You understand the value of referrals. With the goal of attracting new business coming in so high on the list of firms’ marketing priorities, it’s no surprise that the desire to generate more referrals remains a key marketing initiative. But in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, traditional referrals from clients alone aren’t enough to accelerate growth

With this in mind, the Hinge Research Institute set out to rethink referral marketing and determine how successful firms are capitalizing on referrals today. After gathering responses from over 500 professional services firms, we found that 81.5% of service providers have received a referral from someone who wasn’t a former client.

This suggests that truly effective referral marketing needs to include strategies for generating referrals from both clients and non-clients. But where do these non-client referrals come from? Well, we discovered that most non-client referrals are a result of your firm’s reputation and expertise. In fact, we found there are actually three types of referrals that firms can utilize to attract more new business:

  • Experience-based referrals are traditional client referrals.
  • (read more…)

When marketers monitor social conversation, it’s difficult to determine if a spike in post volume is worthy of attention or simply a fluke.

For instance, Dairy Queen’s marketing team may notice a sharp increase in social posts that mention their brand. Getting to the bottom of a conversation spike normally requires digging through hundreds of posts to get the complete picture. What caused the spike to occur? It could be something in the news, a shout-out from a celebrity or a customer service issue gone viral. Either way, Dairy Queen needs to go beyond post volume to understand the reason mentions spiked at all.

What’s important to note, however, is that a sub-topic that spikes around your brand is truly only valuable if it deviates from the norm. For instance, if posts about Dairy Queen rise at the beginning of the summer, no one should be surprised. People are spending time outside, are warming up and desire an ice cream snack. (read more…)

With an audience size on social that rivals some media outlets they pay to advertise, EA’s David Tinson says it makes sense for the brand to become a media company. As the senior VP of global communications, David says his job is to help create a newsroom that’s centered around an opportunity to connect with customers.

In his presentation at’s Member Meeting, David shares how they created an internal structure to support listening, content creation and distribution for EA’s media. Here are some key points from his presentation:

  • Standards and policies at an enterprise level are crucial. David explains how they created governance around a common set of tools, invested in creative resources, and formed alignment across teams. That meant creating a consistent voice and staying on the same page with paid, advertising, product marketing and customer-support teams.
  • Listen first, then create content. David says, “So often marketers and communicators start creating content and then figure out where it should go after.
  • (read more…)

Do you use social media platforms to talk about your products? If not, you should, because it makes perfect sense to talk about your products in places where your audience already is.

Building brand awareness is an important marketing strategy that can be executed with the help of social media.

In this case study, we’ll show you how Tootsie Roll Industries leveraged their Tootsie Pops brand page and used a giveaway to raise brand awareness, plus gauge interest in and receive feedback on a new product.

Here’s what you’ll learn from this case study:

  • Why Tootsie Pops decided to run a giveaway for their digital audience.
  • Where they hosted their giveaway to increase traffic and engagement.
  • How they created and maintained buzz around a new product.
  • How Tootsie Pops increased giveaway entries by 702% compared to a previous campaign.

Here’s a step-by-step look at what Tootsie Pops did to accomplish their goals along with tips on your can apply them to your own campaigns. (read more…)

Creating your own unique, high-quality Facebook content can be a very time-consuming job. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be, as Facebook isn’t just about your content. It’s also about sharing other people’s content. After all, a community is formed by sharing of ideas and messages, not just people and organizations talking at each other.

Many managers of high performing Facebook pages share content from other Pages every day—and see big results. Because curated content helps fill in the holes in your content calendar, it should map to your strategy, be high-quality and fit your page (message, type of content, etc.) While each audience is different and you need to know what will resonate with yours, these five simple and easy ways to find content will work for any page manager looking to successfully repurpose content for maximum effect.

Streamline content curation
It can be just as time consuming to find great content as it is to create it if the process is not automated in some way. (read more…)