Posted July 20, 2009 8:28 am by with 8 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

twitter-birdWhen it comes to Internet marketing and social media marketing one of the most important metrics of success is the return on investment (ROI). Everyone demands to see something that measures this although most can’t agree on just how to accomplish that. Twitter is one outlet that people are trying to measure as to just how much value do their efforts get on the micro-blogging service. Well, while the rest of the world scratches its head on putting a number to the value of its efforts, Twitter is practically falling over itself with free publicity that has street value that would make any PR person’s head swim.

AdAge reports that news monitoring service VMS values the amount of publicity that Twitter has received over the past 30 days (the actual time period is a bit vague) at an astonishing $48 million. That’s the value of media mentions and buzz that Twitter has not paid for but because everyone wants to talk about it and use it including CNN and Fox News.

Twitter received almost 3 billion impressions — 2.73 billion, to be exact — in the past month, a time period that doesn’t even include the frenzied weeks in April in which Oprah and Ellen weighed in on the micro-blogging service. TV contributed to 57% of the PR value, newspapers 37% and magazines 5%. Incidentally, Fox News bested CNN in terms of total PR value delivered by its Twitter mentions, although CNN dropped the name more often.

These numbers could even be much larger since VMS does not monitor the coverage given by smaller newspapers. Even if you look at the numbers with a skeptical eye and decide they may be overstated (which I am not saying they are so please relax) most companies would take 10 % of that number as a value for free press in any given 30 day period.

To give some perspective the supposed value of the media coverage for bing only hits the $573,834 mark in the same period. The real rub for Microsoft is that the launch of bing is being supported with around $100 million in advertising. Twitter is even getting more value than Google these days which is really a feat in and of itself.

So once again Twitter hits a media landmark but there is some sense that the media coverage is outpacing the real life impact of the service.

Twitter’s unique visitors in June totaled almost 21 million as it grew 14% over May traffic. In May it grew 7%, a slowdown from the furious growth the site experienced in January through April, according to Nielsen Online.

It’s growing for sure but will the buzz continue to grow? History says that other social media outlets like Facebook and LinkedIn all had their version of a spike in media attention but it eventually leveled off into reality. I would like to see the value of what Facebook generates since much of its news as of late has been about improvements rather than just Internet chatter.

So how do you see the buzz around Twitter playing out? Will it take drama like the great document leak of 2009 for people to pay attention or will Twitter be so relevant that people will just have to talk about it – in 140 characters or less of course.

  • Daniel

    ROI measurement is still not really accomplished in most of the social media. One recent attempt to standardize this is the beta of commentino where they give analytics on bits of information like comments and twitter ot forums.
    This is of course, “for the rest of us”, twitter does not need it and have an unbelievable buzz. Link to commentino –

  • AdAge has just provided statistics to support what everyone knew – Twitter is the “it” thing right now. The impressions are impressive, but companies should consider the amount of effort involved in creating a regular stream of Tweets and building a base of truly interested followers. Is it worthwhile for everyone? Read more at

  • why is no one even questioning how these numbers are derived. On what scientific basis is VMS deciding this value. These numbers are based on the premise of “Ad Value Equivalency” which has been widely rejected as a completely erroneous calculation. Why are respected members of the community like yourself simply accepting these mythical calculations without the slight hesitation or question?

  • @ Katie – I question studies and statistics all the time. Sometimes though you just go with the flow and let smart folks like yourself point out the flaws. As for anything being widely rejected at this point there is so little history to any of this measuring and analysis that it will take the gut feel and business acumen of Internet marketers to decide whether they should act or not on any findings. If we take ANY statistics from ANYONE at face value we expose ourselves for sure.

    Thanks for stopping by and enlightening us.

    Frank Reed’s last blog post..Good Sales Help is VERY Hard to Find

  • Twitter is growing and that’s a fact. Every new station, every channel, every major program, everyone talks about it. It’s how they improve on the service in the near future and how many adopters stick around that will make a difference.

    twitrounds’s last blog post..Virgo Twitter Background

  • areas include: Read more « Deepak’s Project Finish […

    boyama oyunları’s last blog post..Ambulans Boyama

  • Great post. It’s amazing to me how twitter, which started as nothing more than a micro-blogging site is now dominating not only the media but one on one conversations I’m having with my blog readers and web site visitors. People are hungry for information about Twitter. I recently joined and found dozens of others in my industry that I now follow. I’m learning more each day and can honestly say that Twitter is addictive. I guess that’s why the membership continues to grow and so does the media’s interest in this phenomenon.

  • It’s no question that Twitter has really made it big. Everyone is talking about it. From celebrities to politicians, to businessmen and to us normal folk. Though numbers don’t count unless Twitter improves its system and makes it even more enjoyable to their public.

    Marcy’s last blog post..Recession-Proof your income with Affiliate Marketing