Dell hires those who tweet for their supper

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Dell hires those who tweet for their supper

Only those with social media chops need apply.

If you're a great conversationalist and have a horde of followers for your Twitter or Facebook personas, chances are there's an opening for you on the marketing team at Dell Australia.

The online PC seller wants to hire more workers with serious social media mojo and it's going to the telcos to find them, says Dell's SMB marketing manager Jay Turner.

"With the people that I'm hiring, when the need arises, I look for an online background or a digital background," Turner says.

"The amount of digital background in my team is substantially up and will continue to increase.

"This is a really key focus for us in how we have interactive conversations with customers consistently. If you're not into it now you're like the old black and white TV when colour came out."

Turner has recently hired staff from Sensis with social media skills, he says.

"The industry that really is leading the way is telecommunications from what I see and the resumes I read - it's the collision of media and delivery that has driven that."

As previously reported in iTnews, Dell Australia today launched @Biz_Dell_AU, its first Twitter account, a broadcast channel to connect it to its small and medium-sized business customers.

Dell Australia was inspired by the success of its US parent that has used social media channels such as Twitter since 2006.

The Twitter stream will be much like a RSS feed, Turner says, so customers need not expect much in the way of direct feedback at the outset.

Those requests will be handled through Dell's blogs, email, phone calls to the contact centre and the SB360 small business portal.

"At this stage we have plenty of ways of communicating with us," Turner says.

"The first thing we need to work out is does it allow our customers to respond to us and when we can see that traffic is flowing through to our SB360 site we will see if our customers are accepting this and that will take a couple months."

Dell Australia set criterion for success on the customer relationships it breeds and deepens as much as on the financials, he says.

But if successful Dell will expand its social media presence in the Asia-Pacific by pushing comments back to a contact centre if that's what customers want, he says.

And a New Zealand Twitter presence is being considered should Australia's foray prove successful.

"Twitter is not a strategy for us," Turner says.

"It's a very exciting part of our overall social-media strategy."

Australian Dell tweeters

@MartyAtDell - corporate affairs manager, Marty Filipowski

@NicoleAtDell - corporate communications specialist, Nicole Gemmell

@georgia_hybner - hiring manager, Georgia Hybner

Is social media such as Twitter a passing fad or lasting force? Are you using Twitter in your business or is it a big time waster? And would you be more likely to deal with a business with a strong social media presence? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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