Entering the SMLCC. (All photos courtesy of Dell)

Dell (a Bazaarvoice client) is referenced online an average of 22,000 times a day. Monitoring volume like this requires a dedicated team, and now that team has a bleeding-edge facility that’s up to the task—the new Social Media Listening Command Center.

Just a week after launch, I jumped at the opportunity to visit the SMLCC with my colleague, Harrison Yeager. Showing us around was Adam Brown, Director, Social Media at Dell. This was the first tour Adam had given of the center, and his knowledge and passion made for a fascinating trip. Of course, the entire time I was thinking, “I need to blog about this,” so after letting my thoughts coalesce, I’m excited to share them with you here.

Staffed by Chief Listener Susan Beebe and her team, real-time data is collected and visualized by Radian6 and displayed across three rows of monitors. Each monitor shows a unique dashboard, offering instant insights into things like customer sentiment, share of voice and geography.

Even as I spoke with the listeners, their eyes rarely deviated from the activity in front of them. This is a place of careful analysis and strategic action, not data overload. Dell has clearly chosen a team that is focused, efficient and skilled at real-time prioritization and response.

Human curation is designed into every important process; Dell didn’t create the SMLCC to run on autopilot. Decisions are still made by people, and not algorithms. For example, tweets that are ambiguous in sentiment are queued up for manual analysis by the listeners.

Brand and product mentions that require responses are expertly funneled out to the Dell employees that are best equipped to address them, in what amounts to an impressively-executed hub-and-spoke system. Harrison summed it up nicely in a conversation after the visit:

Social media is treated with as much care as any other form of feedback from customers; just like a support phone line, there’s always someone on the other end of Dell’s Twitter presence to answer questions and resolve issues.

The silos that impede the social media maturation of most corporations are quickly becoming a thing of the past at Dell. The launch of the SMLCC by a metrics-driven, Fortune 50 organization like Dell is further proof of their understanding that social engagement is both a modern business imperative and an unparalleled opportunity.

For more, take a look at the launch video below:

One Response to “Inside Dell’s new Social Media Listening Command Center”

  1. Nice initiative in tune with the times. DELL especially has been known for its proactive approach to Social Media. Would be interesting to look at some metrics to see if the efforts are paying off

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