Zita Cassizzi of Dell on how to turn “ranters” into “ravers”

On the second day of eTail, the focus of the discussion was on innovation and how to separate yourself from the pack. According to Dell’s Zita Cassizzi, the key to social media is to listen, engage, measure, learn and keep trying. Dell’s social media efforts are more than comprehensive and they can boast having actually seen ROI on their social efforts.

Perhaps her best and most comprehensive piece of advice for social media is to engage and resolve. When a customer of your product is telling you something, whether it’s good or bad, it’s your job to engage them in conversation, and if they are unhappy, resolve the problem. Ignoring the perception of your brand in the marketplace is the biggest mistake you can make.

“Listening is not enough,” said Cassizzi. “It’s not about what you want – it’s about what the customer wants and needs.”

Dell created a social program to turn the company’s “ranters,” or those who spread negative messages about the brand through the Internet, into “ravers,” or those who can become brand advocates.

“The only way to turn a ranter into a raver is to open up, engage them right away and really value their input,” said Cassizzi.

When it comes to social media, “Keep the failures small and scale what works,” she said. Isn’t that a great motto for any business?