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Dell launches Social Media ‘Ground Control’

By Lauren Myatt

Dart in the centre of a target labelled 'social marketing'

Global IT giant Dell today unveiled a new centre expressly created to monitor, assess and respond to mentions and conversations about the company on social media sites.

First announced in October by Dell’s Vice President Manish Mehta at the Rise of Social Commerce Conference, the new service will track and handle the company’s online profile.

Commenting on a blog, Mehta explained the rationale behind the new social marketing strategy: ‘Our new ‘Ground Control’ is about tracking the largest number [of] possible conversations across the web and making sure we ‘internalize’ that feedback — good and bad.’

In other words, Dell will be attempting to make public relations inroads in the increasingly significant social media sphere, where constant feedback in the forms of consumer-to-consumer sharing, blogging, tweeting and commenting wield immense power to instantly influence a company’s reputation.

Dell is already ahead of many of its competitors in the field of social media marketing. Its Twitter-based @Dellcares service provides technical support and customer care, while its Facebook presence is followed by well over half a million users.

Many attribute the company’s social media success story to a desire to engage at the online grassroots level with its users, not only talking to them, but also listening to what they have to say.

Vice President Mehta confirmed this, saying that its new Social Media Listening Command Centre is ‘about tracking what you might call the ‘long tail’… those smaller matters that might not bubble to the surface today, but are out there… and deserve to be heard. We want to ‘hear’ them too.’

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