What is Social Currency?
Social currency is the impact of a brand on social networks, online and offline communities, and the degree by which your business is shared by others.
"Social currency measures the ability of brands to fit into how consumers manage their social lives in today's digital and mobile age." Vivaldi Partners
Think of social currency as the level of impact you hold in the consumer landscape. For example, the brand that gets excellent reviews most likely possesses higher social currency than their competitor with bad reviews. The brand that people share the most often on Instagram or is viewed as the leader in a particular niche has social currency.
Social capital is the degree to which people organically share brand information and experiences. Every follower, like, comment, share, view, and conversation is a deposit or debit in your social bank account. Essentially, social currency is the amount or value of influence.
Why Do Brands Need Social Currency?
From a marketing standpoint, social currency has been used for years to strengthen different brands through various social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other networks. In like manner, people often share your brand with their social contacts because they think it will increase their own social currency.
Our digital age means almost everyone is on social media, adding or subtracting social currency. We're consuming and creating social posts in massive quantities.
According to Social Pilot:
- 6 in 10 Instagram users log in at least once daily.
- 1.82 billion people on average log into Facebook daily.
- The average U.S. adult spends 38 minutes a day on Facebook.
Many social media users are browsing as a way to connect with others and be entertained. While people who post use it to show off their lifestyle and importance, hopefully getting them likes, comments, views, followers. All for the goal of improving their social currency balance.
The social media ecosystem can be magical for brands. Its platforms are some of the quickest and best places to raise social currency. Since friends and families naturally gravitate together on social media, the setting is organic and trustworthy. People talk and share about things they like and don't like. Social media is the modern word of mouth medium.
And word of mouth, in essence, is the tokenomics of social currency.
To grasp how priceless word of mouth is, people are 90% more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend. (HubSpot)
Also, 83% of Instagram users discover new products and services on the platform, 81% research products and services, and 80% make buying decisions while on the platform. (Facebook)
And one more statistic, word of mouth marketing drives $6 trillion or 13% of consumer sales every year. (Invesp)
8 Wise Social Currency Investments
Brands need as much social capital as they can get. Since it represents their social influence and viability as a company, brands devote a lot of time and resources to their social currency.
We have a few important ways to win social currency.
1- Be passionate
When people recognize that a brand is enthusiastic about what it does, we also anticipate that the company will work harder and be more dedicated. Passionate brands usually have far better quality and take care of customers with the same love. Without even trying a product, consumers expect great things and social currency accrues.
2 - Encourage employees to share with their networks
You're in this together, and social currency starts from the inside. Of course, you must treat employees well and value their contributions. Include your entire company in brand building. If possible, provide free products to all team members. As they bring these items and solutions into their own lives, it's natural that they will share their happiness and excitement with others.
3 - Offer superb customer service
It's astounding how much social currency grows when customers are taken care of. The simple act of genuinely caring about and helping your customers sets your organization apart. People remember how they are treated and willingly share this with others.
According to Dr. Ivan Misner, the founder of Business Networking International, excellent customer care is the keystone to referrals. Dr. Misner said, “when you give a referral, you give a little of your reputation away. If the business you’ve referred someone to does a good job, it helps your reputation. But if it does a poor job, your reputation may be hurt.”
4 - Run amazing promotions
Running promotions creates immediate buzz and social currency deposits. People love sharing a good deal. Brands can utilize promos to drive consumer awareness, engagement, and loyalty. This strategy attracts new customers and motivates repeat purchases.
5 - Build communities
If your brand has more than one employee, a supplier, and some customers--you have a community. Spend some time defining potential groups, develop a strategy for interacting with them, and connect directly with your brand communities.
People who are emotionally connected with your brand community buy more and share information about your business much more often with their friends and families. Time spent nurturing brand communities returns big dividends.
6 - Create advocacy and ambassador programs
Advocacy and ambassador programs unite people who genuinely like your brand. These people already use and advertise your products to their friends and family.
Actively managing your portfolio of advocates affords significant chances to build brands while preserving authenticity. Since peer-to-peer influence affects more than 50% of all purchasing decisions, these programs make fantastic long-term investments. (Nielsen)
7 - Give people something to talk about
One of the jobs of a marketer is to highlight the remarkable and generate chatter. Many of the above investments create buzz. For instance, unique promotions for amazing products urge people to talk about your brand. One of the absolute best ways to ignite a brand's social value is to have ambassadors share a special discount for a product they fully endorse. After all, bestowing one's social network with the inside scoop is highly lucrative.
8 - Be engaged
Respond to comments on everything you publish and post. Thank people for reviews, even if they are entirely favorable. Social currency is reciprocal. So when you share content and information, you essentially ask for interaction. Consider this to be a withdrawal in your brand's social bank account. Providing value repays this debit and hopefully motivates people to share. Which grows their social currency. It truly is a mutually beneficial relationship.
A brand's social currency comes down to how much a person enjoys or values something or someone and whether they will share that with others.
Consumers want to feel valued. Offer value and deliver products and services that make their lives easier and better. They will be more likely to buy from you. In turn, as they share their opinions and experiences, your business earns social influence.
Knowing how to build social currency allows brands to drive higher customer loyalty and add to social proof. This leads to more sales and referrals.
Social Currency Dividends
Influencer marketing and brand ambassador programs are some of the most effective ways to produce vast amounts of social currency. Not only can brands build their own social currency on these platforms, but they can also combine efforts with existing influencers, ambassadors, customers, and affiliates.
The benefits are enormous. Brands running advocacy programs on Wooly see their social currency grow within a few months. This, in turn, brings additional dividends, including:
- Greater brand loyalty
- Establish more trust
- More brand buzz
- See brand experiences shared freely
- Generate more awareness
- Less customer churn
- Higher lifetime customer value
- Organically gain new customers
- Lower CAC (customer acquisition costs)
- Shorter sales cycle
- And most importantly, a boost in revenue
Tapping into the social currency of your customers and superfans is, in a word - synergistic.
Together you can inspire, motivate and educate diverse audiences while multiplying the returns in both of your social bank accounts.
Social Currency Subtotal
It's up to each brand to identify, manage, optimize, and expand its social currency. Developing your brand's presence on social media gives your business greater reach and influence.
Communicating your brand's vision, values, and other relevant information lets people know who you are and helps them understand your mission. They want to share your brand and work with you. Thus people connect and engage with brands they love, building loyalty and, ultimately, a high-growth social currency account.
If you're ready to grow your social currency with an expert, we would love to talk. We guarantee your interest will undoubtedly appreciate. (How's that for some final financial punnery?)
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