Recently, I had a conversation with the CEO of a company employing 1,000 people. He asked me the question, “What is the value of 100,000 tweets?”My answer came in the form of a few follow up questions and a discussion. Here is the gist of that conversation:
100,000 tweets is a bit ambiguous. Is it 100K retweets of a single tweet? Is it 100,000 random tweets? If we are talking about 100K tweets that contain a similar call to action with the same link, then we are on to something. Imagine a scenario in which your message was so compelling that people not only clicked on your link, but they shared it with their Twitter followers by retweeting it.
This is how content can go viral. Even so, “viral” is in the eye of the beholder. For some, 100K may only be hitting a single, and for others it may be a home run in terms of total reach. The real value for companies is not just the reach calculation which contributes to awareness, but also the real-world effects of that reach.
The good news is that with the web, lotsof things can be tracked, with the most basic being click-throughs of a link embedded in a tweet. How many people clicked on a link? Depending on our own web site analytics, can we track what happened as a result of those click-throughs?
The data is all there, we just need to understand what we are looking for. Only then can we place the value on what we accomplished. So let’s get back to our strategy before we ask the question about the value of any amount of tweets. What are we trying to accomplish? Do we want leads? Awareness? New Customers? What?
Social media is the fastest growing part of companies’ marketing budgets, and requires the same attentive process around developing a strategy and defining expected outcomes. So ask the right questions, and prioritize your social media strategy over figuring out the value of a tweet, follow or like.