How much is a Twitter follow worth?

Published June 10, 2017   Posted in Guest Posts

Happy weekend, all! So, how much is a Twitter follow worth? Ever wonder how much the average sponsored Tweet costs? I’ve got a guest post today from Brian Groener from Get Money, Got Money for all you money-lovers out there.

Just over a decade ago, a kid named Mark dropped out of Harvard and developed a site for other college kids to interact on called Facebook. In 2017, that site now has over 1 billion users and has made a few people very wealthy. As is often the case, money and copycats follow in quick succession of a major hit. Right around the time Facebook became mainstream, Twitter and Instagram were born. Celebrity interaction, real-time updates, and photo filters propelled these social media platforms into stardom right alongside Facebook. Nowhere on Earth are so many people congregated so closely to each other at the same time – digital or otherwise.

Rise of the New Age

The early adopters – those who saw value in online communities – were naturally those who have been exposed to the internet since their childhood. They dipped their toes in the water with sites like Myspace (ha!) but this was a whole new stratosphere. It became increasingly easy to take and share pictures with the phone in your pocket, it allowed you to know what your friends were up to even if you lived far away, and most importantly it made sharing your lunch with the world cool.

One of the most coveted demographics in the world for advertisers is 18-34-year-olds (specifically males). Social media had this demographic well covered. In fact, it was almost exclusively made for that particular audience – however it was not necessarily made with this specific advertising purpose in mind.

Once companies realized they too could jump onto these platforms to say and share what they wanted, a new era was born. With each new registration, the individual’s information was collected and could be later used to target ads specifically for that person. Gone are the days of mass advertising (to anyone who will pay attention) and in are the days of targeted marketing. Selling has become more advanced, more subtle (think about all the athletes, models, and influencers), and quite simply more capable than ever.

Influencers

That word – Influencers – has really only come about within the past 5 or 6 years. If someone asked you in 2000 for an example of an influencer you’d probably be confused. Or think of someone like MLK or Ghandi. They were certainly influential, but not influencers in today’s sense of the word. Today, an influencer is anyone with an online presence and a following of tens of thousands (or more) people. An influencer today would be someone like Lebron James, or in the world of personal finance, Mr. Money Mustache.

They are so valuable because they have what advertisers crave and work so hard for; a dedicated audience, mutual trust, and an adoration for the content being produced. So what do advertisers do with all things amazing and pure? They blasted it to hell with ads. That description might be a bit abrasive but it’s fairly accurate. Some are more subtle while others are blatantly obvious, but either way, they have found their way onto Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Of course, not everyone on these platforms is an influencer. Typically it’s the users in the top 5% or so of audience size which typically ranges in the hundreds of thousands to the millions. But if you work hard and put out enough content, anyone can control a hugely popular account, not just athletes, and celebrities. Upon reaching a certain size following it’s possible for companies to reach out to you or vice versa but money may start to creep into the picture. In fact, there are dedicated sites that allow users with a certain number of followers to sign up. They are sent ads to tweet out or share and are compensated accordingly. How much? Well isn’t that the million dollar question. The honest answer?

It depends.

It depends on what platform we’re talking (Instagram seems to be worth a little more to advertisers than Twitter for example), when the post goes up, how many followers you have, the type of content you put out (is it sports related? beauty related?), and ultimately the depth of the pockets of the companies trying to get their message out there.

Let’s talk…Pennies?

On average, sponsored tweets will pay approximately 0.0033 cents per follower (that’s ONE-THIRD of a penny) and Instagram could be anywhere from 0.0025-0.005 cents per follower. This may sound insignificant, and for the majority of people with an audience of less than 10,000 it is, but
that changes pretty quickly with some of the larger accounts. For example, a Twitter account with 100,000 followers could generate $333 for a single tweet. For a single Instagram post with 3 Million followers, you’re looking at getting paid somewhere around $9000-$10,000. One sponsored post on that Instagram account per month and you could be pulling in over $120,000 per year. But to bring you back to Earth for a second, 3 Million followers is typically reserved for movie stars and the best athletes in the world, not an average Joe.

Make Your Own

On the other hand, we all have opinions and stuff we’re passionate about, and we all have the capability of creating a website or Instagram account – meaning, we all possess the capability of growing and cultivating an audience of our own. It just might be in the tens of thousands (if you’re good and really commit) instead of the millions. Now imagine for a second that instead of advertising someone else’s product you advertised one of your own? Maybe it’s a book you wrote, or a documentary you produced. You then give your followers an exclusive deal and charge $10 a pop. Out of 100,000 with a success rate of 1% you’re looking at 1,000 people who buy in. You’ve just made $10,000 instead of the $333 you would have made from a sponsored tweet for some random company.

Moving Forward

So how do you get to 100,000 followers or more? The answer once again isn’t all that simple. Maybe you get something to go viral. Maybe you get people to spread the word for you. Or more likely, you work really hard over a long time and produce great content people want to check out and share with others. But regardless of how you get there, social media is here to stay and can be a huge opportunity for people who know how to really take advantage of all it has to offer.

This article was written by Brian, the author of Get Money, Got Money, who is a recent college graduate currently working as an engineer near Philadelphia. He is on a mission to retire early and help people with their financial situation so that they can live happier and be free to do what they love.

We track our net worth using Personal Capital



Comments

8 responses to “How much is a Twitter follow worth?”

  1. Interesting, I’d never really thought about social media as anything more then a way to connect with my readers and perhaps drive some traffic to the blog. It’s easy to forget some larger social media folks utilize the media independently to make money. Not something I personally would do but it’s interesting to read about.

  2. brian503 says:

    Reaching those type of number for the average Joe takes a lot of work. Like full time job type of work. Sow and steady has been my approach, not making any money, but driving a bit of traffic and engagement a my blog.

  3. Wow I had heard that celebrities get paid but didn’t realize the rates behind it. I recently read one actress said she made more from social media than acting. Crazy how quickly the world has changed in a span of 10 years.

  4. Physician on FIRE says:

    I don’t monetize Twitter at all, at least not directly. But I do my best to attract followers that get the most out of my content. I tend to follow doctors that follow me and other personal finance bloggers, doctors who follow doctors, bloggers whose posts I enjoy, and bloggers who follow me.

    It feels kinda dirty following random people, at least it did at first, but then I realized Twitter is nothing like my personal facebook profile — it’s used in a very different way. Since I changed my attitude, I’ve embraced Twitter more.

    The benefit I see from engagement (beyond the social aspect of the interactions) are increased site traffic and new fans.

    Cheers!
    -PoF

    • DadsDollarsDebts says:

      Agreed. I am not at a place to monetize followers and tweeting out an ad feels weird. Still I am trying to grow my account because it is an easy way to have lots of people see my posts quickly. Maybe instagram should be my next stop…I have not really worked on growing that.

  5. TSR –

    Great post, and was curious about all of this myself. We are approaching, surprisingly, 7K in twitter followers and love the community/news on there. We do have goals to continue to expand our presence on there – with attempts to get to 10k by end of the year (as we gain a few hundred new followers each and every month). Very interesting and I like the promotion of your own products there, such as your e-Book. You can even do promotions – at the Xth follower number you can receive a free copy of some sort. I dig it.

    -Lanny

  6. Oh man that’s crazy. I perv on pretty girls and boys (because I’m young and vain) and they have 100K+ followers with just floods of selfies and body shots. Mmm am I in the wrong business?! Haha

  7. I’m ashamed to say I wasn’t even aware how people were monetizing their twitter accounts until very recently. I know the Kim Kardashian types make ridiculous amounts of money on social media but for average joe schmoes like myself, it’s definitely a challenge to gain an audience. Thanks for the article, there’s some good info in there for a starting point.

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