Last night, Richard Binhammer, better known as RichardAtDell, spoke at Third Tuesday Toronto. Richard has set an impressive precedent by responding to Dell posts within as little as two hours, often within mere minutes. He even responded to an October 25th post about Dell on our very own BlogCampaigning within an impressive time frame. Last night he mentioned that there is little to no point in responding at all if you cannot do so within 24 hours: the sheer immediacy of the blogosphere being its essence. A little primer on Dell’s story: Dell has been used as a case study for large companies aquiring and adjusting to social media practices. In 2005, the company had to deal with Jeff Jarvis’ criticism of the company on his blog, Buzzmachine followed by the exploding batteries crisis on Youtube in 2006.
What transpired has been Dell’s reappropriation of the social media realm, largely thanks to new initiatives such as IdeaStorm, an innovative site where Dell customers put forth suggestions to Dell and then other community members get to vote for these suggestions. Another dialogue-focused Dell project is Direct2Dell, a blog that encourages Dell employees to discuss Dell products and services in the company forum as well as in their own blogs. This dialogue coupled with the company’s openness and transparency has lead to a turnaround in social media perception of Dell.
Perhaps most successfully, has been Richard Binhammer’s personal involvement in Dell’s social media efforts. As a member of the Dell blogger outreach program, he comments on different blogs pertaining to computers and social media. Binhammer mentions that eight times out of ten, he achieves success through his involvement with Dell comments and posts. By engaging in dialogue with Dell consumers (either by explaining the reasons behind company policies or transparently admitting flaws) Binhammer has helped to construct a brand image of Dell as a company that cares about its stakeholders and actively values their input.
How are they doing now? Well, 8.3/10 on CNET isn't such a bad score for their new XPS line of laptops.
Collin Douma mused that much of Dell’s social media brand image is tied up in Binhammer’s personal involvement and ability to respond immediately. What would happen if Dell’s super-blogger could blog no more?
Disclosure: BlogCampaigning's Parker Mason works for CNW Group, a sponsor for the Third Tuesday events.