Friday, 18 July 2008

Brands investing in their own social network communities

During my usual morning scan of posts out there in the blog land I came across a good article by Brad Hinton also discussing social networks who pointed me off to Dell's online community it has set up called IdeaStorm to provide a platform to interact with their consumers and offer the chance for feedback on their products.

So I went and had a look and was pleasantly surprised. It appears to be a success. You get the feeling that as the forum has been developed and managed directly by Dell that your opinion can be heard and your views could make a difference. It is quite an empowering feeling. There is an option next to the posts to either 'promote' or 'demote' it depending on whether you value the subject, a bit like 'digging it' I should imagine and like threads on other social sites you can post replies and develop discussions about the topic. Some of which I found quite amusing, such as .

I hope Dell uses it constructively to direct feedback into the design and development stages to improve its customer focus and monitor any negative views which they may be able to address either by getting involved in the discussion, changing their behaviour/ products or developing relevant PR campaigns to manage the problem. Don't put the Dell logo upside down on the Mini Inspiron

All in all I think its a great idea and think more companies should follow suit. Developing their own rather than relying on pre constructed social networking sites is pricier but I think it gives a more professional and caring perception rather than just doing it to be seen to be doing it.

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