For a brand, partnering with an athlete or influencer can be very rewarding, but there is always some risk involved as they will be representing your brand to their followers. How they present your brand needs to feel authentic rather than promotional. Their behavior and comments affect how your brand will be perceived even when they are not actively promoting it. Here are some best practices that brand ambassadors should follow to effectively promote their sponsor brands on social media. 

Know Your Audience

In order to keep their audience engaged, brand ambassadors need to know the interests and demographics of their audience. Where are they from, what do they like, and how do they think are some important questions in understanding how to best drive audience engagement on social media. Hookit’s Audience Analysis tool, available as part of the Hookit platform and Pro Account, is an essential way that you and your brand ambassador can answer these questions and more.

Hookit’s Audience Analysis tool allows both the brand and their ambassador to gain a greater understanding of who they are marketing towards. This is not the demographics tools of the past – Hookit’s dashboard allows you to look at common groupings like gender and ethnicity, as well as deeper audience metrics such as age, salary, country of origin, hashtags, mentions, languages, interests, and much more.

Hookit's Audience analysis tool
Hookit’s Audience analysis tool is useful to understand who to market to

You can compare two athletes or groups of athletes to see how their audiences differ and which ones overlap with your brand’s target consumer. For example, the chart above compares the audience groups of two athletes. From this, we can infer that Group 1’s audience is predominantly made up of male fans who have a neutral sentiment towards the athlete. Also, the athlete has a mix of followers across all ethnicities and a major portion of the audience have salaries in the low-medium and high range. Group 2 is also made up of a higher number of male fans with a neutral sentiment, but they are predominantly white with a wide range of salary distribution. This deep dive into audience demographics helps understand your audiences, as well as help identify potential sponsored entities who appeal to audiences you want to reach. 

Clarity, Quality, and Quantity are Key

Clarity: When your brand ambassador makes sponsored posts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media platform, it is imperative that they remember a few key points to best support your brand. Logos, for instance, are one of the most important parts of posts about your brand. The logo should be visible, and ideally should not be accompanied by any other brand’s logo. 

Quality: Another key part of a post is a clearly legible logo. If your brand’s logo is so fuzzy that the promoter’s audience can barely comprehend it, it adds no value to your brand. Clarity in social media posts is important for a number of reasons. For one, it makes the ambassador look more professional to have high-quality images, a level of professionalism that carries over positively for your brand. Additionally, clear images combined with text mentions of your brand take away any doubt that the ambassador likes and promotes your brand and supports your mission. 

Quantity: When considering the quantity of posts on social media, the more often the promoter posts for your brand and keeps their audience engaged, the better it serves the brand’s goals. While posting dozens of posts a day is great, you need to keep in mind the quality as well as quantity. People are less likely to respond to an over saturation of promotional posts. It is important to keep a good balance, and make sure your promoter is paying attention to what type of posts get engagement and pleases their audience. However, that varies widely between ambassadors and audiences, so testing how much works for your brand is highly recommended.

Check Your Score / Promote Effectively

With Hookit at your fingertips, it is easy to make sure your promoters are effective in their social media promotions. Hookit’s Promotional Effectiveness Score (PE score) is a composite score out of 100 that gives you a grade based on five important sponsorship metrics. It does not use follower counts so the score focuses on how well that person/team/league is at promoting a brand regardless of social media followers. With this, it is easy to keep track of your ambassador’s effectiveness in promoting your brand as well as understand where improvement is needed. The PE score is based on: 

  1. Engagement – The number of interactions and views on branded posts vs non-branded posts.
  2. Promoted Posts – The ratio of branded posts vs non-branded posts.
  3. Promotion Quality – Promotion quality score based on the Hookit Valuation Model.
  4. Share of Voice – The number of brands mentioned in promoted posts. More the number of brands in a post, the less the score.
  5. And Frequency – How regularly is branded content posted by the promoter.

Below are some examples of the PE score in practice. 

A note on terminology – Average PE score for an athlete is a combined average score based on all brands that sponsor the athlete. All PE scores are based on the athlete’s branded posts on their social media channels over the past 90 days.

The Good, The Better, The Best

Good: Starting at the “good”, we have athletes such as Tom Brady with an average PE score of 73 and Lebron James with a PE score of 78.  On taking a closer look at Tom Brady’s social posts, it can be seen that there are many avenues for improvement. While his promoted post and frequency scores are perfect, his engagement score and share of voice score are lower at 44 and 40 respectively.

PE score: Tom Brady
Data from hookit

The low engagement score can be attributed to a lower amount of interactions on his branded posts compared to his non-branded ones, despite having a lot of promoted posts. Similarly, his share of voice score is the lowest, meaning that, despite posting often, his posts tend to be cluttered with other brands featured in the same post.

Better: For the “better”, we can look at professional golfer Tiger Woods who has a PE score of 84, eleven points higher than Brady. He, unlike Brady, has no issue with engagement on branded posts, scoring a perfect 100.

PE Score: Tiger Woods
Data from hookit

Tiger Woods, like Brady, struggles with share of voice. Too many other brands crowd his posts, so each individual brand does not get their own space. He would score higher if he separates out his posts and only had one brand per promoted post. This is a good example of how one poor score can significantly drop a promoter’s score – Tiger Woods has three perfect scores, but as each score is equally important, his low share of voice affects him negatively.

Best: The “best” example for a brand ambassador goes to pro surfer Bianca Buitendag with a PE score of 98. She is the unicorn of the group, the promoter every brand would want. She has little she needs to improve upon and is a great example for brands and promoters to understand how to be effective in social media promotion. She has great engagement with her social media followers and posts often about her sponsor brands, earning perfect scores for engagement, post proportion  and frequency. In this video post for Roxy, her most often posted about brand, she showcases their collection along with correct use of the brand hashtag “#POPSurf”.

PE Score: Bianca Buitendag
Data from hookit

She scores just below perfect for promotion quality and share of voice, due to mentions of multiple sponsor brands in a single post.  For example, in this image, she tags both her sponsors Roxy and SWOX (a sun protection brand), sharing her post between the two brands. The Roxy logo is also visible on her surfboard in the foreground. Although both brand categories (sun protection and swimwear) are complementary and not competitive, posting about them in different posts would lead to better share of voice scores.

Wrap Up

Sharing a few of these best practices with your brand ambassadors can have a significant impact on your sponsorship ROI. By making your brand ambassadors better, you are amplifying your brand megaphone, engaging audiences in new ways and driving brand preferences. Curious about how to get the most out of your ambassador program?  Reach out to us at

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