Since the dawn of the social media era in the information age, only a few big businesses have really understood the value of it. Only a minuscule handful companies in the beginning of it all really chose to be methodical in their approach and exploration of social. Even then, a small percentage of said handful figured out how to use social to drive real results and revenue while steering clear of the hype and the buzzwords. Many companies have been influenced by poor social professionals with a slick sales pitch and have been somewhat blindly investing in agencies, teams, software and staff...all the while forgetting about the overall objective-based thinking that they've done so well with other aspects of their business before we even had social media as an option.
Enter The Social Media Listening Command Center
Dell has done it right again. And while they aren't the first to do this (Gatorade launched their Social Media Mission Control Center back in June), they quickly realized that if they can boost revenue and brand awareness at an alarming rate by throwing some people at it, they'd definitely get a high ROI building out a full-fledged command center where everyone's job is to listen to thousands of conversations about their brand, products and services on a global scale. This is the kind of data that CMO's would've sacrificed one of their limbs for twenty years ago.
"Dell is using social media monitoring tool Radian6 to power its data collection. The center will track on average more than 22,000 daily topic posts related to Dell, as well as mentions of Dell on Twitter. The information can be sliced and diced based on topics and subjects of conversation, sentiment, share of voice, geography and trends."
When I first saw the photos I admit I did get a little bit of a chuckle out of the blue mood lighting, the engraved insignia on the glass, the anticipation that at any moment Tom Cruise might swoop in with his Minority Report gloves and start grabbing Twitter conversations in the air and moving them around. While Dell's new Social Media Listening Command Center aesthetically looks a little overly theatrical in it's photos, their approach is spot on.
Dell is no stranger when it comes to the innovative use of social media. Normally I'd question something like this as only a buzz worthy meme-fest with a touch of elitism, but Dell can honestly attribute millions of dollars in revenue from social channels alone. They definitely continue to have my attention as a thought leader in leveraging social business.