Adweek claims the value of a “fan” or “follower” on social media sites is worth $3.60. That seems like a pretty high number to me. The study was done by Virtue on its large corporate customers that have millions of fans like AT&T, Ford, Best Buy and MTV.
Does this data apply to political campaigns with tens of thousands of fans or normal social media users with fans/friends numbering in the hundreds or thousands? I think the number is substantial less.
A good bench mark for the average social media user is the suggested price Ad.ly provides for you to rent out your twitter feed one tweet at a time, know as becoming a “publisher”and sending out “sponsored” tweets. On my personal twitter account, @JonMcClellan, I have 1,290 followers and Ad.ly claims interested parties would pay me $1.42 per tweet to send out a sponsored tweet to my followers. On this blogs twitter account, @RightSideAusitn, there are 941 followers that Ad.ly claims could net me $1.04 per sponsored tweet.
From that data (Keep in mind this is a very very small sample) I think it is reasonable to say that for a social media user similar to myself with hundreds or thousands of fans with an average demographic break down of fans (male, female, active, inactive, spammers, etc) every 1,ooo fans is worth about $1.00. This number is substantial lower than the $3.60 per fan sum that Adweek claims is on target for its corporate clients.