Dell rolls out corporate social assessment tool

ROUND ROCK, TX: Dell has released an assessment tool that will help companies compare how well they use digital media to listen to and engage consumers.

ROUND ROCK, TX: Dell has released an assessment tool that will help companies compare how well they use digital media to listen to and engage consumers.

Dell's “Corporate Social Media Interactive Assessment,” which debuted this week, is an extension of its "Power to do more" initiative.

Dell AOR AxiCom is handling the strategy, design, and development of the campaign. The agency, Cohn & Wolfe's tech network, has worked with Dell for the past three years.

In mid-July, Dell and Forrester Research released a survey tracking how companies interact with consumers through digital and social initiatives, said Cory Edwards, Dell's director of social media and corporate reputation. Although the survey found three-quarters of companies have a monitoring system in place for online conversations, only 20% of respondents said social media was a core part of their marketing efforts, he noted.

"Obviously social media is a new field, and so that 20% could be looked at by some as small, and can be looked at by some as big," said Edwards. "Companies are struggling to convince management and stakeholders of the value of social media and where it fits into the mix. At Dell, we've definitely trudged through those muddy waters that go along with doing social media right, and we, thought doing something like this, could help other companies.”

The seven-question assessment, which asks brands about the integration of their listening and engagement efforts, is an opportunity for Dell to continue the conversation about digital strategies, he added.

"This idea of listening and engaging has really become core to Dell's business, not just from a marketing perspective, but across everything we do," Edwards continued. "We're really trying to make this social-listening concept woven into the fabric of the company."

Last December, Dell launched a social media listening “command center,” where the company's in-house communications team tracks what's being said about the company and its competitors, as well as trending issues. Dell also formed a Social Outreach Services group, or SOS, that responds to unsatisfied customers who have reached out to the company via social media platforms such as Twitter.

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