Our Austin neighbors at Dell are a force to watch in social media and social commerce. The technology brand has made headlines with initiatives like IdeaStorm and their success selling on Twitter, and has been actively listening, learning and engaging with its customers through social media since 2006. We asked Dell’s VP of Social Media & Community, Manish Mehta, to share some of the brand’s top social insights.

Mehta shares a ton of great tips for brand engagement in social media. Here are a few that really stood out:

Engage with customers at the “point of need.” By determining shoppers’ online “points of need”, Dell can provide the right type of content to help shoppers make decisions. For example, when customers are doing research or looking for assurance, UGC in the form of reviews gives them the information and confidence they need to make purchases.

customer oxygen
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Embed social media across your entire organization. Dell has deeply embedded social media into marketing, sales, their product organization, services organization, and HR. Social is part of the entire organization, and each team uses the metrics most valuable to their business.

Don’t lose focus chasing shiny objects. Social commerce is evolving quickly, and it’s easy to become distracted by the next big thing. Focus on the things your customers find important, the things that bring real, demonstrable value to your business, says Manish. Next, narrow your focus to the critical few.

Place intimacy, sincerity, and customer relationships first. “Mom and Pop” businesses have had it right all along, says Manish. Businesses of all sizes can apply this customer-centric model by developing substantive relationships with customers, listening to their feedback, and using it to engage other customers or improve their organization—we call this customer oxygen. The best social media strategies apply these business practices to the digital world.

Learn more about how the world’s best brands do social.

Download ReportSome of the world’s best minds share their predictions and insights in the 2010 Social Commerce Trends Report.

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