Websites like Yelp and Foursquare have blown up and for good reason. Even though it might just be committing to where to go for lunch, hearing that it’s the best destination ever from a stranger is somehow more reassuring than going into it blind.Many e-commerce businesses have taken a hint from this phenomenon and started up their own take on social proofing in the form of referral programs.Asking your customers to post pictures with your product on social media is a good way to build exposure, but if you’re looking to really scale, you might want to take it up a notch. This is when a referral program comes into play. Platforms like Referral Candy and FriendBuy handle the heavy lifting when it comes to tracking and managing your advocates and their referred friends. Immediately after a customer makes a purchase is the best time to present the opportunity for social sharing. The customer has just pulled the trigger, buying the new sweater or pair of shoes they’ve had their eye on, and is eagerly waiting to share with their friends. Post-purchase, a referral email will be sent through the referral program with your new customer’s unique sharing link. In this email, you will want to highlight what the advocate will receive after their friend makes a purchase on your site (10 percent off their next order, a free accessory, money back, etc.) along with a potential incentive for them to share with their friends. From there it’s up to them to share through whichever social handle they’re active on. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. Your new customer gets to tell their friends about their recently purchased product from your site, their friends get exposure to this great product that they may have never heard of before and you, as the business owner, have just received exposure and credibility practically for free.Ready to see what opportunity is available for your e-commerce business and social proofing? We’re here to help!
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Hayley is Hawke's Email Marketing Manager, overseeing the execution of all email and messenger marketing campaigns for clients.