Welcome to new age marketing Unit Trust
3 million dollars in a 26 billion dollar company must be a mere pebble in its financial ocean. And the figure probably would not be worth mentioning except that the 3 million dollars was generated on a social media network that cost the company nothing to brand and zero dollars implement.
At least that’s what Dell must be thinking.
According to its corporate blogger (and yes there is such a job title) Dell has been on Twitter for a couple of years and managed to grow their following to over half a million folks, one tweet at a time.
This is interesting because the conversation on Dell’s Twitter is very sales driven.
There is no small talk.
No celebrity gossip.
Messages are posted offering a mix of Twitter-exclusive offers, Dell Outlet deals and Outlet-specific updates and information.
And the results have been 3 million dollars awesome.
In an interview Dell acknowledged it had earned $2 million via Twitter referrals for their “certified refurbishments, scratch and dent and previously ordered new Dell products.” The company took in another $1 million from people who went from the outlet store to Dell proper for new stuff.
The links from virtual interest to real world sales is interesting and perhaps an instruct for other marketers trying to find their voice and traction on the social media landscape.
At least that is what Danielle Jones; the Assistant Vice President at the Unit Trust Corporation (based in Trinidad and Tobago) seems to be doing, finding out what users would like to hear about in Twitter and on facebook.
Last Thursday, the Unit Trust Corporation made its Twitter debut and became the first large financial institution in Trinidad to do so but within minutes of the site going public, there was mixed views.
“It is really good to have corporations on twitter. I am annoyed with those that have 0 personality though, no face, and no humanity.” wrote tweeter Tracy TT.
But another tweeter, Basantam, who declared himself a UTC customer wondered how the company would handle complaints, “I imagine their tweets will be boring,” he posted.
Time will certainly tell. For sure, content and the ability to connect in a real way is what counts in social media. Take a look at Dell. Even though the pc maker gives sales driven information, it engages customers by answering questions and offering links that are useful for their consumers. Jones may have observed this dynamic on the web and put forward some successful cases studies to her bosses before pressing ahead.
The Unit Trust Corporation has over 500,000 customers, and Jones may be right to haul her firm up the social media mountain. The platform has become a super way to build brands and engage customers and if it isn’t micro blogged in pure corporate speak; the end result can be real engagement.
Another cool fact is that Twitter let’s you speak all you want without pissing off anyone who doesn’t want to listen. Talk about nirvana. Welcome to new age marketing Unit Trust.