The Concept of Social Currency Explained And How to Leverage it in Your Marketing

Influencer Marketing

The Concept of social currency explained

Discover what social currency is and the best methods to leverage it in your marketing for better results.

Every brand wants its marketing efforts to boost brand awareness, increase customer engagement, and drive sales. However, this can be difficult in a competitive, digital world where it’s challenging to stand out in the clutter of social media.

One strategy that can help is social currency. It’s similar to word-of-mouth marketing and looks at the value you bring to your customers. But, what is social currency, and how can you use it for marketing

What is social currency

In simple terms, social currency, or influence currency, is the information shared by people as they go about their daily life. It could be offline or online, like on social media. It’s based on the idea that what people say impacts their social influence.

For example, if someone talks about something boring, people don’t want to share that information as they don’t want to appear dull. However, unique and intriguing comments travel like wildfire. So, they have the potential to increase people’s influence. So, that information has social currency.

In marketing, people discussing your products or services is crucial to spreading awareness about your brand and increasing customer conversions. Showing customers your products or services have social currency will drive them to spend time sharing your business online, just like word-of-mouth marketing.

This means your marketing strategies need to have social currency to engage with your target customers, boost your brand value, and grow your business.

Benefits of using social currency

By investing in social currency, you open your brand up to several benefits that assist your marketing and boost your business in the long term. The main benefits include:

  • Improved customer insight
  • Increased brand awareness
  • Greater social influence
  • Better organic growth
  • Increased customer retention and loyalty
  • Better quality leads
The reach of dark social
Image Source: GlobalWebIndex

How to leverage social currency for marketing

Create a community

Building a community is an effective way to earn social currency among your customers. People want to be part of a community. With increasing niche websites, Facebook groups, and forums, you can easily humanize your brand and strengthen customer relationships to aid your social currency strategy.

For example, Facebook groups for mobile phone manufacturers readily share new products, features, and announcements, providing the companies with influence. Providing interactive posts for social media can help increase content engagement, which helps with social currency.

Additionally, it provides a place for your customer base to share their opinions, thoughts, and experiences about your brand with potential customers. This information can be crucial to provide insights for CRM sales tools.

As well as improving brand awareness and establishing a sense of community, you learn about your customer’s pain points, allowing you to improve your current marketing strategies. For example, by doing research on the feedback you can provide your customers with a unique buying reason and a unique offer. You can use your community to increase your influence, establish trust with your customer base, and boost customer retention.

Connect with influencers and brand ambassadors

Influencers and brand ambassadors have a social currency that dwarfs most companies. With followers extending into the millions across several social channels, they’re trusted and respected voices.

So, finding relevant influencers, ambassadors, and social channels for your brand is essential to boosting your social currency strategies.

Influencers only promote brands or products they love and provide value to their followers, as authenticity is vital. After all, they don’t want to lose their social influence.

Using social media influencer marketing and brand ambassador programs, you can attract authentic influencers and borrow their social currency to increase your reach and establish credibility with new audiences.

Additionally, you may want to establish partnership marketing, like affiliate programs, to incentivize bloggers, influencers, and existing customers to promote your brand more often. It can increase brand awareness, credibility, and supercharge business growth. We recommend that you use top affiliate marketing software to track sales and manage your affiliate marketing campaigns.

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The most popular social media channels for influencer marketing

Image Source: Mediakix

Leverage your unique selling point

Your unique selling point (USP) is critical for your marketing strategy. It makes you stand out and differentiates you from your competitors.

For example, you might have better return management than your rivals by offering your customers a range of automated options.

In addition to being an effective selling tactic, leveraging your USP in your marketing efforts drives social sharing in your niche and promotes you to your target customers. As more people talk about the unique aspects of your product and business, you increase your social currency and sales.

Create engaging social content

Social currency is the idea that people want to share a piece of content that makes them appear influential. Therefore, creating engaging content is essential to building your social currency.

Instead of dry facts about your business or products, produce infographics, explainer videos, funny posts, interactive content, game elements, and creative social media content to increase the chances of virality and reduce your bounce rate. Make your content valuable to target customers and use popular trends that appeal to them. This will help to improve engagement metrics and should be a key part of your content marketing strategy.

For example, if your customers are likely to spend their social lives on TikTok, creating and keeping a vibrant, on-trend TikTok account will drive sharing, increasing conversions, and your social currency.

While you want to keep your brand’s tone of voice, don’t be afraid to let your employees inject their personalities and quirks into your social media posts. Be sure to measure content engagement and see what works best for social currency.

Encourage employee advocacy

Your employees likely have social lives, posting regularly about their day or your products on social media.

Encourage your employees to post more often. Providing them with an employee advocacy program and content or templates can help boost your marketing strategy. As well as building their network, you’re able to reach out to whole new networks and many more customers to promote new products and discounts.

Take Starbucks as an example of a successful employee advocacy program. Baristas often share positive posts and content, such as stories from their working day, behind-the-scenes pictures, or newly available drinks. This is an essential factor of social media marketing.

The posts show happy employees, interesting information, and unique insight into working environments customers don’t usually see. It’s free marketing for Starbucks that builds social currency.

For instance, you might have employees sharing a post about your supply chains and how you mitigate supply chain disruption to get products to customers.

You can create an advocacy program to encourage your employees to post positively about your brand and use incentives to drive your workers to post more often to reach business goals. Share employee advocacy best practices, highlight great posts, and help your employees feel like they have a great company culture.

The types of content consumers want to engage with

Image source: Sprout Social

Use game mechanics

Using game mechanics to provide contests for customers is a fun and engaging way to get your customers to share content.

For example, product giveaways on Instagram often ask participants to like posts and share them with their friends or in their stories. A gamified experience incentivizes customers to share information about a product, and it could get hundreds of thousands of views.

Similarly, you can use gamification to ask customers to complete challenges or quizzes and post their results on social media, linking to your brand or including a specific hashtag.

These methods are ads in disguise. But, gamification works because the content is more immersive than traditional formats. Therefore, it has more social currency. Using contests and challenges is a fun way to get people to learn about your brand and products.

You can optimize your methods by measuring your brand awareness and changing your strategy accordingly.

Use scarcity and build exclusivity

People like to brag. Whether it’s a special offer only they’ve received, a limited pair of trainers, or information about a secret menu item, it’s information they like to share. It gives them importance, social capital, and influence. It’s all about user experience and their perception of your brand’s exclusivity.

This means using scarcity and exclusivity can aid your social currency strategy and attract more people to your business. There is a range of ways in which you can do this:

  1. Member-only or loyalty programs with special perks such as early access or discounts
  2. Personalized emails with exclusive behind-the-scenes content for subscribers
  3. Limited-edition products, available to subscribers first

Building scarcity and exclusivity will depend on your business model. There are even different types of loyalty programs to choose between. But, in doing so, you drive customers to recommend the benefits they receive to their friends, promoting your services and boosting your business growth.

Show your appreciation

Showing appreciation is always, well, appreciated. Employees and influencers love a shout out and showing them appreciation for their work ethic or performance can earn you a great deal of social sharing.

Customer expectations from a loyalty program
Image Source: Yotpo

Similarly, showing appreciation to customers can boost your exclusivity marketing and add to your social currency. For example, inviting customers for behind-the-scenes tours or using them in your marketing campaigns shows them how grateful you are and is a strategy to stand out from the pack.

Additionally, you could use videoconferencing, like free video calls, to hold regular live streams with valued employees and customers. It humanizes your brand, gets people talking, and is vital for healthy social capital.

Bank on social currency to boost your marketing

Social currency looks at ways to provide valuable, shareable information to your target customers, employees, and influencers. It makes them want to tell people in their network about your brand because it increases their influence.

It’s a different way of looking at how you interact and carry out your marketing efforts. A key aspect of a successful social currency strategy lies in being authentic, relevant, and providing a human touch.

While the methods to build social currency are familiar, the implementation focuses on giving your customers and employees engaging and fun content. It drives them to share your brand, boosts awareness, credibility, and customer conversions.

Consider your current marketing strategies and look for ways to add to your social capital. With it, you can extend your marketing reach, supercharge business growth, and grow your social influence.

Grace Lau

Grace Lau

Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud phone system for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn.

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