Get More Leads Through Social Referrals
Recommendations from personal acquaintances or opinions posted by consumers online are the most trusted forms of advertising, according to a recent Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey. Ninety percent of consumers surveyed note that they trust recommendations from people they know, while 70 percent trust consumer opinions posted online. More than a billion people are on social networks. Chances are that your new customers are amongst them.
The question, therefore, is not if you should run referral campaigns, but how you should run them.
Here are the main aspects to consider:
1. What’s in it for the referred?
Utilize human motivators, such as greed, popularity or the desire to belong to a group. Offer something irresistible, like a free useful giveaway, a special price or something that provides a sense of uniqueness/VIP.
2. What’s in it for the referrer?
The same human motivators apply. Offer something that is of material value, that conveys status or that fires up people’s eagerness to compete. Be aware that for some, a real motivation is to be a nice person—they refer in order to do somebody a favor.
3. Be specific in your communication.
To avoid confusion, include only one product/offer for each campaign. Make sure what you communicate is easy to understand. Somebody might easily recommend one product, but maybe not a range of products. Run new campaigns for product numbers 2, 3 and 4. Having developed a nice campaign template for your first campaign, consider reusing it for the next ones too.
4. Choose a referral-marketing platform.
The software you use must have certain features. The most important aspects are the ability to spread offers fast through Facebook, Twitter and email and to allow for going viral. Another important feature is a good graphic themes module so you can make any campaign look and feel the way you want. Finally, make sure that you get relevant online reporting, including overviews, segmented details, concrete lists of referrers, number of referrers made and all details about the referred.
Services like Vinatta (www.vinatta.com) are inexpensive, easy to use and rich in features to address security issues, branding, scalability, accountability and systems reliability. Some services also offer a ready-to-use Facebook tab page for you to insert on your Facebook page. A Facebook tab page adds additional visibility to a campaign.
5. Decide whether to administer the campaign yourself or to outsource it.
If you have the resources, you may consider setting up and running referral campaigns internally. There are several software platforms on the market—easy-to-use tools for complete referral-campaign administration.
6. Market it.
Tell your existing fan base, whether it’s through Facebook, email, Twitter or wherever, about your referral campaign. Depending on the nature of the campaign, you probably want to market the referral campaign online and offline, reflecting your budget, creativity and purpose. At the very least, you should include campaign information in all online direct customer communications, making sure to provide a link to the Campaign Home Page to enter.