A testimonial from a customer.
Marketers well before Christ had understood this very deeply. “I can believe all the BS you’re telling me, but I’ll better believe one of your customers talking about it”.
More generally, we call ‘Social currency’ any customers or non customers talking positively about your product, be it online or offline.
Social currency is happening too on social media, and its impact is thus higher. It’s not about who you talk ‘to’, it’s about who you talk ‘through’. Consumers share their experience and it will touch their social circles. Proactively, a very small minority will talk: either to complain or to praise a service or product.
But reactively, many more will. Reactively means: ask for it! People are, just like anyone else, busy & have many other things in mind. But if they had a good experience, they will happily share it to their friends. Not only because they think others should enjoy what you do, but because once they liked your product/service, they started to like you too and will happily help! If you ask for it on social media, it will be even easier to get people to talk (no login required), and their posts will have an immediate impact on their fans/Followers. Surprisingly, you don’t need an incentive. Research has shown that, with an incentive, 42% of customers would talk about a brand on Facebook or Twitter, and 41% would do it without incentives. Actually, the ‘incentive’ might create a perception issue when recommending (ie ‘is (s)he really recommending because it’s great or for the incentive ?’).
While not 40% will end up doing it, you can easily raise your engagement from 3-5% to 15-20% by simply asking for a few words, or 3 times more. If only 20% of your sales stem from those recommendations, this means a potential of a 40%+ sales improvement!
You then simply need to smartly republish this social currency on your Website, where people go and look for those. If you have done it on social media, this social currency will be way more credible, since a real, clickable social profile will be attached to it, with a real face of a real individual.
You should as well curate this social currency at the right place: general feed on the home page, tweets from people who just unpacked at the ‘delivery’ page, posts about a product at the right product page, etc…
By doing so, you will have created a virtuous circle for your brand:
- Create potential social currency by delighting your customer
- Activate it by asking social testimonial on social media or your Website, which is viral & impact their social circles.
- Leverage it by republishing it smartly on your Website, and convert more
- Back to point a. with many more customers, touching more social circles.
Net, you don’t need to be Zappos to reverse the marketing funnel. Make sure your customers are ambassadors, even once, and make sure you amplify their voice where you need it most, which is typically on your Website.
With all the focus on creating ‘nice & likeable’ content on Facebook, we think too many marketers have lost the core benefit of social media: it should be about user generated content, relevant & impactful to your brand. Social currency is what people look for, it’s what you need to encourage & hand in. It’s changing focus from a ‘buzz’ mindset to a ‘social optimization’ strategy. It’s social media made strategic & it will grow the business.