that is in a tool we developed called the Social Net Advocacy tool. It's fundamentally a real-time net promoter score from social. So we take the entire volume of all social media data across all English platforms. We then run that through a processing program so we can pull a wide variety of different data from it including sentiment analysis, the individuals who are speaking about it. Then we run that through a Dell proprietary algorithm that weights 150 different facets of that data across a wide variety of categories all the way down to the graphic card level where we could pull data and understand sensitive analysis, understand the advocates, the influencers who are actually driving the conversations, the words that are being used, and deliver those things in ad-hoc fashion back to the business.
So they have the ability to go in there real-time to pull data on what's happening in social media that impacts their business. One of the most obvious use cases we have there is when we're doing real-time monitoring of social media campaigns. So we would understand Web conversations, who's driving the conversations, and what sentiment the conversation is having. Our product group obviously uses that during product launch to understand how it's being received across all social media and then gets that right back into the product teams.
Its really like the social media equivalent of the net promoter score because with net promoter score, you are really doing just a survey and it's at that particular time you only have a subset of people who actually are giving you that score. With social media, you're doing every single conversation that is happening in real-time. So not only do you avoid the lag that NPS gives you, you also have a much broader base of data that's driving that final number.
What about some of the other hot topics for marketers today, like mobile? What's happening in mobile at Dell?
We continue to try and understand especially where social and mobile interacts. There are a lot of things that we have tried. We've created our own mobile lab. That ended up being not the best way to move forward. So we're trying to work with the social platforms and drive them to be more consumable and social while we go back to the drawing board as to how best to create social, mobile experience around technology that Dell can support. We still have some work to do there.
I know you guys are a big believer in social communities. Are you still driving social communities, and if so, what's the latest there?
We have a variety of communities on our own community platform. The Dell TechCenter continues to be a community that is touching a huge amount of our B2B sales driving correlations. We can see the correlations between engagements on Dell TechCenter and the sales that are resulting from it.
We launched more of a content community that we're using social to engage what's known as the Tech Page One. We're putting out 15 - 20 pieces of new technology content out a day between Dell-generated, Dell paid for, and third-party curated stuff, and then using that to drive community conversations around those topics of interest.
We're still working on creating cross-platform topic of interest communities. Part of that is embedded in our own community on the Telligent platform. Part of that we're trying to make coordinated connections between LinkedIn, SlideShare, Google+, and the rest to create a cross-platform community.
That's really cool. I know you're going to be at the Social Shake-Up Conference. I'm going to be there, too. So I definitely hope to see you then.
Yes, I will be there and I look forward to seeing you and everyone in Atlanta in September!
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