In today’s digital world, both established and startup brands must have an active and effective content and social presence that connects with the audience they are trying to reach. Regardless of your target prospects, focusing on and attracting brand promoters and sharers would be a wise endeavor. Though somewhat similar, there are powerful differences between “promoters” and “sharers” and it is important to understand them.

Let’s start of with the simple definitions:

Brand Promoters: Brand promoters are social active users who are extremely likely to recommend a brand or product to a friend or family member.

Brand Sharers: Sharers on the other hand, are users who simply post about good or bad brand experiences on social media.

Do you see the subtle, but distinct differences between these two fan types? Subtle, but powerful.

Promoter vs. Sharer Statistics:

The distinction between brand promoters and brand sharers widens even further when a study of their tendencies are examined more deeply. Here are some details that highlight their differences more clearly.

  • Social promoters are more likely than sharers to actively engage directly with brands.
  • Though 84% of social media users like/follow a brand/product on social, only 19% are brand promoters.
  • Brand promoters are more active than sharers.
  • 2/3 of promoters actively follow brands regularly, while only 50% of sharers do the same.
  • Nearly 60% of promoter’s friends regularly mentioned brands and products on social, vs. 47% of sharers.
  • Promoter’s social friends are more likely to trust brand recommendations on social (36%) than in person (27%).
  • 69% of promoters go directly to a brands website after hearing about it from their social friends.

Though it is incredibly important that brands have a diverse group of targeted followers that also consist of sharers AND brand promoters, focusing on promoters should be a priority. Promoters are unique in that they can be both direct influencers for a brand within social media, as well as more easily influenced BY their social media friends toward a brand. When you add that they are far more socially active than sharers, it becomes crystal clear that they can be a powerful force for any brand. The question becomes, how does a brand transform fans into promoters?

5 Steps To Fostering Brand Promoters

Just as with the rarity of a video “going viral” online, few social media promoters engage and actively promote a brand accidentally. A defined strategy to foster brand promoters is what transforms fans into powerful advocates. Moving away from simple action metrics such as likes and shares and focusing in on individual fans and real business measurements such as leads and traffic is a crucial shift you should focus on.

Here are five steps to fostering brand promoter relationships.

1) Identify – In order to foster promoter relationships, it is imperative that you identify those that are brand promoters. If you incorrectly identify numerous fans as promoters that are actually sharers, you will undoubtedly end up with far less bang for your buck. Brands should continually research to determine which of their fans have promoter tendencies and build lists to focus on those individuals.

2) Respond – There is one sure-fire way for brands to lose valuable promoters and that is to ignore them. When someone uses their reputation to advance your brand or product and you ignore their efforts, you can rest assured that you will be looking for a new brand promoter to replace them very soon.

People are similar to pets in that we can be easily trained what behavior we are supposed to have and when. If you reward your dog with love, affection or a treat when they complete a command properly, they will quickly learn to do the command over and over with ease. Likewise when a brand acknowledges their followers who promote their products, a human feels compelled to engage, share and promote the brand further.

3) Be Human – The more a brand interacts with promoters on a more human, genuine level, the more likely fans are to engage. The more fans engage with your brand, the more likely they are to advocate on your behalf. This is a natural, human trait that was well established before social media. Put meaningful content and responses back into your social media interactions and make real human connections with your fans.

4) Track – Measure and track your efforts with specific fans you have identified as promoters. Adjust your tactics as needed, but be sure that what you are doing is resulting in advocacy. If it isn’t, you have either incorrectly identified brand promoters or the methods you are using to foster relationships is off. Brand promotion by true brand promoters, WILL result in measurable business metrics beyond just likes and shares. You are looking for things like, clicks, leads, inquiries and conversions.

5) Engage – Effective social media will compel your target audience to engage YOU, however engagement outreach with identified brand promoters should be a priority. Using the lists you have created and are managing from step one, you should consistently be looking for opportunities to engage your brand promoters. Remember the phrase “out of sight, out of mind”? Consistently be in your brand promoters sight-line to remain top of mind with them.


We will wrap up this post with a very clear and critical warning. Both brand sharers and promoters are beneficial to a brand when you deal with them properly and they have great experiences to share with their connections. However, failing to meet their expectations can result in trouble. In fact, 71% of sharers and 60% of promoters have also expressed terrible brand experiences online.