The research tells us that recommendations from friends are one of the most persuasive sales strategies out there.
Think about it in your own life: are you more likely to check out a new make of car because some Brian Carter dude recommended it, or because your best friend recommended it? Hopefully you answered “my best friend” even though the research tells us that Brian Carter is ridiculously influential 🙂
How To Make Friend Referrals More Effective And Palatable
All you need is:
- An email list of customers
- A Facebook Page
- A Facebook Ad Account
Here’s How You Do it
- Create a post asking people to think about a friend that would benefit from your business, and ask them to tag a friend in the comments.
- You can incentivize with a sweepstakes this by saying one recommender + recommendee pair will each win a prize.
- Take your customer email list, create a custom audience in Facebook Ads, create a lookalike audience from that, then
- Promote that Facebook post to these two audiences (one ad per audience)
Now, you’ve just reached out to your customers and people like them on Facebook with a giveaway that will drive action.
I use this technique to promote my local improv comedy group’s performances (Andrea Vahl suggested it when Facebook changed their contest guidelines, I tried it, and it has worked for us a dozen times).
But it doesn’t have to be used for just events.
Speaking of events though, it could be used for paid webinars- what if you offered a $7 webinar and offer free access to five winners?
Adding a giveaway to it makes it less spammy- now people are giving their friends the opportunity to win something for free– and that makes the referrer look good, which is one of the keys to driving viral marketing activity.
Not everyone will refer, so have a backup option. Give the customer two options- if they don’t feel comfortable referring, or can’t think of someone, let them know they can also
- Recommend you on LinkedIn, if you’re a solo entrepreneur, or
- Positively rate your business on Yelp or Google Local.
Thar you go.