Social currency is extremely important for marketing success. By some estimates, word of mouth marketing drives $6 trillion in consumer spending each year. What does that mean for you, as a brand? The average consumer doesn't trust brands, they trust their friends, their families, and sometimes even strangers on the internet.In the past, success in marketing was all about how much money a brand could pay for ads on radio, television, and in magazines. If you could afford a huge ad campaign, it wasn't hard to make a solid profit.
Today, digital devices and social media have drastically transformed how brands interact with prospective customers.
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One of the most powerful changes has been the rise of social currency. Word of mouth marketing and social currency is a way to leverage the way people interact on social media to grow your brand.
What is Social Currency?
Social currency is the extent to which people share the brand or information about the brand as part of their everyday social lives at work or at home.
More simply, social currency is a measurement of how people talk about a brand organically, in everyday conversations.
Think, for example, about the last time you had a great meal. Did you tell people about it? Share it on Facebook? Tell your best friend about it? That is social currency.
For brands, that type of authentic interaction is priceless.
The Importance of Social Currency
Social currency has many benefits. Some of the main reasons why you should invest in social currency include:
- More brand awareness
- More webiste traffic
- More leads
- More sales
- Shorter sales processes
- More brand loyalty
- More trust to your brand
- Better customer retention
Having, for example, your employees to share your content, products or services offerings, you can reach much more people than the company itself.
In general, these are some of the main benefits of social currency that every company is trying to achieve.
How to Drive Social Currency
We have already talked about how employees can help build a brand's social currency, but social currency also helps increase brand value.
There is a catch, though; social currency is inherently authentic. Social currency evolves through everyday experiences - a surprisingly good cup of coffee, a shockingly slim wallet, a great customers service experience.
However, that reliance on authentic interactions does not mean there's nothing marketers can do to help drive social currency. The following strategies will help your brand leverage social currency in marketing.
1. Drive Conversations
Stop talking at your customers. Instead, create conversations. Ask questions, answer questions, even engage in a little bit of social media banter.
These examples of brands engaging in some good-spiriting ribbing on Twitter are a great example of brands creating social currency opportunities.
In order to drive conversations in your company, you need to be ready to continuously improve internal communications strategy.
2. Create a Sense of Community
As our world becomes more digital, people crave a sense of community. Creating that community around your brand helps satisfy that innate desire while increasing your brand's social currency.
Hootsuite, which grew its entire brand through community building, shares a few strategies for building a successful community:
- Foster two-way communication
- Be generous
- Collect feedback and act on it
- Listen to your audience
The success of community creation will be heavily influenced by the participation of your employees. Making sure your company culture is supportive, that it promotes innovation and knowledge sharing.
3. Promote Advocacy
Improving marketing strategy with employee advocacy is one of the main goals of every marketing department.
An advocate is a person who authentically promotes your brand, generally for free.
Advocacy can be sharing a referral code for a great new product you tried. Advocacy can also be your when your neighbor suggests a great Thai restaurant in the neighborhood in your local Facebook group.
How do you promote authentic advocacy?
- Encourage peer-to-peer advocacy: The produce delivery company Imperfect Produce offers a "Give $10, Get $10" advocacy program. Paired with down to earth copy and simple images, this program has been quite successful.
- Help Your Employees Engage in Social Media: Customers aren't your only options for advocates. Starbucks, for example, encourages their employees (called 'partners') to engage in social media and even created a guide to help encourage the practice.
💡 Check out our guide on how content marketing can be improved with employee advocacy!
Social Currency and Social Selling
By now, we have seen how employee engagement can help improve social currency.
One of the main goals of every company is to drive more sales. therefore, we have made an infographic on how to succeed in social selling and which is driven by your company's social currency.
Final Thoughts on Social Currency in Marketing
It is tempting to assume social currency is just another marketing buzz word that will quickly be forgotten when the next shiny strategy comes along. In reality, social currency is simply a different way of looking at the way you interact with your customers online. A successful use of social currency relies on being authentic, relatable, and human