Last month, we released an interactive desktop example to illustrate the impact that a single follower can have on your business. Now, a recent study further supports that illustration and offers new insights about the value of Twitter followers for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

We partnered with research firm DB5 to survey 1,000 active U.S. Twitter users who currently follow SMBs. We think the results, along with previous research, help paint a more complete picture of how followers can benefit SMBs.

Our key findings are included below, and you can also download the full white paper here.

Followers develop a higher affinity towards your business.
When someone follows you on Twitter, you gain an opportunity to interact with that person over time. As followers learn more about your business’s unique personality, products, and services through your Tweets, they begin to think about you differently - in fact, 73% of respondents say they feel more positive about an SMB after they follow that business and read its Tweets. This could explain why they are more likely to take action on information shared via Twitter than from other, more traditional channels.

Followers impact the top line for your business.
Your follower base has purchased from you in the past and they intend to purchase from you in the future. 60% of respondents say they’ve made a purchase from an SMB based on something they saw on Twitter and 86% say they plan to purchase in the future. Most importantly, 43% of respondents plan to make multiple purchases from SMBs they follow on Twitter.

What do these purchases include? Everything from kitchen products to pet services, from household furniture to professional services - demonstrating that followers can drive sales for businesses across multiple industries and with various buying cycles.

Followers are long-term customers.
It’s common for followers of SMBs to stay followers, possibly because they’ve developed an affinity towards those businesses. Two-thirds (66%) of respondents have been following their favorite SMBs for at least six months and 56% have never unfollowed an SMB. This suggests that followers have the potential to become long-term customers since we know they develop an affinity towards your business over time and are likely to purchase from you.

For more follower insights and the full study findings, download our research white paper.