What is social currency, and how can you leverage it?
Social currency is a tool to help you understand the value you bring to your customers in less tangible ways than your sales figures. Understanding your social currency will give you a great starting point to grow it and your loyal customer base.
Social currency is a term that has had an impact on how businesses view themselves. In a nutshell, if you can increase your social currency, you will add more value for your customers. If you do that, you will build loyalty and also be able to leverage your audience for social proof and testimonials. If you can get social proof, you can increase your reach, giving you more influence and more social currency – a circular system you will want to get into as soon as possible!
The six attributes of social currency
Social currency can be broken into six key attributes. Any activity that harnesses one of them can make a difference but try to use multiple simultaneously to ramp up your social currency.
What is your social currency?
Does your business stand out from the crowd? Are you drawing attention that your competitors aren’t? Do you have a campaign going viral, even if it’s localized?
The customer journey can be flawless, but unless you’re going that extra mile to build social currency, you may struggle to build an army of vocal advocates for your business. Word of mouth is extremely powerful, so put in the time to nurture and deliver to your customers (past, present, and future) so they feel inclined to spread the word for you on autopilot.
Social currency transactions
The concept can be a little hard to wrap your head around, so think of it like this. People have a certain amount of social currency. They want to spend it on things that make them look good to others. With limited social power, they want the most bang for their social buck, so they only share brands and products that will up their social power while still fulfilling their needs.
Nobody is so excited by toilet paper that they will share that they purchased it… unless that product also gives back to charity, has an unforgettable marketing campaign or reached out personally to solve an issue.
What you do and how you do it matters more for social currency than what you sell.
Apple – an example of social currency
Apple products are highly divisive. Fans will pour money into buying the latest Apple product and are keen to let everyone know that they have it. They rave about the features they love and appear to give positive testimonials with no persuasion necessary!
Those who haven’t bought into Apple’s hip ethos see something completely different – extremely dear technology beyond their needs and what they’re willing to pay.
Apple drives its social currency up, targeting those in the first group. They, in turn, share and promote Apple products, helping them expand their reach. Those who are outside of this bubble neither spend nor receive social currency with Apple.
So… how do they do this?
How to implement social currency tactics
Social currency doesn’t come from a single activity. Like most successful digital marketing strategies, you should work on multiple levels to maximize your results. Here are some tactics you might want to consider to start the ball rolling:
- Partner with influencers – this doesn’t have to be massive names. Micro-influencers have small, organic followings and often have great success. Find people in your physical area or business sector who might be willing to promote your brand. This starts the conversation and shows that it is worth advocating for your business.
- Create a community – this could be a dedicated Facebook group or something casual such as your main social media channels. The key is to work at it and show up regularly to ask your audience questions, connect with them, and make them feel like a part of the family. Again, this opens up the conversation and helps them identify with you.
- Reward your loyal customers – whether it is a loyalty card, occasional discount or a referral scheme, find a way to make your customers feel excited, connected and happy to be your customer.
- Make people feel like insiders – offer information that helps customers feel like they are a part of something exclusive. This could be sneak peeks, early sales access, competitions etc.
Need a hand?
Digital marketing can feel overwhelming if you don’t have a clear roadmap that works for your business. If you want to ramp up your online presence and boost your social currency, our expert team is here to help. Book a free discovery call and start strategizing with us today!
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