Difference between Followers & Fans

I've come across many articles that interchange the words 'followers' and 'fans' when referring to target audiences - assuming that they contain the same meaning. I am here to assure you - they do not! In fact, one is wholly dependent on the future of your brand, while one simply is there for decoration.

Yup #FollowersToFans is a term Catalyst CC has coined that speaks to the art of turning someone that is mildly interested in what you are doing - into a life long, logo-bleeding fan that actually contributes to your success (and sales!) of your organization. #OwnIt.

A huge mass of followers or "likes" may seem important for the success of your brand, but this could simply be a legion of uninspired trolls - and a faux-fan following can have its own set of draw backs.(See: Fake Fans - Why Buying Likes Could Cost You) The fact is, whether you have 600 followers or 600,000 your are only as good as the number of FANS you create.

*And FANS is where you want to invest your time and energy, not followers.* 

Using Twitter as an example, brands that tweet two to three times per day are actually only reaching an audience size of approx. 30% of their follower base during a given week.  Here - from a twitter survey:

We saw that brands that tweet two to three times per day can typically reach an audience size that’s equal to 30% of their follower base during a given week. This indicates that Tweet consistency is a key factor when it comes to maximizing your organic reach on Twitter.

Organic reach - yes, maybe. Valueable reach? Questionable.

Twitter’s report began saying there was nothing between Twitter and your audience. But even Twitter acknowledges that you may have to tweet 21+ times in a week in hopes of reaching only 30% of your total audience. 

I would much rather spend the time learning more about that 30% and creating and building value around what they are reading, digesting and saying about my company, organization or service area. I would also like to create easy, digestible ways that they can experience, share and indirectly sell my services.

Here is a simple breakdown:


  • Blindly support
  • Like a $ deal
  • Add to your NUMBERS


  • Share your values
  • Engage with your brand
  • Comment/Discuss with others
  • Add to your SALE$

Remember - PR isn’t just the number of times people see your name - that’s Marketing.

PR is getting people to talk about you. But Great PR is building a legion of FANS that are telling others WHY your are doing what you're doing. 


Stay tuned for Part Two: Converting Fans into Customers ...


Photo by John Price on Unsplash