It can be tough to see the immediate value of social media mentions, but the notion that tweets and other social media posts lack real-world value is wrong.
For Bos Ice Tea, a tweet is worth at least the cost of a free drink. In a campaign, thirsty smartphone users standing near a Bos vending machine could tweet a specific hashtag for a free tea.
Meanwhile, in 2010, Toyota rewarded customers who tweeted about their recent purchases with a $500 debit card.
These campaigns bought Twitter visibility with the cost of the reward. Visibility has real-world value. Some social media studies go much further, assigning dollars-and-cents values to social media mentions.
So, how much is a tweet worth? Take a look at these theories:
A 2011 study by Chompon calculated the value of a tweet at $5 and the value of a follower at $2. Chompon notes that it believes the true value of a follower is higher because it could not account for long-term value in the study.