Is social media turning into one of the main reasons for purchasing trendy, fashionable and tech products these days? Could a brand’s wrong utilization of social media affect its image negatively? Is it fair to solely depend on web marketing and social media channels (such as Youtube, Twitter and Facebook) in order to decide whether to purchase a certain brand or its competitor?
A month or more ago, I published an article about Blackberry Storm vs. iPhone 3G. I noticed that our readers really enjoyed this type of topics. Therefore, the ThoughtPick team, and after an idea-loaded brainstorming session, decided to turn this type of posts into a series: Social Media & Web Marketing Wars!
A Little Bit of History…
Before moving on to evaluating the effectiveness of their social media utilization, it is only fair to talk a little about Dell and Toshiba’s histories.
Let’s begin with Dell. Dell was established in 1984 by Michael Dell and it employs more than 76,500 people worldwide as of 2009. “Dell grew during the 1980s and 1990s to become (for a time) the largest seller of PCs and servers. As of 2008 it held the second spot in computer-sales within the industry behind Hewlett-Packard. The company currently sells personal computers, servers, data storage devices, network switches, software, and computer peripherals”.
As for Toshiba, it was founded by the merging of two companies in 1939. Toshiba America Information Systems was created in 1989. “Toshiba is the world’s fifth largest personal computer manufacturer, after Hewlett-Packard and Dell of the U.S., Acer of Taiwan and Lenovo of China.”
Dell & Toshiba… “Social Medially”!
As a crucial part of my research, I made an effort to cover 4 important aspects of Dell and Toshiba’s online presence, especially when it comes to social media platforms: Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and Blogs.
What does Dell conduct itself on Twitter?
Dell seems to very well understand the power that Twitter is able to equip it with and appears to be doing the most it can to reap the benefits of having a strong presence as a Twitter user:
- Apart from Dell’s main account, which has around 1,080,000 follower, Dell has dedicated a whole page on its website for the numerous Dell Twitter accounts, communities and offers it fosters.
- Furthermore, Dell has managed to create campaigns and special sweepstakes and promotions exclusively on Twitter!
So, how is Toshiba using Twitter?
As I see it, and based on my humble research, it seems to me that Toshiba doesn’t take Twitter that seriously:
- Toshiba has 2 Twitter accounts: A main one for all its products and another Toshiba Laptops account. The total number of followers on both accounts does not exceed 2,000 followers.
- Moreover, the last status update for one of the accounts was on August 4th, while the one before was July 16th!
How does Dell deal with Facebook?
Well, apparently, Dell is also very active on Facebook as well!
- Dell has a few Facebook pages for its consumer products and website and a couple more for its general products as well. The main 2 pages have a total of around 60,000 fans! Furthermore, their Consumer Products Page has loads of posts, ads and promotions for people to follow up and engage in through comments.
- As for the groups, Dell also has a few groups on Facebook with a total of around 2,000 members.
Now, what is Toshiba doing on Facebook in return?
Again, through the same clicks and searches around Facebook, I was not rally impressed with the results I have found for Toshiba on Facebook as it seems to be not-too-Facebook-friendly either!
- Although Toshiba does have Facebook pages and groups, but the total number of fans and members in all of them does not exceed 4,000 with Toshiba Satellite’s page either being very new or just simply inactive!
Alrighty then! Let’s take a look on how Dell is doing as opposed to Toshiba when it comes to ads posted on Youtube in terms of innovation and viral factor!
Please note that I just compared 2 recent ads for Dell and Toshiba (posted July, 2009).
Dell on Youtube… Keep the ads rolling!
I’d have to raise my hat for Dell’s latest ad on Youtube “The Lollipop” TV Commercial! Not only is it creative and unique, it also is guaranteed to make you smile and bring you closer to the brand even if you choose not to purchase the product! Up to this date, this ad earned over 9,000 Youtube views.
Was Toshiba able to beat or at least meet that?
I have to give it up to Toshiba for the ad they have on Youtube, “No Matter What Your New Toshiba Will Survive“! Kudos for the incredible touch of humor and clever product and brand marketing! Alas, it seems to have gone to waste with a total of only 857 Youtube views!
Logically, one one assume that what Toshiba lacked to achieve on other social media platforms, it would make up by having a specialized blog to share news with its customers, display promotions and effectively reply to consumer questions and concerns. But that’s not the case!
After a short Google search, I was able to locate Dell’s blog very easily! The blog is very helpful, easy to browse, informative and customer friendly! Taking the same amount of time, I was just able to find some kind of blog for Toshiba, jammed with ads and clutters of information!
A final word to our readers…
What can Toshiba do better? The answer is rather simple: walk Dell’s footsteps! A bit harsh? Well, yes it might be but I am a true believer that if someone else can do it, so can you! So Toshiba, why not be more engaged with consumers via social media platforms, tools and channels? Why accept to be beaten at a game that could be easily done with a little bit more open mindedness, dynamism and interactivity?
What more do you think Toshiba can do, can you offer them some further advice? And which brand do you favor: Dell or Toshiba?