Global Newsmaker: Richard Binhammer

The head of social media at Dell tells PRWeek Global how his company is making millions from Twitter.

Richard Binhammer
Richard Binhammer

Binhammer has played a key role in the dramatic turnaround of Dell's online reputation. Binhammer, who is based at Dell's global HQ in Austin, Texas, spoke to PRWeek Global from the sidelines of the LeWeb social media conference in Paris.

Sum up the week

It has been busy and hectic. We also had a great b2b social media huddle-up in Bracknell with Neville Hobson [head of social media at WeissComm] and Kerry Bridge [head of digital media comms at Dell], which was very interesting. There's not any one thing I've learned but it's been a great chance to sit down and talk with people that are active in this space.

Dell reported this week that it has made US$6.5m from Twitter. What is your advice for other companies looking to replicate this type of success from social media?

Fundamentally it rests on the fact that the web has moved from something static to something interactive. The first step is to find your customers and then listen to them. Any business can learn more from its customers about its products. The whole listening/learning thing is what the web is about.

What are your social media predictions for 2010?

I think there will be some consolidation and settling down. More and more people will find more use out of Twitter. It's a question of using the tools to connect with customers.

Which are your favourite social media tools?

I'm not all about glitz and shiny new tools – I use traditional ones. Delicious to archive my material, Google Reader for stuff that comes in. We use Radian6 to track conversations. I also use Twitter, Facebook and Friendfeed. Google Wave – I've tried it but I'm not sure I have enough friends to make it work for me.

What is the biggest mistake companies make when it comes to social media?

I don't spend a lot of time focusing on what companies are doing wrong. Any company has to start by listening and focusing on where their customers are.


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