How To Design A Social Media Referral System

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social media system

Social networks are networking events that go on 24/7. The “media” is the content (blog posts, articles, flyers, handouts, etc) you bring to the networking event. If the “media” you bring to the event sucks, you aren’t going to make many friends, and they aren’t going to share your “media” with their friends.

You can’t spam people into friendship with your “media.” If they do not trust the source of who is handing out the “media” at events, the “media” doesn’t matter. What matters is the trusted source… the person who is handing out the “media.”

We buy from those we trust. We can know and like people all day long but we aren’t going to give them money if we don’t trust them. Social networks help you build trust, which is what you need in order to sell products and services.

Whether you like it or not, people make decisions based on what they see about you online, regardless of what the real picture may be. Since most of us don’t have time to attend every event in town so we can “build relationships,” we need a system that helps us blend our offline business development activities with our online behaviors.

Here are 5 things that make up a good social media system:

1. Focus on your very best clients. 

You cannot be useful unless you first know what keeps your clients up at night. Spamming them online with features and benefits about your product or service does not solve their problems. You must find out what keeps them up at night so you can better understand them. This involves research.

  • Where do they spend time – on AND offline?
  • What social networks do they use?
  • What business events do they attend or sponsor?
  • What organizations or groups do they belong to?
  • Do they sit on any boards or advisory panels?
2. Have a “useful” website

Is your online location useful to your best clients? Even if you are not selling a product online, you are selling a buyer on something, even if it’s just information. If your website does not show signs of a solution in the first 5 seconds, we will click the back button and be gone. Give us a reason to stay.

Your website must be useful or people will not care. There are too many other useful websites they could spend time visiting so why would they waste time on yours if it’s unclear how you can help them?

Since we like to click, give us something really useful and/or entertaining to click and download, or click to join your community on Facebook. Or click to learn how to solve [insert problem you solve]. You get the point. Give us something to do and we might want to talk to you at a later time.

3. Recognize Google as a client

Google is not a social network. They are the world’s largest, and most useful directory on the planet.

They are also a for-profit business and they want to give their clients the best possible result for their search. In order to do that, they must navigate through billions of web pages to find the ones most relevant. Your job is to help Google help their clients. If you do not tell them exactly what problems you solve for companies in words, they cannot help you because they don’t understand your language. You have to tell them exactly who you are looking for and what those people would find on your site by using text words.

4. You must be present

How will you provide ongoing value to your best clients so they return to your online location and bring their friends? They will most certainly not care to visit if you are never there. You cannot post and run – that’s equivalent to dropping off flyers and leaving. You must give people something to share at least once a week (every day on Facebook).

5. Interpret analytics in terms of “shares”

Does anyone ever share your posts? If not, you may not have the right fans. If you don’t have the right fans, it doesn’t matter what they share because it’s not being seen by the right eyeballs.

People who share are your “free salespeople” and their reputations matter as much as yours. If you do not have the “right” free salespeople sharing your posts, you are spinning your wheels. What’s the point of someone sharing your posts if they are retired in Russia and few of their friends speak English? Unless you are selling “how to speak English” software, this share is irrelevant and does not help you. If you want a system that works for you, focus on the “who” behind the post – not on “what” to post, and you’ll find more of the right people to collaborate with.


Does your Social Media strategy need a boost? The SmartSocial Media Program offers companies the same strategy ThinkViral uses in-house. Learn more