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The Net Promoter Score: Part 2 of the Inc. Plan Social Media Series

If you haven’t read Part 1 of the Inc. Plan Social media series, click here to read it now.

Net Promoter Score

At the end of the first part of our social media series, you listened to what was being said about your company on the social web for an overall positive or negative tone.  In Part 2, we’re going to look at how you can measure this customer experience and what you should do in each case.

To do this we’re going to use a concept called the Net Promoter Score.  This tool allows us to quantitatively measure the customer experience associated with your brand.

How is Net Promoter Score Calculated?


The Net Promoter Score is based on your company’s customer experience measured on a scale from 1 to 10.  To measure your Net Promoter Score, you need to survey a sample of your current customers with the question “How likely would you be to recommend our product/service to others?”  The answer to this question on a scale from 1 to 10 tells you the mentality of that particular customer towards your brand.

Customers that respond from 1 to 6 on this scale are going to be called “detractors” because they are unlikely to promote your product or service and may even spread negative feedback.  Those who respond 7 or 8 are called “passives” because, although they may use and enjoy your product, they are not likely to be actively promoting your brand.  Customers who respond 9 or 10 are your “promoters” and are very likely to be participating in social media positively for your brand.

To calculate your net promoter score, calculate the percentage of your sample who responded 9 or 10 (promoters) minus those who responded 1 through 6 (detractors).  For example, if your sample consisted of 60% promoters, 20% passives, and 20% detractors, your Net Promoter Score would be 60%-20% or 40%.

How Should this Score Affect your Approach to Social Media?


The Net Promoter Score measures by what percentage your promoters outnumber your detractors.  To understand why this concept is so important in social media, we must highlight a key concept of social media marketing: Transparency.  To succeed in the social media realm, your company must relinquish control to the consumers and practice complete transparency.  To see what happens when a company tries to trick consumers online, just visit  As you can see, failure to maintain this transparency can result in can be a PR nightmare for your company, big or small.

One key factor to ensure that you are acting with complete transparency is to allow any consumer to say anything they want about your brand at any time.  This means that even on your own website, you should always avoid removing or hiding any negative feedback.   This is why the net promoter concept is so important for social media.

Your detractors will be the ones posting the negative comments about your brand, and the promoters will be the ones defending your brand or directly promoting it.  Therefore, it is important to make sure that your promoters outnumber your detractors if you’re going to be reaching out to new customers through social media, also known as an outreach campaign.

Net Promoter Score: Listening CampaignIf your company’s Net Promoter Score is around 20% or higher, an outreach campaign is ideal, as the majority of the feedback is going to be positive with only a small amount of negative feedback.  If your Net Promoter Score is lower than 20%, then there is likely a gap between the promises made through your marketing and the product delivered through operations, giving many customers a negative experience.  In this case, it may benefit your company to execute a listening and responding strategy on social media to determine where your product is coming up short, and improve customer service.

In the next part of the Inc. Plan Social Media Series, we will look further into the outreach social media strategy and identify the types of social media elements available to you.

For more information about the Net Promoter Score, click here.


The Inc. Plan Social Media Series:

Part 1: Your First Steps into Social Media

Part 2: The Net Promoter Score

Part 3: What’s Your Platform? An Introduction to the Social Media Elements

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1 Comment

Surveys on Social Media Customer Experience | Social Customer Care 08-04-2013, 22:24

[...] to Grow) claims general NPS responses can be used for growth prediction. And Christopher Wilson (The Net Promoter Score: Part 2 of the Inc. Plan Social Media Series) talks about how to glean NPS from social media. He touches on a point that I think we’re all [...]


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