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Who is worth more: a Twitter, Yelp or Facebook user?

With billions of dollars being thrown around the social media space, how much is each user or piece of content actually worth to the companies proportionate to their value? Businesses struggling to keep up in the space should be more specific in measuring ROI.

Comparing the value of social media users

As companies scramble to measure their social media efforts, new social networks emerge every quarter, forcing businesses to make decisions as to where they will or will not have a digital presence. Photo sharing sites take up effort, as do blogs, Twitter accounts, Facebook Pages, Pinterest boards, Foursquare accounts and the like. Decision makers are looking for legitimate ways to justify why the company is spending time and money on each branding effort on each social network.

Based on the estimated value of the following social networks, Backupify has estimated that accounting for the number of users each network has, each user is worth the following:

  1. Path – estimated value of $25 million, so $12.50 per user
  2. Yelp – estimated value of $1.4 billion, so $21.21 per user
  3. Pinterest – estimated value of $500 million, so $28.09 per user
  4. Foursquare – estimated value of $600 million, so $40.00 per user
  5. Twitter – estimated value of $10 billion, so $71.43 per user
  6. LinkedIn – estimated value of $9.61 billion, so $104.46 per user
  7. Facebook – estimated value of $100 billion, so $118.34 per user

Some of these numbers seem a bit off to us, but let’s go with this and focus on the point that a user is worth more or less, depending on the size of the community of each social network as proportionate to their estimated value.

The value of social media content

Backupify broke down what a user is worth to each social network, but they also divided each company’s revenue by content to reveal what they call the “Social Currency Exchange,” or the cost of each piece of content, for example, how much a single tweet is worth, asking the question, how many pieces of content does it take to make $10?

While this analysis pertains to what a user is worth and what a piece of content is worth to each of the social networks, it is a similar metric companies should be using as they closely track the results of their social media efforts. Are you measuring your brand’s efforts in a detailed enough way that you are aware of how much it actually costs (in time or money) for your company to obtain a new Facebook fan or to get someone to retweet you? It is time to start measuring results as more than just hits to a website because you might be putting time into an expensive Facebook effort when you could be pushing Yelp and getting much better ROI.

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The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.



  1. Matthew

    April 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    This is a great post because it reminds us that we have to continually measure our social media efforts and spend more or less time, money, and resources in each social media channel we’re involved in based on what we find is or is not working.

  2. Real Estate Calgary

    April 10, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    From my experience engaging a potential client on Twitter has been much more successful than Facebook. I haven’t used Yelp (yet) so I can’t offer any feedback on that site.

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