Providing Social Currency To Drive Referrals

What story do you create that helps your fans share their social currency?

When we talk with our friends, we like to share about what gives us social currency. There is an exchange of subtle, perhaps sometimes overt, cues that point to our personal brand. We share what makes us look good in the eyes of others. This is why we talk about movies we watched, people we know and new gadgets we have bought. They provide social currency to us.

We don’t talk about boring things nor topics that can reflect poorly on our tastes or relationship choices. Social currency works this way between human beings. We talk about the things that help to build a story about who we are and position us in the minds of our listeners and readers.

If you buy designer jeans, you likely want people to know about this and tell a story about your shopping experience, the hassle of finding the perfect pair of jeans and the upscale boutique you eventually found them at. The story cues us into your tastes, wealth, coolness and ideas about you that would plant seeds of your brand in our minds.

Now, jeans may not be important to you. It could be the car you drive, the vacations you took or the gym you work out at. We are social animals and will continue to share about our experiences, possessions and relationships that make us look good. We also refrain from sharing what makes us look bad. It goes both ways.

Creating A Referral Engine From Social Currency

In your marketing efforts, the story which your customers tell themselves and then share with others is what will get them talking about you when you are not around. It is why we love to identify with an upscale sushi restaurant and the experience we had last week. We share it with others to tell them about ourselves. Meanwhile, the message about the restaurant’s brand is being passed along from person to person. It is a natural and fluid referral of a brand.

When you think about your own brand, think about the common conversations people have with each other. Does your story have elements that provide social currency that others want to talk about you? The experience you provide can get a highly satisfied customer talking about you and the memorable way you serviced a customer.

A referral engine happens naturally when you lay out remarkable content, unique experiences and personalized service. When you look at each customer touchpoint and your value offering, the little things that create delight for the customer needs to make an impact on the customer enough that it makes them look good to their friends. That’s the magic of thinking through your marketing and how it affects the daily conversations we have every day.

What is the story your customer is telling? Is it creating social currency?

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