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'Friend-get-a-friend' promotions through social media is said to help businesses build their customer bases
'Friend-get-a-friend' promotions through social media is said to help businesses build their customer bases

Brands urged to tap into social media friend circles

Prospective customers are more likely to be influenced by their friends than advertising, according to a new study from consumer insight research firm Unity Marketing.
The study, entitled ‘Affluent Consumers and How They Use the Internet, Social Media, and Mobile Devices’ urges businesses to use ‘friend-get-a-friend’ promotions through social media to help them build their customer bases.

Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, which conducted the survey, said, “Friend-get-a-friend promotions have long been recognised as an effective and inexpensive way to attract new customers most likely to be interested in a brand.”

Danziger cited one instance, where Canadian Club Whisky sponsored a contest encouraging its fans to invite five of their friends to the brand’s Facebook page. For every five friends a user converted, they got a free Canadian Club t-shirt. As a result, Canadian Club nearly doubled its fan following from 16,000 to 30,000.

“Logically, those most likely to enjoy a brand are the friends of those who are already brand loyalists, as friends tend to have certain demographic and lifestyle similarities,” Danziger explained.

Accenture’s recent Global Consumer Research study supports the findings of Unity Marketing too. It found that 76 per cent of global consumers use word of mouth as their primary source of information while 56 per cent consider it the most important source when deciding whether to do business with a company.

“Word of mouth extends to postings on social media sites where one in four respondents say they trust the comments about companies and brands posted online by people they know,” the study said.

Danziger said the premise of social media is about forming of connections and relationships, and luxury brands can use this to make it easier to attract new customers.

“On a social media platform, the brand that gains one fan stands to be recognised by that fan’s entire social circle,” she said.

A company stands to gain if a fan watches its videos, follows its links, reads its status updates or ‘likes’ content they find appealing, according to Danziger’s research.

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