Social referral programs are end-to-end marketing programs that enable brands to reach out to highly-engaged, loyal customers and turn them into “social advocates” – who, in turn, refer the brands and products or services they sell to their friends and social communities. If brands can properly harness the power of social referrals programs, they can tap into a new, high-value marketing channel.
At Extole, we’re all about turning customers into social advocates. We track best practices across social referral programs for our 250 customers. Here’s a 5-part checklist for supercharging your social referral program:
- Make referring easy. Make it easy for customers to share your brand’s products and/or services with their friends. Include relevant sharing options (email, Facebook, Twitter, Google , etc.). PURLs, or personal URLs, are also a great sharing option, as they can be shared across any channel – blogs, instant messages and social networks.
- Promote across channels. Driving awareness of the social referral program is critical to its success. Brands should leverage their owned assets, including corporate websites, email lists, as well as social networks—Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, etc.—to promote the referral program to their customers and drive the highest participation rate.
- Increase participation with incentives. Give your customer advocates a compelling reason to share with their friends. This could be an internal offer (free goods, discounts, or loyalty points), gift cards, or charitable donations. Make sure there is an incentive for their friends to make sharing more attractive and improve the probability of converting friends into new customers.
- Make it personal. Providing a simple, personalized experience for referred friends ensures the highest level of trust, engagement, and participation in a social referral program. Ensure that friend messages and landing pages are personalized, concise, and have a clear call to action to drive optimal results.
- Add recognition and gamification. Tap into human desires and behavior to compete, excel, and be recognized for achievement. Add in leaderboards and scoring to your referral program to foster participation and additional sharing.
Brands have an enormous opportunity to foster their customer advocates to create an incredibly powerful marketing channel via social referral programs. Done correctly, social referral programs can amplify a brand’s reach exponentially. To learn more about Extole social referral programs, download our 2018 Referral Best Practices Guide today.