Exploring the Social Currency Index: The Underused Twitter List


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Recently, Insightpool  released a study that looked into how the 500 fastest-growing companies in America, the Inc 500, were leveraging their social media. Specifically, how are these companies using their social currency on Twitter? Social currency is defined as a touchpoint between the brand and an individual consumer over social media, and in terms of Twitter, include actions such as following someone, retweeting them, favoriting a tweet, or adding a user to a list with a complimentary title. These actions act as a public compliment and leave an impression that lasts longer than soliciting a follow.

For instance, if I represent a company selling athletic footware, I might want to follow users who tweet about shoes because that user interprets that as a compliment and is thus more likely to remember my company. Along the same lines, favoriting or retweeting someone else’s words sends the subtle message that your company approves and wants to spread their words, which in itself is a memorable statement. And as an added bonus? These touchpoints are effectively free.

That’s one of the reasons it came as such a surprise that the fastest growing companies are not leveraging Twitter nearly as much as expected. In fact, only 68% of the companies have a Twitter account, and only 10% are favoriting others’ tweets 30 times or more a month. Only 69% follow more than 1000 users, instead focusing on a less memorable measure, getting followers. These represent lost opportunities to connect with potential customers.

All of the social touchpoints are underused, but the most underused one is this: complimentary Twitter lists. This is true of not only the Inc 500 (of which only around a sixth even had one list) but also the Fortune 500, which shows that companies overall need to raise their awareness of the utility of lists. The idea behind this touchpoint is this: adding a user onto a list singles them out as someone worth listening to, such that you would put them in a category with other bright minds. It’s saying “I want to make sure I don’t miss anything you say.” It’s a flattery, but it’s effective — and helps you keep tabs on these people.

Currently, very few Inc. 500 companies are using lists in a way that benefit their social currency. One common way of using lists that doesn’t benefit social currency is keeping a list of all the attendees of a conference. These lists, while helping to keep you organized, do nothing to endear your brand to the people because the list title includes no praise for its members. It says only that they attended a conference. A list like this, which is mainly for organization, might as well be private. This leads us to a good rule of thumb: if the list can be private, it’s not helping your social currency.

A complimentary Twitter list by Altitude Digital

Instead, companies need to make sure that for each subject they are invested or interested in, they have a list of thought leaders on the subject. This is a great way to subtly notify these leaders that you are interested in them, and a way to raise awareness in people who are relevant to your field. We hope that the results of the next social currency index will show that companies are taking note and leveraging Twitter to its full potential!

To read the full study, visit the Inc 500 Social Currency Index.

To read more on social currency index, check out the Fortune 500 Social Currency Index or Exploring the Social Currency Index: Understanding the Network Effect.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Anqi Cong
Anqi Cong is a student at Carnegie Mellon University studying Business Administration with a minor in Computer Science. She is a content marketer at Insightpool, a company that allows brands to deliver "sincerity at scale" using its social engagement automation software. Anqi enjoys social media, coding up video games, writing, and dry humor.


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