In recent years, social networks have evolved and become one of the most powerful tools available to marketers. In our digital age, virtually every business in the world relies on social media as a marketing tool. In fact, if a business is not promoted through social media platforms, many customers or prospects might consider the business to be less trustworthy and not as innovative.
Along with the explosion of social media and the ease of referral marketing, both have become increasingly common and extremely effective means of marketing a business. Social media referral marketing refers to the entire process of increasing website traffic or simply drawing customers' attention to a business, and doing so through social media platforms.
Referral Marketing: Why So Wonderful?
We know that word-of-mouth and referral marketing are great and remain one of the best forms of marketing, but why?
Let's take a look at the top three reasons:
Have you ever tried using Google Ads or Facebook Ads and had the feeling of seeing your money disappearing before your eyes? This is often not the fault of the platform or its targeting. A great digital marketing campaign needs two main components: a great message and laser targeting.
Referral and word-of-mouth marketing is often much more accurate because people know their friends and social media audiences well. This allows your brand message to spread more efficiently than most other marketing channels.
Trust plays a huge role when we need to convince someone to buy something. If we don't trust someone, we don't always take what the person has to say seriously. Think about the last time a salesperson tried to sell you something when you knew they received a commission per sale. You had doubts as to whether he was being authentic or not because of a lack of trust. With referral marketing, however, the sales pitch often comes from a person you know well, like friends and family, or someone you trust, like your favourite blogger or influencer.
Increasingly, studies have shown that people almost always trust their opinions more than generic advertisements or manufactured sales strategies by the brand.
Do you need proof?
A recent study showed that referrals are the most trusted form of advertising by most people.
Remember: referrals are not limited to your friends and family. They can come from a variety of sources, as long as the recipient of the message trusts them. A survey, for example, estimates that 71% of British people online follow an influencer, 55% search for opinions before making a purchase, and 73% claim to have purchased something because of referrals from content creators. So what would be the biggest referral marketing channels?
- Friends family
- Press publications
- Consumer reviews and opinions posted online
- Opinions of influencers (bloggers, micro digital influencers)
Range and Acceleration
Some time ago, the average reach of an average consumer was limited. Generally speaking, the average range was restricted to the number of people who saw him each day or who he talked to on the phone. Today, however, the average reach of consumers is much greater. For people with a large following, that reach can be massive. For some consumers, a simple publication on the networks can be the difference between increasing production and declaring bankruptcy.
With a simple Facebook post, a Twitter tweet or an Instagram selfie, the average consumer today reaches hundreds or thousands of friends (who, again, trust their opinions) in a matter of seconds. This kind of social reach is one of the main reasons why referral marketing has grown even more over the last ten years.
Why do more people prefer social media for nightclub recommendations?
Two out of three users take into account the recommendations of other Internet users before deciding to visit any nightclub. In other words, they value the opinions of other people before committing to a product or brand.
The recent survey, made to a total of 800 people, shows the importance that social networks have acquired in online referrals. And it is that not only the recommendations of other users are taken into account. Other factors such as the activity of the club that you want to visit on the networks, and the interaction with its public through these, are "very important" factors for 77% of customers.
According to this study, customers find out about nightclubs mainly through Facebook (41%), Twitter (38%) and Instagram (21%). But, in addition to these social networks, many Internet users admit to consulting specialized portals (59%) or blogs (31%) to find out the opinions of other customers before making any decision.
Referral marketing is a well-known tool in the advertising industry that can generate different effects at the same time. By serving offers through recommendations, the chances of new customers converting increase. When these recommendations are repeated, trust in a brand or product increases.
Finally, by being centered on social networks, referral marketing campaigns generate a lot of social signals for a website. These cumulative effects can therefore be very positive.