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13/03/2012 by

What To Tweet? The Value Of Social Following

With the constantly growing popularity of Twitter, currently with above 127 million active users worldwide and the recent acquisition of Posterous, it’s a great platform for consumers and brands. Twitter focuses on making its website a destination portal, as it continues to ramp up advertising revenues and is projected to reach $260 million in 2012 and $540 million by 2014.

What To Tweet? The Value Of Social Following

Do you manage a twitter account for a brand and looking for some inspiration how to be successful? Also not sure if there is a real value of all those followers and tweets? Maybe a few hints will be helpful…

Respond To Others

Want to emphasize that social media should be a dialog , not a one way communication. Response is essential and make sure you reply to at least one other tweet before sending out own. Or even two, the followers will notice that you care. Or to all. And how to respond?

If you have to reply to tens or hundreds of tweets, creativity is essential and quotes like “Thanks for the info!” or “Nice idea” are not the best options. Also ask a question or send another interesting link. It may be time consuming but it will be rewarded with better connections.

Information Curator

In The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, he identified three types of people who are agents of social epidemics:

  • Connectors
  • Salesmen
  • Mavens

Mavens are people who can’t help sharing useful information and do so well on Twitter. And as it’s about goals, set yours too –  find and share one or two unique resources daily. Of course it can be more. It’s about the content, especially about fresh one. Subscribe to blogs and follow people whose insights will be fresh and unexpected.

Discussion – It’s All About It

“Grab a microphone”  and ask questions to start the discussion (statistics show that Friday afternoons are good for this!). “What song inspired you lately?” “What amazing app you used?” “What are your plans for the weekend?” instead of just mentioning that it’s going to be a great weather today, or you should download that.

Go ahead and debate. And don’t be afraid to ask for the opinion why something happened that or other way, especially in the business – you can get interesting answers and actionable insights, who knows?  These are the tweets that might generate the most conversation.

The Genesis Of A Tweet

Show Your Personality

If you’re using Twitter for business, please leave personal details aside, including your company blog or personal blog where you promote your posts and interests. I remember an annoying guy (who’s blog is actually worth checking), who tweeted “good morning”, his breakfast menu, and so on .

Your followers are not really interested in this kind of posts.

The Pareto Principle (or 80/20 rule) applies here as well.  An occasional tweet about your travel trouble or something funny you saw won’t do any harm (thus beware of thin ice!).

Show that you’re not a heartless machine and your followers will appreciate when you’ll make them smile.

If you tweet from these categories every day, you’ re on the right track building up a loyal and appreciative followers.

And What Is The Value Of Social Following?

Imbue Marketing came up with this infographic analyzing the value of social following, with the following key insights:

  • 47 percent of customers are somewhat more likely to purchase from
    a brand that they follow or Like
  • 63 percent of companies say social media has increased
    the effectiveness of their marketing
  • A share on Facebook is the most highly-prized action in social media,
    with a value of $14, ahead of a Facebook Like ($8),
    Twitter tweet ($5) and Twitter follow ($2)
  • Moreover, Facebook fans are cheaper to recruit via a promotional campaign,
    with an average cost per Like (ALWAYS the key metric,
    as opposed to straight CPC) of $1.07
  • Meanwhile, a cost per follower on Twitter
    is a somewhat heady $2.50-4.00

The Value of a Social Following [INFOGRAPHIC]

Which of other approaches do you find most useful and what would you recommend?


Sources:, Imbue, Radian6 blog,


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Martin Michalik
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Comments (9)

  • Igor Beuker 13/03/2012, 19:56

    Wow great insights and posts!!

    We need to hold back many brands that chase social channels like race dogs on steriods.

    We must be on twitter, must be.. We tell them: create a strategy, a fit to your brand and business objectives, make choices, create a content strategy that fits your brand, allocate people or hire the best of the best…

    Do most listen? A few ….

    How about other people?

  • Rudi de Groot 13/03/2012, 22:37

    As the research shows, it is more difficult to create money value from Twitter. I think you should consider Twitter and Facebook as different channels. Use Facebook as the engagement Channel and Twitter more as the news and realtime channel. So you can create value from Twitter, but not by selling on Twitter.

  • Vera Oliveira
    14/03/2012, 09:50

    Great article Martin, with great insights! Much more important than a channel are the thoughts behind it!

  • Aygin
    14/03/2012, 09:55

    Nice info.
    What I really like about Twitter is how my people you can reach with a good Retweet request. If it’s catchy enough for the target group the snowbal effect is amazing!

  • Rick Dauvillier 14/03/2012, 13:15

    Social Media isn’t like Chocolate. If I pour some chocolate on ice cream it will work, because both flavors brings out the best of both worlds. But if you pour it over a pen it doesn’t bring any extra’s to the table.

    I like your insights but I always have second thoughts on info-graphics with numbers like value per fan or like and tweet. A lot of businesses still bribe their target audiences to become fans and like something, in my opinion these interactions are worthless.


    • Igor Beuker 14/03/2012, 13:20

      Ouch Rick, you’re touching a painful point here.

      I do believe in a social bounce back indeed. All brands go through several social stages, we have seen that since 2007…

      Respect, friends and attention msut be earned, and hit and run “buying” fans and followers is only for short term bragging on the golf course: mine’s bigger than yours!

      In this article, unbder the infographic I shortly described the social stages we have seen brands go through:

      Hope that makes sense?


  • Rick Dauvillier
    14/03/2012, 18:02

    Thanks for the link! I understand that businesses don’t want to fully rely on social or new media immediatly, these things are an iterative process where brands and target audiences learn from each other.

    Stage one chasing channels should actually be creating a concept and strategy for new (social) media.That was what I was trying to say in my previous comment. Chocolate doesn’t taste good on everything, you have to think, tast, and maybe add an extra flavour to come up with something that works for your audience.

  • Peter 16/03/2012, 17:30

    Hi Martin,

    Great article.

    For the CMO it is all about cost vs. value (ROI).

    Do you already have similar value data about other channels like YouTube?