How Much Is That Tweet in the Window?

How much is a social following really worth to a business?
Business Writers
March 15, 2012

How much is that Tweet in the window? Yes, it has a price: A new report puts its value at $5.

Imbue Marketing crunched the numbers based on the latest research and stacked up the value of various social followings. Keep in mind these are averages, and don't answer sticky questions such as whether fans acquired organically are any more valuable than those picked up by a promotional campaign a la Facebook's cost-per-click.

"We believe there is a value in a Like or a Follow. So we've created this infographic to show how much a social following is really worth to a business," the company says.

According to Imbue's infographic, nearly two thirds of companies (63 percent) say social media has increases the effectiveness of their marketing. Half of firms say social media has increased customer satisfaction, and 45 percent say they have been able to cut marketing costs thanks to these platforms.

As for customer behavior, nearly half (47 percent) are somewhat more likely to buy from a brand they follow on Twitter or like on Facebook.

A share on Facebook is the jackpot of social media, and Imbue pegs its value at $14. That's well ahead of a Facebook Like ($8), Twitter tweet ($5), and Twitter follow ($2).

Facebook fans, though, are much cheaper to recruit than Twitter followers. The average cost per like is $1.07, compared to $2.50 or even $4 for a Twitter follower. Those last figures are from Clickz, which in December got its hands on an email about Twitter advertising prices. (Advertisers who want to participate have to commit to a minimum of $15,000 to $25,000 over a 3-month period.)

In October, Pace University in New York released an academic study that suggested a relationship between "popularity on social media networks and conformity of social economic behavior."

Arthur J. O’Connor, an IT management consultant enrolled in university's executive doctoral program, analyzed data from June 2010 to June 2011 and found that number of Facebook fans correlated with the stock price. The relationship was stronger for "small ticket and/or impulse purchases," the report said, compared to larger ticket items that would have more complex buying processes.

Would you or have you paid for Facebook or Twitter followers? Why or why not?

Photo credit: Thinkstock

Business Writers