Share the Love: 5 Tips to Boost Customer Referrals

The concept is simple: You have customers. Your customers have friends. Your customers’ friends probably “walk alike, talk alike.” In fact, they most likely like a lot of the same things — clothing, travel, social causes, Instagram posts, events etc.

You with me? It’s pretty simple. If your customers like your products, then their friends will too!

What do you think of when you hear “word of mouth marketing?” If you just said “social media” to yourself, you’re not alone, but it doesn’t start and end there.

Word of mouth is actually more powerful when it happens in the real world too.

In fact, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association found that two-thirds of all referred purchases come from real world recommendations, vs. one-third that are discovered online. Recommendations made by people are 10 times more powerful than impersonal ones. Need more convincing?

92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.

So why isn’t everyone doing it — and doing it well?  The truth is that “referral marketing” isn’t easy … and it’s so much more than automated referral links and pre-populated spammy messages for your customers to annoy their friends with on their social pages.

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But with a little planning, finding the right customers, and then giving them the tools to make referrals online AND <<drum roll please>> in the REAL WORLD … You will be able to turn your business into the next $1 Billion Brand.

Inspired by the book Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking, here are 5 tips to get your customers talking:

  1. Talkers

Find your most authentic voices and actually talk to them. Understand why they love your product and how they talk about it to their friends.

I’m the talker in my friend circle. If I find something and it works, I tell everyone I know — and often who I don’t know — everything I know about it. All of my friends now subscribe to SunBasket, own a VitaMix, have been to Iceland, and wear Allbirds to work.

You don’t have to use discounts or product; things like early-bird access and newsletters often attract people like me who are authentically your most valuable customers and want to learn more or just support your brand. Using these “incentives” makes it easier to collect their contact information, which means you have a more personal way to engage them.

  1. Topics

Using real the feedback you get from real customers makes it easier to engage a larger audience more authentically. Create topics for your Talkers to organically talk about based on the topics they are interested in.

Niyama Sol ambassadors, for example, were asked: “Take a photo of yourself in your favorite place to do yoga on your personal Instagram.” Hundreds of real people shared their story to their friends and the brand saw lift quickly.

  1. Tools

Create an easy format for you and them.

Getting 10 customers to talk and spread the word about your brand to their friends is manageable; 100 customers a little harder; 1,000+ customers and it won’t scale unless you have the right tools in place.

One more time … MAKE IT EASY … You will thank me later.

Don’t complicate it for your customers. Add a sign-up link to your website and automate an invitation to join the ambassador program when a customer makes a purchase. Once they have joined, keep making it easy — give them access to your brand’s story, referral links, and topics to stimulate their storytelling about your brand.

Ensure that they are able to share their unique referral link or code and tell their story quickly on as many platforms as possible without any hassle. This includes social media channels like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and the like.

  1. Taking Part

Great. You have them talking the talk, now you need to show them that you can walk the walk … WITH them.

You want people to purchase your product without having to convince them. So the only way to do this is to make sure you are listening and engaging with your Talkers, and then rewarding them for authentically spreading the love about your product in the real world to their friends.

Make sure you make it easy for your Talkers to talk to you and encourage them to give you feedback. Big retailers like Sephora, Amazon and Nordstrom ask every customer to leave a review.

If they ask a question, you answer.

If they have a suggestion, you listen.

If they had a bad experience, you get a chance to fix it.

  1. Tracking

Understanding the data behind what is working and who is working the best for your brand is important.

You will find that some of the best Talkers don’t feel comfortable sharing a referral link online, but they will talk to anyone who listens in the real world. Or you may find that some of your customers are great content creators with high engagement, but they don’t see themselves as an “influence.”

Reward them & engage with them equally.

These are your “diamonds in the rough.” Love them and hold onto them dearly. They will intrinsically help you attract more people like them and are the best advertising investment you can make.

The biggest headliner you’ve never heard of

Think about your group of friends. There’s usually that one person who always seems to be coming up with something to do — picking the restaurant, finding a new destination, or suggesting the next festival to attend. This is the planner — the one who convinces you to do something you may have no idea how to do and makes sure you have the time of your life doing it. Planners are the most important person to any event organizer, and luckily there is a way for organizers to harness their power and reward them for all of their hard work.

Firefly Music Festival realized the power of these fans and wanted to find a way to make them feel like they were a part of the festival’s planning process as a whole. By harnessing the power of natural planners, Firefly was able to create a robust program of 1,600 fans who became their biggest advocates. Then, using gamification, Firefly challenged these fans to start doing what they do best — round up their fans and make the plans.

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In just 90 days, these superfans rounded up over 2,000 of their friends to attend the festival and generated 13 million+ impressions by creating content and sharing their tips for how to experience the festival better.

By creating a “home” for the planners, festival organizers were able to say “thank you” to these valuable fans by making them the headliners — hooking them up with elevated experiences that are generally reserved for the artists and sponsors like backstage passes & VIP camping upgrades.

So next time you’re stressing about finding the big name to bring people to your event, don’t forget about the real headliner: the planner.

Need help identifying them? Ask us!

SocialLadder Teams Up With Niyama Sol!

SocialLadder is thrilled to announce that it has teamed up with Niyama Sol, the makers of your favorite luxury activewear! 

Niyama Sol’s products range from dresses to joggers and yoga mats to swimwear. Their focus, however, is their fashionable and functional leggings. With their unique designs, there’s a style to fit every personality and occasion! Additionally, unlike typical activewear, these leggings are made with recycled plastic water bottles. Niyama Sol’s biggest fans and newcomers alike can now get monthly shipments of hand-curated Niyama Sol pieces with the Sol Box! With celebrity endorsements from the likes of J-Lo and A-Rod, it’s never been a better time to get involved with Niyama Sol.

Being an ambassador for Niyama Sol and becoming a SolSister is all about community. – connecting and engaging with the Niyama Sol community via social media, writing reviews for their products, and posting pictures or videos of you loving your Niyama Sol clothes! In return, there are awesome rewards to earn, including a free SolBox subscription, special social media shoutouts, and store credit!

Interested in joining? Click here! 

SocialLadder Blog - Ambassador Spotlight

Ambassador Spotlight: Zack Palmer!

Welcome back to our Ambassador Spotlight series! We’re featuring the top ambassadors of various programs from all around the SocialLadder ambassador network to give our ambassadors a chance to tell everyone about their memories, interests and passions – all of the things that fuel awesome communities and experiences!

New Spotlight Ambassadors are selected each month. Be sure to keep up with the top tier of ambassadors and you could be featured next!

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This month’s Spotlight Ambassador is Zack Palmer!

Zack was the top-ranking ambassador for April’s awesome Asteria Arts & Music Festival. We got the chance to catch up with Zack just after the festival ended and heard some of his thoughts on his experience as a top-ranking ambassador!


Tell us about yourself!

My name is Zack Palmer and I’m born and raised in Orlando, Florida. I’ve always loved music, the outdoors, socializing and bringing people together for a good time! Being a part of Asteria allowed me to involve all of these things in one special place, a place for us to escape and connect in ways we all desire, yet sometimes may have difficulties finding time to do so.

What has been your best festival experience?

My best festival experience has changed in just the last week! As a DJ/Producer, one of the things many would look forward to is their first festival performance. With that being said, Asteria Arts & Music Festival 2018 was mine. Not only did I enjoy every second of my time up on stage as a performer, but the reactions and responses to my set had me in tears more times than I can count & still counting after waking up to more content and feedback in regards to everyone’s experience during the festival and how many individuals had the times of their lives.  It makes my heart beat faster and the emotions come rushing through all over again. Asteria 2018 takes the cake!


What is the best part of being an ambassador?

I started promoting events before I really got into performing and the best part of it for me has always been the ability to connect with individuals prior to the event, which allows you to have a decent general idea of some of the friendly faces you will encounter during the event you’re promoting. I love connecting with new friends at these events and this will always be a great way for me to do so! Also as an artist, the ability to promote events and anything you’re a part of will always be beneficial in the sense that when you have the opportunity to take the stage, there’s a good chance you may have answered a question or two about the event to those in the crowd and when they see you’re not only showing up to play your music and take off, it definitely resonates with some and let’s them know you’re just like them, someone there to enjoy the music and have a great time.


What are some tips you have for people starting up and want to sell more tickets?

Interaction, interaction, interaction! Definitely make a point to connect with and reach out to potential guests, and even guests who are already sold on the event! Be available, be happy to share information, don’t leave people hanging when they need something answered or direction on anything in regards to the event you’re involved in. Also, knowing your market and who to promote to within social media groups, friend groups and the local scene in general is always beneficial to an ambassador.

Thanks, Zack! Any closing thoughts?

As mentioned earlier, I am an artist myself and love every aspect of the scene from throwing and promoting events to performing at events and just being in the crowd for some. I live for this and that isn’t going to change! If you’d like to check out my artist page you can visit my Facebook, my Instagram, or my Soundcloud.

SocialLadder Blog - Ambassador Spotlight

SOCIALLADDER AMBASSADOR SPOTLIGHT: CHASE MALCOLM

 

Welcome back to our Ambassador Spotlight series! We’re featuring the top ambassadors of various programs from all around the SocialLadder ambassador network to give our ambassadors a chance to tell everyone about their memories, interests and passions – all of the things that fuel awesome communities and experiences!

New Spotlight Ambassadors are selected each month. Be sure to keep up with the top tier of ambassadors and you could be featured next!

 

This month’s Spotlight Ambassador is Chase!

 

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What has been your best festival experience?
My best festival experience is the feeling I get hanging with good people and catching some of my favorite music at the same time.


What’s your favorite part of being an ambassador?
MY favorite part of being an ambassador is that I get to promote something I really enjoy, which turns into getting rewarded with things like tickets and merchandise.



What are some tips you have for people who are just starting up and want to sell more tickets?

Some advice on selling more tickets is to put in the work, whether it be out and about discussing it with people or online through social media. You get out what you put in – so the more effort you give, the more rewarding your results will be.

 

Favorite part of going to festivals?
MY favorite part of going to festivals is meeting new people and seeing talented artists perform live. It creates memories that will last forever!
You can go follow Chase on Instagram at @chasem561!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucky Festival 2018 is currently LIVE on SocialLadder!

Lucky Festival 2018, presented by USC Events, is LIVE right now on SocialLadder!

 

Started in 2012, Lucky Festival has been Seattle’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day party for over six years running now! The 2018 iteration, located in Tacoma, Washington, is a luck-filled festival that you do not want to miss!  At this year’s Lucky Fest, there are three different shows that you can attend: Green & Gold, Lucky Park, and Bliss Stage! Each stage will be running a different theme!

Over the past 6 years, Lucky Fest has had some awesome artists perform on their stages. Previous Lucky lineups included amazing artists such as:  Seven Lions, Zedd’s Dead, The Chainsmokers, and Cedric Gervais, as well as an awesome selection of other artists.

Want to earn rewards for this festival? By joining SocialLadder as an ambassador and completing challenges, you have the opportunity to earn awesome rewards; including GA and VIP tickets!

 

Interested in becoming an ambassador for Lucky Festival, or future USC events? Click HERE!

 

SocialLadder Blog - Ambassador Spotlight

SocialLadder Ambassador Spotlight: Marissa Stevens

 

Welcome back to our Ambassador Spotlight series! We’re featuring the top ambassadors of various programs from all around the SocialLadder ambassador network to give our ambassadors a chance to tell everyone about their memories, interests and passions – all of the things that fuel awesome communities and experiences!

 

New Spotlight Ambassadors are selected each month. Be sure to keep up with the top tier of ambassadors and you could be featured next!

This month’s Spotlight Ambassador is Marissa!

 

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We got the chance to talk with Marissa and find out a little bit about her and her favorite festival experiences!

 

What has been your best festival experience?

My best festival experience would have to be Tomorrowworld USA 2015. My crew and I decided to go last minute, which always leads to uncertainty. I packed up all my luggage and camping gear, checked 3 bags, and hopped on a plane to Georgia. It was my first and only Tomorrowworld experience.

It amazed me how all of the extravagant stages came from Tomorrowland Belgium the year before. Every detail of TW from the theme, to the stages, to the decorations, to the development of Dreamville gave it a feel where you didn’t feel like you were on earth but a magical land living in a dream for 4 days. It was full of the best vibes I have ever experienced. It was also extremely spread out on beautiful grounds, so you rarely bumped into people and had plenty of room to dance. Despite all the rain and mud 2015 endured, I wouldn’t trade it or have wanted it any other way.


What’s your favorite part of being an ambassador?

One of my favorite parts of being an ambassador is all the friendships I have made over the years from the people I have sold tickets to and people I have been ambassadors with. Being an ambassador for EDM events and festivals for the past 3 years has truly changed my life in so many ways. I never thought I would ever be selling the amount of tickets I am today for big music festivals.

There was a time about 5 years ago I couldn’t even make it to a concert because it was hard to find a friend that wanted to go to an EDM show or festival. I live in upstate NY, just under 5 hours away from NYC. There are no nightclubs here. We rarely get shows and it’s usually just smaller names. I will never forget 4 years ago, I was finally going to make it to my first festival ever –  Electric Zoo. Unfortunately, people backed out last minute and I was stuck with a 3-day ticket I had to sell. I wanted to cry inside and thought to myself “how am I ever going to sell this ticket?” After days of stress and anger, I got lucky and was able to sell the ticket. I ended up going to Electric Zoo that year just for one day with a couple of friends I met at a local EDM show. I was sad to not get the full experience but happy I at least got to experience one day of a festival for the first time.

Since that year, I have attended Electric Zoo every year for all 3 days. 2016 was my first year as an ambassador for Mysteryland and Electric Zoo. I sold over 150 tickets for MLUSA and almost 250 tickets for ezoo. In 2017, I still remain in first place in ticket sales. Every festival and every show is a new opportunity to make new friends who share the same love and passion you do from all over the world. In the past 5 years, I have went from not knowing anyone in the EDM world to not being able to walk 10 steps without knowing someone. I never thought I would ever have friends to go on these amazing adventures with. I have met life long friends that will be at my wedding someday.


What are some tips you have for people who are just starting up and want to sell more tickets?

  My advice to fellow ambassadors and new ambassadors one of the most important traits to have to be successful is you have to be social – bottom line. If you’re quiet, shy, and barely associate with people in the edm scene by keeping to yourself and just going to a festival to do your own thing, then being an ambassador is not for you. You probably won’t even sell the bare minimum to earn that free ticket. Be social – it’s all about networking whether you are at a festival, in line at the porta potties or in line for a drink. You have to have that ‘make friends with everyone’ personality.


My favorite part of going to festivals?

The music is definitely what brings us all there and together but everything that goes along with it is what brings you back over and over. My favorite part of going to festivals aside from the amazing mind blowing music that I’m so addicted to is the people and the amazing vibes from every person you cross paths with. I love the creative funny totem signs that can’t stop making you laugh (so you have to take a picture and meet its creator), the crazy costumes, the creativity, everyone expressing themselves how they want, dressing as their favorite character as a child that they still love, or dressing as a sparkly mermaid or thinking you’re a Disney princess still in your mid 20s. Anything goes! No one cares what you do for a living, how much money you make, what you believe in or your sexual orientation. We are all beautiful! You are looking at life through a glass of no judgement the second you walk past those gates.


Thanks to Marissa for her awesome answers, and for painting such a great picture of her passion and experiences as a music fan and an ambassador!

You can go follow Marissa on Instagram and twitter at @315ravegirl!

 

 

SocialLadder Blog - Ambassador Spotlight

SocialLadder Ambassador Spotlight: Aaron Corbett

 

Welcome back to our Ambassador Spotlight series! We’re featuring the top ambassadors of various programs from all around the SocialLadder ambassador network to give our ambassadors a chance to tell everyone about their memories, interests and passions – all of the things that fuel awesome communities and experiences!

New Spotlight Ambassadors are selected each month. Be sure to keep up with the top tier of ambassadors and you could be featured next!

This month’s Spotlight Ambassador is Aaron!

 

SocialLadder Ambassador Spotlight: Aaron Corbett

 

Aaron is one of the top Ambassadors for Lights All Night 2017, and he recently became the first SocialLadder ambassador to earn 1,000,000 challenge points! We got the chance to catch up with Aaron and hear some of his thoughts on his experience as a top-ranking ambassador.


So, Aaron – tell us about yourself!

“I️ love festivals, obviously! I️ spend a good portion of my time and money on them, mainly because I always seem to have an awesome time when I attend them. The music, the people, the vibes –  they’re just awesome! In my free time, I️ enjoy working on cars!


What has been your best festival experience?

Best festival experience was falling in love with dubstep at Lost Lands this year.

 

What is the best part of being an ambassador?

“The best part of being an ambassador is getting a chance to be a part of the festival – not just being an attendee, but helping make the festival what it is!”

 

What are some tips you have for people starting up and want to sell more tickets?

“When talking to people about the festival, just explain why you want to go and why you’re excited about it. that’s the easiest way to promote because people will want to go if they can tell you’re excited about it!”
Aaron is in it for the awesome music, vibes, and people. You can follow Aaron on Instagram over at @aaron_corbett!

 

SocialLadder Blog - Ambassador Spotlight

SocialLadder Ambassador Spotlight: Vince Pesce

Welcome to a new SocialLadder blog feature: our Ambassador Spotlight series!

Here, we’ll feature the top ambassadors of various programs from all around the SocialLadder ambassador network. Being featured as a Spotlight Ambassador gives the ambassador a chance to tell everyone about their memories, interests and passions – all of the things that fuel awesome communities and experiences.

New Spotlight Ambassadors will be selected each month, so be sure to keep up with the top tier of ambassadors, and you could be featured next!

This month’s Spotlight Ambassador is Vince!

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Pulling down the top score for multiple festivals from Mad Decent to EZoo led Vince to his feature as this week’s Spotlight Ambassador. We got the chance to catch up with Vince and hear some of his thoughts on his experience as a top-ranking ambassador.


What has been your best festival experience?

“As a Mysteryland vet, I would have to say the KYGO set at sunset in 2015. Once in a lifetime experience.”

 

What is the best part of being an ambassador?

“The best part of being an ambassador is the community and all of the amazing people you meet. You can go to a festival alone and leave feeling like a part of a family.”

 

What are some tips you have for people starting up and want to sell more tickets?

“You have to be dedicated. You can’t start out strong and forget about it for a few days – you have to be dedicated and consistent. Gaining a social media following and showing the world how amazing these festivals are helps too!”

So there you have it – Vince is in it for the love of the music, and the community that shares that love at festivals across the country. Don’t forget to follow Vince’s Instagram account over at @Festival_discounts!

Keeping the Momentum Going Post-Event

Everyone knows the importance of building momentum for an event, but no one likes to talk about the importance of  keeping the momentum going after an event has passed. We have created a guide (below) to help you maintain your momentum post-event as well as keep your ambassadors engaged.

 

Utilize Social Media!

pexels-photo-433617A great way to sustain momentum  is to update your social media. You can do this with posts about key takeaways from your event or reliving your favorite event moments. The former is especially important if your event was educational in nature.

By posting industry-related content on your social media and blog, you keep the conversation surrounding your event alive. You also showcase the value of your event and your organization as a whole to potential sponsors, future partners, and your general audience.

We all know everyone has a favorite moment or highlight of an event. Posting about these moments are a great way to boost post-event engagement and even drive sales for recurring events. You can post all of your photos on your Facebook page and then highlight your favorites to incorporate in your Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday weekly hashtags on Instagram and Twitter! Attendees make the best storytellers so encourage them to share their highlights as well. 

Since not all of your attendees or supporters may follow you on social media, send out an email reminder with links to all of your pages. This will remind everyone of the great time they had at your event this year, as well as encourage those who were unable to make it to RSVP to next year’s.

 

Hold a Press Release or Q&A

Free publicity? Yes, please! Hosting a Q&A discussion session helps keep your brand fresh in everyone’s mind. It’s a great way to learn about what you could do better for next year as well, and can help you garner more ambassadors. Similarly, holding a press release to talk about your event is an important part of keeping your brand visible to the general public. Even if it’s only through free distribution networks, a press release will help get the word out about your event – showcasing its success to others and encouraging them to buy a ticket for next year’s event.

 

Start An Ambassador Program Early

This is probably the most important way to continue the momentum surrounding your event. As soon as your event ends, start planning the next one. This doesn’t mean you have to start selling early bird tickets right away; start off by getting together with the planning committee and debriefing. Discuss logistics of the event: what you thought went well, what you thought didn’t, and any ideas on how to increase sales and boost attendance. The sooner you begin planning, the sooner you can map out your engagement goals and reach out to current ambassadors as well as recruit new members.

 

Following these guidelines will not only ensure that you have a strong group of social influencers that are getting the word out about your event, but it will also increase the success of your next event!

 

 

Mirayda

 

Mirayda Martínez is an intern at SocialLadder. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Computer Science at Swarthmore College, as part of the class of 2020, and is a member of the the Swarthmore Track & Field team. She loves going to parks and petting any and all kinds of dogs, as well as rock climbing.