Referrals are one of the best ways to attract new customers and clients. For me and most people I know, hearing referrals from a trusted source eliminates most of my doubts when trying a new product or service. Why? When referrals come from someone I know, I am aware of their tastes and preferences. If their preferences are similar to mine, then I know that as long as they had a positive experience, I should expect a favorable outcome as well.


In today’s world, contact can occur via social media long before a verbal or in-person conversation takes place. This means that social channels such as Facebook can provide advertisers with valuable referral marketing opportunities. And if you’re an advertiser whose customer demographics are mainly millennials, you’re in luck. eMarketer recently reported some findings from a recent Harris Interactive survey that concluded the following: 68% of the millennials surveyed are somewhat likely to make a purchase after seeing a friend’s post about products and services.

Since sharing means a greater chance of generating conversions, here are some ways advertisers can encourage their customers to share their experiences and thoughts about your products and services.

Rewards Programs

Implementing a type of rewards program can help incentivize your customers to publish reviews and ratings for your products or services. Influenster, for example, is a “community of trendsetters, social media masterminds, and educated customers who live to give opinions of products and experiences.” They provide complimentary products to members who’ve established a high “Influenster score” that is calculated based on the number of reviews, ratings, and social shares completed.

Using a rewards-based incentive allows both the consumer and the business to win – consumer receives a reward for something that the business can benefit from.

User Submissions

Encourage your customers to share their reviews and experiences with their Facebook friends through review videos, similar to what many beauty gurus do on YouTube. Some brands like to promote contests that require customers to submit and share their review videos or testimonials on Facebook. Providing a chance to win some prizes is definitely a good way to build up your product and service credibility with good reviews.

A Picture Says A Thousand Words

With image-driven social channels really starting to make their mark in the social media world, it’s important to keep up with what’s engaging your customers the most. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, allowing advertisers to engage with a more image-driven audience on Instagram while being able to continue engaging with their Facebook audience. If you have a presence on Instagram, don’t forget to share some of your images with your Facebook followers as well.

share photoWe all know when we share links on Facebook, a featured image automatically appears alongside the URL. If your customers are sharing links to what they’ve purchased or reviewed directly from your site, make sure your site contains high-quality images that Facebook can pull from and feature. Sharing high-quality images that promote your brand, product, or service is a good way to catch your audiences’ attention.

In fact, a friend of mine recently shared her new membership with Ipsy, a beauty company that offers members Glam Bags containing samples of beauty products. Her status sparked conversations about Ipsy and competing businesses as well (Glossybox & Bellabox). Since I have an interest in beauty and cosmetics, I clicked through to learn more about Ipsy. If it wasn’t for my friend sharing this information, I wouldn’t have signed up for an Ipsy membership myself!


Hashtags and Tagging Your Brand

One of the most important things to remember when implementing these strategies is to always encourage your customers and followers to tag your brand in their statuses and/or use hashtags you’ve created. This will help advertisers measure the effectiveness of images, hashtags, etc.



Word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of advertising, and in the social age, word can spread quickly. So make the most of your social channels by incentivizing sharing, optimizing your images, and leveraging hashtags. Word on the street says these tips could bring in plenty of conversions.

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Audrey Cueto
Audrey Cueto is a marketing specialist at SearchForce, a leading provider of online search and social media technology. She writes about the fundamentals of Facebook PPC.