Dell takes a diversified approach to social networks for sustainability, making considerable use of YouTube and LinkedIn as well as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The company regularly shares content that connects back to their 2020 Legacy of Good plan.

Dell’s multi-platform approach expands their reach

Dell makes the top 10 of SB{influencers}100 thanks to high scores in both activity and reach. Dell maintains an active sustainability social presence across all of Facebook, Twitter (including a dedicated sustainability handle), YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Like many of the leading companies in our index, the majority of Dell’s sustainability content on social media comes through its dedicated Twitter account @dell4good. On this channel, the company shares several tweets a day that connect back to the company’s 2020 Legacy of Good plan for ‘driving business results while creating social and environmental change’.

Diversified channels and approaches

However, Dell’s ranking is driven more by the company’s diversified approach to social platforms. For example, the YouTube channel has more sustainability videos than any other company in our list except Nestlé. Similarly, only Thomson Reuters and Cisco use LinkedIn to talk about their sustainability issues more. LinkedIn is used as a ‘highlights’ channel, with product and HR-related updates typical of the professional social network, alongside key sustainability content. Dell is also one of the few companies using Instagram to connect to sustainability through images. However, so far the relevant posts are typically around their work in children’s health and updates from events such as the Dell Women’s Entrepreneurship Network.

Exploring the potential of LinkedIn

Dell’s use of LinkedIn has in fact been considered best practice for a number of years, and has managed to double its follower base since 2013. The editorial approach to LinkedIn is markedly different from other channels and specifically tailored for a business and professional network. For example, the company also actively manages a networking group for women entrepreneurs and curates content around this.

Contributing to the circular economy debate

The @dell4good Twitter handle has quite a narrow purpose in the context of Dell’s broader sustainability social communications. Here, Dell focuses on stakeholders interested in Dell’s corporate responsibility commitments and approach to sustainability. In particular, Dell uses the channel to have a voice on transformational business model concepts, such as shared value and the circular economy. The company does this by sharing articles linking to specialist media publications such as Just Means and hosting Twitter chats with the professional sustainability community. The issue of electronic recycling and e-waste in particular is a topic on which Dell is leading on, using social media to share articles and insights as well as their own initiatives.

But are they reaching the right audience yet?

Despite the editorial approach towards these particular sustainability themes the most retweeted content for Dell during this time period was a success story around employee volunteering hours. And other stories that have been shared widely discuss employee initiatives, including one on the business’s approach to flexible working that includes a link to their CSR report. This suggests that Dell’s follower base on the @dell4good channel – as yet – doesn’t respond as much to the shared value and circular economy debate.