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June 14, 2013

The True Value of Tweeting

By Peter B. Counter, TMCnet Contributing Writer

There are more channels through which advertising and marketing can be effectively delivered today than there have ever been, and it’s all thanks to the rise of social networking. Sure, we’re still stuck getting telemarketing calls during dinner time asking us to subscribe to our local symphony or theatre season, and our mailboxes still fill up with more direct mail than anything of personal relevance (especially since bills and greeting cards have been electronic since the mid-nineties), but marketers are aware that the target demographics live on the Internet more than in the real world these days. If you aren’t advertising on Twitter (News - Alert) and Facebook then you are missing out. It’s common knowledge and surprisingly, it’s being exaggerated.

According to SumAll, a marketing analytics company that tracks the value of all sorts of advertising through social media platforms such as Tumblr, Facebook (News - Alert), Twitter, SEOmoz, and Foursquare, a Tweet is not worth very much revenue. The fact is, a single Tweet can generate $25.62 of revenue on average, with diminishing returns on retweets which are worth $20.37, likely because they are less targeted. It might not sound bad, but consider that many companies have dedicated social networking departments that are only bringing in $30 to $50 per day and then you’ll see why Twitter might not be the best ad space.

But isn’t inbound marketing the ultimate ad-based revenue generating solution? It certainly sounds better from a customer standpoint. Being hassled by a door to door salesman, attempting to sell you knives from a TV commercial you’ve never seen is not only inconvenient and untargeted, but completely antiquated whereas logging onto Twitter and seeing a promotion for knives in your feed is much more passive and therefore inviting.

The issue at hand seems to be that companies simply have too much choice when it comes to social media and push media through all channels at once. SumAll is suggesting that a more targeted approach should be taken for the socially connected company. If Instagram advertising can yield better results (and it does, SumAll reporting Instagram followers at ten times the value of a Twitter follower) then perhaps more time, focus and money should be put into developing a presence dependent on pictures of your product.

Dane Atkinson, CEO of SumAll says, “The real benefit is to be able to understand the value equation and how you spend your social energy.”

It makes sense. Users of social media have no trouble understanding that each social media platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, and as they all grow older and the needs of their users become more streamlined it stands to reason that marketers should look at the networks similarly. After all, perhaps Twitter just isn’t the right channel, since 80 percent of US social network users prefer to connect to brands through Facebook.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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