Turn your customers into brand ambassadors with referrals

Often when new brands are looking for ways to expand their digital footprint online through social media, one powerful method often overlooked is turning customers into brand ambassadors that could help them market their services and products. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they should turn their customers into hard core do or die brand custodians, but it could be a simple as launching a refer a friend program. This is an easy way to get your customers to share your services and products with their own social circles that will help you garner more social reach, generate targeted traffic and could even help your current traffic to convert into sales.

There are various referral strategies and programs that can be structured to compliment your digital marketing plan and can be optimised to attract your target audience. Here’s a couple of tips on how you can start integrating referrals into your marketing strategy.

How can everyone dealing with you become a brand ambassador?

You really don’t have to open your referral program only to your current customers. Instead, why not use your current partners and even employees as well in your program. No one should have more product, service and sales knowledge regarding your brand than your employees. Use this to your advantage and make sure each employee is empowered to be a brand ambassador for your company that could spread your message online.

Every touchpoint should be an opportunity

Your customers can be reached at various touchpoints when they engage with you. This could be via mobile, using their favourite social media channel, your website and in store. Focus on making it as easy as possible for them to share your service and their experience with their own network. Getting a referral online is the same as traditional word of mouth and is a powerful method that can be used to generate awareness and business online. Enable your website visitors to refer their friends via popular social media channels and email.

Always nurture your referral program

Exactly the same as your digital marketing campaign, always nurture your referral program. Don’t expect that everyone will jump when you first launch your campaign. After you have launch your referral campaign, send regular reminders to your current customers through your social media channels and include it in your email newsletter. Add it to your website where it can be seen by your visitors. Make people aware of your program.

Use various incentives in your campaign by offering discounts in using your services or products. If you have an online store, you could maybe offer free shipping as an incentive to get the ball rolling on your campaign. Using incentives will help new customers get excited about your referral program and also pave a way for repeat business.

Make it as easy as possible

Never confuse people interacting with your brand to enter your referral program. Use various existing channels in your campaign where they can submit a referral via social media. If you are capturing the data on your website, don’t overburden people with too many fields to fill out. Your referral program should be easy and flexible so that it’s an awesome experience for everyone involved.

Having a solid referral program that supports your digital marketing campaign could be a gold mine for your business. Always measure, track and optimise your campaign to get the best results. It’s a fact that people trust real people that they know more than a brand. Use it to your advantage.

Anton Koekemoer


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