Dell Tweets its way to $US3 million in sales

The PC maker's US outlet store has been on Twitter since June 2007, posting specials and responding to customer questions

So you thought Twitter was a waste of time? Just fun and games? Stupid even? Dell doesn't think so.

The PC maker's U.S. outlet store has been on Twitter since June 2007, posting specials and responding to customer questions. And according to the Direct2Dell blog, sales generated by those regular tweets have generated more than $US3 million in sales.

Broken down, that's $US2 million in Dell Outlet sales, plus another $US1 million from customers who entered the Dell site via Twitter, but who wound up buying hardware elsewhere on the site. Dell Outlet uses Twitters to promote clearance sales, coupons, and other discount-related fodder.

Dell's success lends credence to the argument that Twitter is much more than a wasteland of shallow, "What are you doing?" posts. It also may provide a much-needed business model for Twitter by giving the social networking site a valid reason to charge for corporate accounts.

Dell's success proves that Twitter can be an effective marketing tool. Even better for Dell, its followers often re-tweet the vendor's deals to their followers, thereby boosting the reach of Dell's pitches.

It remains to be seen, however, if other businesses can repeat Dell's success. The PC maker's @DellOutlet account has more than 600,000 followers, which I guess shows that Twitter users are willing to put up with marketing drivel if they perceive a clear benefit--in this case, some pretty good bargains. (Dell has other Twitter accounts too, including those for its small business, home, and international outlets.)

I follow the Dell Outlet store on Twitter, and I've noticed that Dell uses the service prudently. Rather than bombard its followers with endless tweets, it posts sparingly. For instance, there was one Dell Outlet post yesterday (June 11) and one today thus far. It's smart of Dell not to over-tweet--unlike some businesses that I've followed in the past but have since abandoned.

There's also the question of whether corporations will find success on Twitter if they all copy Dell's formula. For instance, if I'm following 10 businesses, do I really want to get numerous product pitches every day? That's like opening the mailbox and sifting through stacks of junk mail.

Certainly Twitter can benefit from money-generating corporate accounts. But it will have to prevent its users from being spammed to death.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Dellsocial networkingtwitter

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeff Bertolucci

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?