Twitter drives $3m sales for Dell

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While many businesses are trying to work out how to make money from Twitter, computer maker Dell shows what they have done to validate Twitter as a credible business tool.

Last December, Dell claimed $1 million in sales that the company could directly attribute to their use of Twitter.

Dell offers refurbished laptops, desktops, workstations, servers and storage, and monitors and printers from Dell Outlet in the USA, with its @DellOutlet account on Twitter a primary channel to notify followers of the latest offers.

Yesterday, Dell said that the total value of sales attributable to their presence on Twitter – both refurbished equipment as well as new systems – has now exceeded $3 million.

[…] Since we started back in 2007, we’ve earned more than $2 million in revenue at@DellOutlet, attributed directly to our Twitter activity.

We’ve surpassed $2 million in revenue in terms of Dell Outlet sales, but we’re also seeing that it’s driving interest in new product as well. We’re seeing people come from @DellOutlet on Twitter into the Dell.com/outlet site, and then ultimately decide to purchase a new system from elsewhere on Dell.com. If we factor those new system purchases that come from @DellOutlet, we’re actually eclipsed $3 million in overall sales.

That’s quite a metric, one that shows what you can achieve when your use of Twitter clearly is strategic and integrated into your overall sales, marketing and communication activities.

[…] Deal-hunters are especially attracted to Dell’s Twitter presence. Dell Outlet sells refurbished Dell products at great prices, but inventories fluctuate, making it difficult to know when products are available or on sale. Dell Outlet uses Twitter as a way to message out coupons, clearance events and new arrival information to those looking for Dell technology at a discounted price.

Dell has extended its direct-selling model on Twitter to Dell Outlet online stores in other markets, notably the UK (@DellOutletUK) and Ireland (@DellOutletIE).

[…] But @DellOutlet continues to be the most popular Dell Twitter property. We’ll try to keep it that way by offering a mix of Twitter-exclusive offers, Dell Outlet deals and Outlet-specific updates and information.

Dell currently has a global team of around 40 employees whose roles include engaging with customers and others interested in Dell via Twitter.

Earlier this month, I had a conversation with Richard Binhammer, a senior communicator at Dell’s US headquarters, and Kerry Bridge, Head of Digital Media Communications, EMEA and Global Public Sector at Dell’s UK office, about the company’s use of Twitter.

That conversation will be published as an FIR Interview podcast soon.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Rob Safuto

    To put the $3 million number in context, it represents half of one percent of all revenue at Dell. That said, it shouldn’t be a surprise that a company that sells tech gear can drive sales by offering discounts via a tech heavy social network like Twitter. Twitter is a channel to reach people as are other social networks and email. I’d like to know how Dell’s Twitter revenue stacks up against their email efforts (I get emails from Dell every week) and what the ROI is for both of those channels as well. Based on the info that they’ve got 40 employees working on Twitter it’s likely that their costs about equal their revenues gained from their efforts.

    I’m not saying that Twitter isn’t a place where you can reach customers and sell things. I think it’s important to compare the returns with other channels. Those companies who are criticized by social media “experts” for not using Twitter and Facebook more might be spending their marketing dollars in areas that aren’t as high profile but offer a bigger return.

  2. Driven Media Group Blog

    […] One was Dell (@delloutlet) and how they are blowing away competition online by getting over 3 million dollars in sales just by utilizing twitter. How are they doing this? By giving their followers something unique and […]

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