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Tweet More and You'll Get More Followers. Duh!

Since 2007, the number of tweets has grown from 5000 per day to 50 million per day. What's the value of those tweets? For Dell, about $1 million in sales. For other companies, it's a customer service channel. But what about individuals? How effective of a marketing tool is Twitter?

In an attempt to answer this question, Damon Cortesi, a serial entrepreneur now launching PR software firm Untitled Startup, ran a few numbers.

During a Twitter-based panel event hosted by small business CRM firm BatchBook on Tuesday night, Cortesi monitored participants and their activity. He used a site he created earlier this year called RowFeeder to track tweets and pinpoint the tweeter's (Twitterer's?) number of followers at that point. He observed that with every new tweet from that individual, his or her follower base grew.

RowFeeder is a simple Google hack involving Google spreadsheets, set up to capture tweets in real time and monitor tweets on a specific topic, who they're from, when they were posted, where that person is located, and how many followers they had at that moment.

For the BatchBook event, Cortesi tracked the impact of those who piped up during the discussion and found that, for example, an individual who tweeted 20 times during the discussion added 20 followers, and another who tweeted 60 times added 17 new followers. As he notes, it begins to fall off after a certain number of tweets.

"At 50 tweets or so, you've created enough value (or noise?) that you're not going to reach any more people," he writes.

Cortesi didn't look at the content of the tweets, but simply focused on the correlation between the number of tweets and new followers.

Last year, Sysomos, a Canadian social media analytics company, looked at the flip side of this concept--the correlation between the number of tweets per day and the number of followers an individual had. Among its conclusions, the firm found that Twitterers with 800 to 1000 followers were likely to post, on average, 2.8 to 6.4 times per day.

Cortesi doesn't claim to be in league with Sysomos, but is "just a lovable supernerd with a thing for visualizing data."