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Don’t Tell Your Boss: Dell Made $6.5m on Twitter

first_imgThe @DellOutlet account has more than 600k followers on Twitter and frequently posts links to discounted computer hardware. Revenue from those links is great to be able to point to, but there is a risk of reinforcing traditional business thinking where it is not fully appropriate. New media is a new world and while the ultimate bottom line is important, many participants argue that the greatest benefits of engagement do not draw a straight line to the cash register. Building a strong community of customer advocates, listening to community concerns and discovering new business and product developement opportunities are softer benefits of social media engagement that skeptics often don’t see when they presume that old-school methods of pushing calls to buy is what should be done on these new channels.Hard and soft ROI are matters we focused on extensively in the ReadWriteWeb Guide to Online Community Management, our first premium report for businesses.Dell itself does a lot of listening and conversation from this same Twitter account. The public benefits of that conversation have been all but lost now that Twitter has changed its policies regarding the visibility of public @replies. Dell followers no longer see public replies sent to other followers they themselves aren’t following. That’s a major lost opportunity for public education and good will.As Pandora community manager, Lucia Willow, told us in an interview for the Guide: “I intentionally respond to most customer service messages with private direct messages. If it’s a question that a lot of people have, then I answer back publicly with an @ message.”Shhh…those public conversations are now invisible, for Pandora, for Dell and for all the rest of us. Though Dell reports good results from Twitter over the last two years, changed policies over the last two months may require a change in the way the company uses Twitter if it wants to keep seeing those kinds of results.Four Better Examples of Social Media ROIThat Dell has made $3m from Twitter links is cool, and it’s a good arrow to have in your social media advocacy quiver, but here are a number of examples we think better capture both the bottom line and some of the soft benefits of conversation. Joe Cothrel, Chief Community Officer at enterprise online community vendor Lithium, gathered these numbers in 2007 and we included them among other resources in the RWW Community Management Guide.These examples reference older related forms of online social interaction, but they also concern far greater sums of money than $3m.A Cisco study in 2004 found that 43% of visits to online support forum are in lieu of opening up a support case through standard methods. Cost per interaction in customer support averages $12 via the contact center versus $0.25 via self-service options. (Forrester, 2006) Jupiter Research (now Forrester) reported in 2006 that customers report good experiences in forums more than twice as often as they do via calls or mail. Ebay found in 2006 that participants in online communities spend 54% more than non-community users.Better customer experiences, far lower support costs and more buying activity in the long run. Those are observations that can help provide context to the high-profile example of Dell pushing e-commerce links out over Twitter. Dell is clearly doing a lot of the same kind of customer service via social media that the companies above cite, but watch out for falling into the trap of telling your reluctant boss that Twitter is important because Dell bagged $3 million there.Interested in learning more best practices for online community? Check out the ReadWriteWeb Guide to Online Community Management.Thanks to Ben Parr for sharing the Dell Community announcement link. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Dell Computers announced today that it has now sold more than $6.5 million in product through links broadcast out to its Twitter followers. The company has more than 1 million followers on Twitter, a handy gift from Twitter Inc. via prominent placement of Dell on the Suggested Users List shown to all new Twitter users.The news will no doubt be celebrated by social media marketers all the world over but I believe there’s reason to be very skeptical of this tidbit of information. Specifically, such celebration of sales through social media broadcast is unrealistic for most firms, it’s overstated in Dell’s case (if all $6.5m was made in one year that would mean 1 million people opted-in to get these ads and only delivered .015% of the company’s annual revenue) and most importantly: such seductive facts detract from the real, much larger value of social media. That’s listening.We offer below our article written in June, when Dell was heralding the number $3m. Much of the research is based on interviews we did for our ReadWriteWeb Guide to Online Community Management.Social Media ROI: Dell’s $3m on Twitter and Four Better ExamplesDell Computers announced last night that it has surpassed $3 million in sales via links from one of its Twitter accounts, making one of the most high profile examples of social media Return on Investment (ROI) all the more juicy. Telling your reluctant boss that social media is worth using because Dell made $3 million on Twitter, however, runs the risk of encouraging e-commerce broadcast as the model for engagement in conversation. Other, more conversational, examples of ROI make important additions to c A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Related Posts marshall kirkpatrick Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#Analysis#social networks#web last_img read more

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How Not To Be Offended By Other People’s Beliefs and Opinions

first_imgThere are 7.7 billion people on planet Earth. All of these people have beliefs that conflict with yours—all of them.While you might share a religious faith with some part of Earth’s population, you have conflicting beliefs about politics with approximately half of the community whose faith you share. You might also split from some significant part of that same population in their interpretation of the faith.You might share your politics with half the population of your country. That population would be made up of people who share other beliefs with you. Even when some people share your broad political views, you will find people who disagree with you on the issues of the day and how best to resolve them from a political perspective, even when they share your broader view. The media does its best to remind you of your differences every two years in the United States.There are factions with strongly-held beliefs about the way human beings organize themselves economically, with different ideas about how much companies and industries should be regulated and how much they should pay in taxes. Your belief lies somewhere on a continuum that contains a wide variety of ideas and opinions, with people occupying lots of different points between the extremes.Let’s look at something less divisive, but where there are still arguments over what is good and right and true.There is a large population of people with extreme opinions about what constitutes a healthy human diet. Some people believe you should not eat animals, some believe you should only eat animals (a few of whom Twitter banned for sharing images of carnivores eating their prey, as it offended some), and some who believe you should eat mostly fat. My grandmother would have been offended by all these positions, believing instead that you should eat whatever you want. Her diet consisted of fried foods, desserts, and she used bacon grease as salad dressing (she lived to be 92 years old, and drank a shot of Scotch before bed every night, and we suspect she sneaked a bit more than a single shot over her last few years).The categories and wide spectrum of beliefs and opinions are too great to be able to find consensus on any one thing–even in a population that agrees on much. If you have to be offended by beliefs that differ from yours, then you have to be offended by everyone on Earth, in all places, at all times, an idea that is exhausting even to write. If you do agree on everything with someone, the banality of the conversation must be be enough to cause the deepest of sleep.Why You Should Not Be OffendedThe very best reason not to be offended by what others believe is that it has no bearing on what you believe. Thankfully, your happiness does not require that the rest of the world share your views, nor does their happiness require you to share theirs. Ben & Jerry’s makes a variety of different flavors, and I am certain they have one that you will prefer.More still, there is a reason to avoid being offended by everything and everyone as it pertains to your mindset, and that is the fact that being constantly offended is infects you with negativity, scarcity, and a sense of cynicism. You may have noticed that people who watch only “outrage television” tend to always to be outraged. You may also notice that they view the world through a lens that splits people into “us” and “them,” and in doing so, defines an enemy. As my Jewish, liberal, atheist friend, Howard Bloom says, “Politics is permission to hate.”Being offended by others and believing them to be your enemy is a debilitating belief system that massive limits the quality of your life.And yet, there is still more to say about the benefits of not being offended by people, ideas, and beliefs with which you disagree. When you have to be offended by things with which you disagree, you cut yourself off from other ideas and insights and relationships. It is not only possible to have deep and rich relationships with people across the political spectrum without being offended by their beliefs, you may find it beneficial. Instead of being irritated, you could discover their opinions are interesting—and their perspective might even be enlightening—an outcome that is not possible if you are offended or outraged.How Not to Be OffendedRecognize you have different beliefs and opinions and preferences from everyone else on Earth, even people with whom you have some shared beliefs. Recognize that they have the same right to hold those beliefs that conflict with yours, as well as the right to express them. Be grateful you share that right.When there is no requirement that you share someone else’s beliefs, there is no harm to you when other people express theirs. It is only when one wishes to impose their beliefs on others, or acts on beliefs that harm others that should cause offense–or in the worst of cases, outrage. Wanting the world to conform to your beliefs in every area of life is the belief system of the totalitarian.While I hope you adopt the belief that you don’t have to be offended or outraged by other people’s beliefs and opinions, I won’t be offended if you don’t. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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