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Andy’s Answers: How Dell joins conversations about its brand in social media

Jason Duty, Dell’s director of global social outreach services, says that social media for brands is no longer the Wild West: an ungoverned, new frontier. Instead, he says, it’s more like the Blob: all encompassing, slowly taking over the world and sort of sticky when you get into it.

In his presentation at our word-of-mouth marketing conference in Austin, Texas, Duty explains that at Dell, the company finds ways to turn the Blob into a proactive customer-service tool by joining conversations people are already having about Dell. And because engaging can be intimidating for anyone, Duty shares how companies can do it the right way — the way that earns fans and wins over critics.

Some important tips Duty shares in his presentation:

  • First, understand the rules of the road. Before you jump in, know how the community feels about your company. Read the threads in a discussion group, study their guidelines and learn as much as you can about the culture and context.
  • Learn these 10 magic words. “Hi, my name is (blank), and I work for (blank).” Disclose who you work for, because it’s not only the law, it’s also how you earn trust and respect. Duty says social media is like an elephant: It doesn’t forget (especially when you mess up).
  • Avoid being mistaken for a robot. Duty shares ways his team at Dell shows its personal side and the reason that’s important. He says to earn fans, you can’t just shoot out marketing messages — you have to let people know you’re real.

Watch Duty’s presentation from our word-of-mouth marketing conference.

Slides are available.

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