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Some calculations wrt early Twitter traffic
2014-06-01: I'm just working on the initial Twitter marketing for the Freelance Time Manager.
During May it went from 121 followers to 277 (+156, average # of followers in the month = 121 + 156/2 = 199), and I tweeted 25 times, so that's 25 x 199 = 4,975 opportunities to see (ots).
I got 14 click throughs (I know because I see them in Google Analytics), so on average I need 4975/14 = 355 ots to generate a clickthrough.
I've not sold anything yet, but I'm working on, say, 200 website visits turning into 1 sale. Since I didn't make a sale in May, let's try to make 1 sale in June and go from there.
So to get 200 website visits from Twitter, I'll need to generate 200 x 355 ots = 71,071.
If I carry on growing followers at the same rate, I'll end up with an average of 277 + 156/2 = 355 followers in June (ooh look, same as #ots, that's confusing). I will therefore need to tweet 71,071 / 355 = 200 times to get my 200 website visitors if all things stay equal. About 6 times a day.
Of course, those figures are all up for being optimised. My clickthrough rates for tweets should rise as I monitor them and spot (and do more of):
  • what sort of tweets spur engagement
  • what times of the day get the best clickthrough
  • which days of the week are best
  • what subjects are people most likely to engage with
So, once the Twitter machine is well oiled, with luck that "number of ots I need to generate a click" should come down, and also with luck the web page conversion should improve too so I need fewer than 200 visitors to make a sale (but I'll need traffic in order to work on that).
I'm reading Nail It then Scale It: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Creating and Managing Breakthrough Innovation by Nathan Furr atm, and at first blush it's maybe going to say that entrepreneurs with a strong, fixed vision tend to fail, whereas entrepreneurs who work with their market and listen hard succeed. Social media fulfils much of the listening function, so hopefully I'll gain some engagement that will influence my project. I've set out a strong vision and set myself a "I'm going to build this for me, whether you want it or not" stance which clearly is great for me but probably does not a successful business make. I would certainly hope to be flexible once the engagement gets going, but anyway, it really is working well for me atm and hopefully that will generate real-life use stories that will help engage people.
In terms of "is it all worth it for a 12p sale", no, obviously not at this stage. But, say the account keeps growing at 155 followers a month, in a year I'll have 2,149 followers. If I continue to tweet at 6/day, I'll be creating at that point 399,714 ots, leading to (at worst) 1,125 clicks, and if 1:200 of those buys, I'll have 6 sales a month from Twitter. By that time if I only sell through Twitter, the price will be about £5.40 per year. Whoop! But hey, I'm around for a while yet, this is a long-term project.
Anyway, I thought I'd share those Twitter numbers with you, just fyi.

By John Allsopp
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