Adopt a Social Referral Program for Your Industrial Marketing Strategy to Gain Customers


Nine out of ten people put stock in brand recommendations from friends. Social media plays a big part in that.

Are you overlooking a vital source of prospects and leads – the social media referral?

According to the Nielsen 3Q 2011 Social Media Report, over 80% of all American’s use some type of social network. You can bet your customers, and potential customers are taking part in sharing their ideas and suggestions with their connections.

Developing a consistent social media presence is essential to growing your marketing reach. According to a HubSpot Infographic, consumers trust referrals from social media more than they trust the claims in advertisements. In fact, they are 71% more likely to buy a product if someone referred it to them on a social platform.

What exactly are social referring programs? How do they work? What can they do for you?

Cynthia Boris’ blog features an informative interview with Angela Bandlow, VP of Marketing for Extole:

Social referral programs are end-to-end marketing programs that enable brands to reach out to highly-engaged, loyal advocates and turn them into “social advocates” – who, in turn, refer the brands and products or services they sell to their friends and social communities.

Social referral programs, by nature, tap into consumers need and want to share information and content with their peers, resulting in Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) social marketing. If brands can properly harness the power of C2C marketing, they can tap into a new, high-value marketing channel.

This new channel cannot only help brands produce highly qualified new customers and sales, boost traffic and awareness and give them deep insight into customer behavior across their social graphs, but also foster consumer-generated content to increase their search engine result placement…

…To drive the highest participation in a social referral program, brands should utilize all of their available owned assets to promote the program, including corporate website, email lists and social networks – Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Let’s face it, our friends have a lot of influence over us. We trust them, respect them, and turn to them for recommendations on products and services. Thanks to the exploding popularity of  Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, it’s easier than ever to turn to our friends for referrals. Don’t overlook this important strategy in your industrial marketing plan.

Photo credit: luc legay via photopin cc

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