Dell this week was recognized in two categories: “Business to Consumer North America: Listening” and “Business to Business: Energizing category” – at the fifth annual Forrester Groundswell Awards at the Forrester Consumer Forum in Chicago.

Dell actively listens to customers through its Listening Command Center. Dell’s monitoring efforts have helped increase response times for customer issues, enhanced internal coordination and improved product development, while driving positive brand sentiment across social media platforms.

That same cross-platform view was taken in the development of Dell’s Trade Secrets program that seeks to move beyond listening to actively promoting conversation between Small and Medium Business (SMB) customers. By reaching out to online influencers with product experiences and encouraging SMBs to talk about larger business issues the products and solutions help address, Dell has been able to drive positive word of mouth across Twitter, Facebook, blogs, videos and other channels.

The Trade Secrets program goes beyond short-term campaign thinking and is about to enter its third phase. The new topic of discussion will be efficiency — cost efficiency, energy efficiency and overall business process efficiency – and the ways that Dell printers can help accomplish all of these. Anyone can join in the conversation on the Dell for Business page on Facebook or via the #PrintSecrets hashtag on Twitter.

Through both listening and encouraging conversation, social media serves as an important catalyst between technology and customers, and Dell will continue to ensure that they have the tools to make the most out of their personal and professional lives.

The Forrester Groundswell Awards recognize excellence in achieving business and organizational goals with social technology applications. This year, there were more than 200 entries to the Forrester Groundswell Awards in four divisions including Business-to-Business (B2B) Business-to-Consumer (B2C), Management, and International.