Did you know that some social media campaigns aren’t designed to make money as much as they’re designed to save money?

That’s just one of the insights in the new edition of my book, How to Make Money with Social Media, which, as of today, is now available in bookstores and on Amazon.

The book, co-authored with Dr. Reshma Shah of Emory University, highlights some key concepts about social media that every marketer should know.

Here’s just one of the concepts that we discuss throughout the book:

If that’s music to your ears, then you might be interested in downloading a free chapter on the 60 Second Communications website. There are no forms to fill out or email addresses to provide — just a PDF of the first chapter from the book. Go on — check it out.

We cover a lot of ground in this new edition of the book. One of the topics we discuss is that, while all roads in social media should lead to ROI, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all social media campaigns should generate revenue.

That may be surprising, but it’s true.

Here’s an excerpt from the book that drives home that point:

Some very successful social media campaigns aren’t designed to generate sales as much as they’re designed to generate satisfied customers.

Dan Gingiss, the Director of Digital Customer Experience and Social Media for Discover Card, has a team of social media experts who monitor and review tweets and Facebook posts from customers.

Discover is in a highly regulated industry, which makes responding to account specific inquiries a challenge. But Discover has found ways to monitor the conversations and to take care of the customer’s concerns either via a Twitter direct message or in a secure online chat environment.

The response has been very positive, with customers responding with praise for Discover’s use of social media to handle customer service issues.

The idea behind this initiative is that Discover wanted to be able to answer customer questions in the channels in which the customer initiated the request. They also found that by participating in the online conversations in a personalized and genuine way, they were able to a) quickly solve the customer’s problems, b) demonstrate their superior customer service in a public ways, and c) minimize the negative commentary from disgruntled cardholders, who often end up posting positive commentary after being serviced.

In this particular case, Discover is using social media as a customer service tool. Although it’s difficult to assign a dollar amount to the value of a social customer service campaign, it’s not impossible. For starters, you can track how much it costs to manage a customer complaint using traditional media and compare it to the cost of managing it via social media.

In the old days, customer service complaints were handled almost exclusively via an 800 number. That meant manning an entire bank of phones with operators who could only handle one customer complaint at a time. 

If the operators got busy, customers were put on hold. When an angry customer gets put on hold, they grow increasingly frustrated. By the time the operator gets to the now-frustrated customer, the operator has to spend time easing them back into a civil and productive conversation.

It was an expensive way to manage customer service.

By comparing the cost of traditional customer service to the cost of social media customer service, companies such as Discover can make a calculation of whether or not they have improved efficiencies by using social media customer service.

If the cost of having a traditional customer service department is, say, $1 million per year, but the cost of having a blended traditional and social customer service department is $900,000, then their social media efforts “made” the company $100,000.

Of course, that’s a simplified view of the costs associated with a customer service department, but it highlights a larger issue—not all social media campaigns are designed to make money, some are designed to save money.

Interested in learning more about how to use social media to grow your business?

If so, stick around. Next week is How to Make Money with Social Media Week. We’re devoting an entire week to guest posts from famous authors and social media experts from around the globe. It’s all designed to help people like you learn cutting-edge techniques to use social media to grow your business.

Interested in learning more? Terrific. Come back tomorrow (and the next day and the next day). Or, sign up for our e-newsletter so that you can have links to the posts dropped into your in-box. It’s just one of the many benefits we provide to members of the 60 Second Nation.

See you tomorrow!

Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.