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It's Friday and with that comes our coverage of the big moves, hires and fires in the US this week.
We've seen promotions from Mercedes-Benz and Sony, while News Corp. has poached a new CEO for Dow Jones and Apple and Dell are looking to expand their retail and software services with new prominent hires.
88% of US businesses are now actively monitoring online feedback and conversations online, according to a Forrester Consulting survey released today.
However, the Dell-commissioned report also found that only 6% of companies consider listening and digital engagement to be integral to their organisations.
Q4, which includes the holiday shopping season, was good to many industries last year - but the PC industry wasn't one of them.
According to IDC, some of the biggest PC manufacturers, including HP, Dell and Acer, recorded declines in sales.
Performance was so bad that IDC described 2011 as "the second-worst year in history" for PCs, as total sales declined 5% from 2010.
If we get bad customer service online, we vote with our feet. We stop doing business with the company in question, or take action against it. We call it out on Facebook, Twitter and (in the famous case of United Airlines) we notoriously write songs about it.
Although most brands use social media to market themselves, relatively few provide really excellent customer service.
Here are my top five tips for getting customer service right on Facebook...
Startups like Klout may have a hard time convincing brands they can prove how influential social media followers are. But dozens of studies aim to figure out why consumers are mentioning, following, or friending brands via social media.
The latest is from Empathica, which surveyed over 15,000 Americans and Canadians, to deliver its take on who's following brands and why.
Twitter, which for so long was criticized for its lack of a revenue model, is now firing on all cylinders as it looks to develop multiple sources of revenue. From Promoted Tweets to Promoted Trends, the company is no longer shy about trying to make a buck, and so far, Twitter users don't seem to mind.
One big reason: Twitter has done a pretty good job at making sure its ads aren't intrusive. And if it has its way, it might even make money while making Twitter users happier.
Dell is one of those companies that has gotten a lot of attention as an early adopter on Twitter. But getting into a new medium early isn't the same as getting the most out of it. Sometime last year, the company realized it had over 20 Twitter accounts. Not all of them were effective.
Speaking at TWTRCON in New York this week, Dell's Stefanie Nelson explained how the company assessed the ROI of its social media efforts and streamlined its productivity in the space.
Thanks to the internet and social media, it's never been easier for companies to reach out to consumers. Companies like Starbucks and Dell, for instance, have set up crowdsourcing websites through which consumers can share ideas that may help them improve their products and services.
Insurance company Allstate is getting into the act too. But it doesn't want ideas from consumers. Instead, it's reaching out to a different group: media sellers.
The holidays are a time for generosity. But unless Michael Dell is trying to play the role of Santa Claus this year, even the holidays rarely see the type of generosity that appeared on the Dell website a day ago as users of SlickDeals.net started noticing significant pricing 'errors' on the Dell website.
These included pages of heavily-discounted prices on CPUs, namely dual and quad core Intel processors for under $20.
Dell has provided further proof of the potential of Twitter for retailers, revealing that it has earned $6.5m in worldwide revenues from Twitter over the past two years.
I've been looking at the figures, as well as talking to Dell's Richard Binhammer about the company's approach to Twitter and social media in general...
There's a general consensus that Twitter will eventually implement some business model that involves the companies using Twitter for commercial purposes. But the road to monetization has been a long one for the popular microblogging company, largely by choice.
But in a definitive sign that Twitter has corporate users on its mind, the company yesterday launched a 'special guide' for businesses called Twitter 101.
While multiple e-tailers are still looking for ways to cash in on Twitter followers, some are already reaping the rewards. Dell made an astonishing announcement yesterday.
The company's has landed over $2 million in sales since June 2007, half of which were generated over the period of the last 6 months. The second million was driven in by "posting offers and responding to questions on Twitter.com/DellOutlet."