Dell earned $6.5M sales through Twitter

Earlier this year Dell unveiled it had made $6.5M out of its Twitter activity. Revealed in a blog post on 8th January, the figure includes sales from the @DellOutlet Twitter account, which now has almost 1.5m followers, and its equivalents outside of the US.

Dell Inc., relying on social- networking sites to drum up sales of personal computers, said its promotions on Twitter have helped generate more than $6.5 million in orders for PCs, accessories and software.

The number of users signing up to get Dell’s tweets has risen 23 percent in the past three months and now numbers 1.5 million, said Manish Mehta, vice president of Dell’s online unit. More than 100 employees send out the tweets — Twitter’s 140-character messages — over 35 different channels.

Dell, the third-largest maker of PCs, started using Twitter two years ago to reach new customers. The $6.5 million represents the total amount generated through direct customer interactions on Twitter over that time. While those sales are a fraction of Dell’s $61.1 billion in annual revenue last year, the company sees Twitter as one of its most significant ways of interacting with customers, Mehta said.

“It’s a very vibrant channel for us and it’s growing aggressively,” Mehta said in an interview. “It’s not just our reach and growth that has progressed, it’s that it’s happening globally.”

Dell reaches Twitter users in 12 countries, including the U.S., Brazil, Mexico, China and Japan. Brazil’s Twitter users spent $800,000 in the past eight months, Mehta said.

Interestingly the Delloutlet account in Canada @DellHomeSalesCA was set up after pressure from Canadian bloggers and Twitter users. Go Canadians. That has generated $150,000 in sales since going live.

More interestingly is Dell’s Twitter operation in Brazil @DellnoBrasil. That Twitter account has generated $800,000 in eight months. As one of the large emerging markets that’s really good news for Dell and also shows strong adoption of social media.

Richard Binhammer a spokesman for Dell, said the growth in Brazil showed the social web was not just a European or US phenomenon, but a global one.

“That’s interesting not only from an emerging market perspective, but from a social web perspective as well as it shows the spread of services like Twitter.”

Another market Dell highlighted was its @Delloutlet operation in Canada.

“DellHomeSalesCA went onto Twitter because a number of Canadian Twitter users and bloggers were asking us why isn’t Dell on Twitter in Canada. Now it is,” Binhammer said.

San Francisco-based Twitter Inc., which started in 2006, is the third most popular social-networking service in the U.S., according to Reston, Virginia-based ComScore Inc. Dell also relies on Facebook Inc., MySpace Inc. and YouTube Inc.

Dell, based in Round Rock, Texas, reaches 3.5 million people across the Web through social networks and its own community sites, including and IdeaStorm, Mehta said.

Dell fell 48 cents to $12.81 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading at 4 p.m. New York time. The stock has climbed 25 percent this year.

The company ranks behind Hewlett-Packard Co. and Acer Inc. in worldwide sales of PCs.


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