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September 29, 2011
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Turning social media into a cost saver
Much of the conversation around social media centers on making money. But social tools can prove to be equally helpful at saving companies cash. Whether it's conserving resources, such as fuel or paper, or improving efficiencies via crowdsourcing and better customer service, social tools can contribute to the bottom line. This special report explores some of the ways companies are saving money, the tools they're using and methods you can use to emulate their success.

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Models of Success 
  • Dell looks to social media to contain customer-service costs
    Cost control is one of the ways Dell measures the effectiveness of its social media efforts, executive Rishi Dave says. Social media can affect the cost of customer service, as it reduces the number of complaints coming to call centers, as well as brand management and innovation, Dave says. ClickZ (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Social tools help claims adjusters spot fraud
    Insurance companies can use social networks to spot potentially fake insurance claims -- such as instances where a claimant's postings suggest a level of physical activity not consistent with their reported injuries, claims expert Charles Hunter McRee writes. Claims Magazine (9/2011) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Museum saves money by switching from paper to digital
    The Children's Museum of New Hampshire is using social media and e-mail newsletters to stay in touch with fans while reducing costs for postage and printing. The museum has been able to move 25% of its newsletter readers to a digital platform. Museum officials say the key was making it easier for users to switch., N.H. (9/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Crowdsourced traffic info could help reduce fuel use
    Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say a smartphone application that helps drivers minimize time spent idling at red lights could reduce fuel consumption by as much as 20%. The crowdsourced service also could eventually provide other useful information to help travelers navigate urban areas, including bus locations and prices at gas stations. Popular Science (8/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Best Practices 
  • How to evaluate your crowdsourcing efforts
    Crowdsourcing can be broken down into three types of tasks: work, input and action, Aliza Sherman writes. Measuring cost savings from each kind of crowdsourcing requires a clear understanding of what you're trying to accomplish and using the right network, Sherman writes. (9/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Stop looking for a single way to measure ROI
    The pursuit of a stable way to measure social media return on investment is founded on a false premise, writes Brian Solis. Rather than seeking a single static set of tools with which to measure ROI, we should seek tools that relate directly to our goals in any given moment. "R.O.I is specific to an outcome or a goal, which means that there is no one answer," Solis writes. (9/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  • Have social tools saved your company money?

  • Do you look at cost savings when you're calculating the return on investment of your social media presence?
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 Andy Sernovitz, Editor at Large
Andy Sernovitz is author of "Word of Mouth Marketing" and the word of mouth marketing blog/newsletter "Damn, I Wish I'd Thought of That." Andy is CEO of GasPedal, a company that teaches word of mouth and hosts the Word of Mouth Marketing Supergenius conference.

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