Word of mouth is the most powerful sales technique. This is one big take-away to remember in all your marketing efforts. Nothing you say about your product has the value of one positive review from a happy client. If you do not believe it, then I am going to enlist some eye opening statistics to prove my statement:
- 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by friends and family;
- 81% of people who follow brands on the social media will recommend those brands to their friends.
There you are, it is human nature to trust our close friends over some marketer who is only after our money (sorry if I’m coming across too harsh, but I want to put this into perspective). The ultimate word of mouth experience is when your client gets a reward for recommending your products to their friends. We call this a referral program and today I will teach you how to use Facebook to build a great referral program for your business.
Step 1 – Decide on the Goal and the Rewards
You cannot set unrealistic goals for your referral promotion. If you offer your Facebook fans a discount if they bring 100 friends to sign up for your newsletter or become a client, your program is doomed to fail from the start. Start small and as your customer base grows you can increase the referral goal per person.
Now, let’s consider the prize. It should be a gift card for your products. There is a deep wisdom in this choice. For one, if you choose a popular product (a smartphone or a tablet), you will get a lot of subscribers who only care about winning that product and will quickly hit the “Unsubscribe” button once the results are out. Secondly, you can offer various discounts for people who exceed the referral goal or who do not meet it. Remember, everyone has to be a winner in this game, or your Facebook referral promotion might become a ghost town.
Step 2 – Create the Referral Landing Page
Choose your words wisely and only use the most compelling ones. Imagine that this is a landing page for a regular call to action, and its sole purpose is to bring you more subscribers. Prepare great graphics for your landing page – the reward written in large bold font, an eye-catching presentation of the gift card together with the products your winners could buy with it.
Include social media sharing buttons and social comments (with the option to have the comment shown on the person’s Facebook Timeline). In this way, anyone who refers a friend and enters your sweepstake can share this on their Facebook profile and encourage more friends to join.
Step 3 – Promote Your Referral Program
Start by sending all your contacts an email announcing the referral program. If you want to give them a sense of exclusivity, do this a few days to a week ahead of announcing the promotion on the social media. This will give your contacts the feeling that they are invited to be the first to join and thus increase their chances of winning.
Share your referral program on all social media, including graphics which complement the landing page. Remember to reinforce and repeat the idea that everyone is a winner, even if they do not reach the top goal of your campaign.
Step 4 – Monitor and Reward
Be constantly up to date with the results of your referral campaign. It is very important, not only for calculating the ROI for the program, but also for identifying your most loyal customers who brought in the most referrals. Facebook Page Insights and Google Analytics are free nifty tools that help you monitor your campaign’s performance on Facebook and mentions of your brand across the Internet.
This is the basic Facebook-based referral program plan, but I certainly encourage you to get creative and improve it if you can – and don’t forget to share your results with me!