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referral marketing

Social Proof and Referral Marketing: 6 Strategies for Fashion Brands

Rhys Williams
By Rhys Williams — May 28, 2024 -

Read time: 4 minutes

Creating a buzz about your brand is essential, and fashion brands often turn to social proof as a way to reach and inspire new customers. Referral marketing is the ultimate form of social proof in marketing: When customers are genuinely inspired by your products, they naturally want to spread the word, spreading their trust and enthusiasm for your brand to others in their social circles.

Understanding the importance of social proof can significantly amplify your marketing efforts.

Today, we’re unveiling 6 top-notch social proof referral marketing strategies that will engage new audiences and elevate your fashion brand. With these methods, you can harness the power of your existing customers, transforming them into your most valuable marketing asset.

 

Strategy 1: Optimise word of mouth - the ultimate social proof

Word of mouth remains the gold standard for social proof, especially in the fashion industry where personal recommendations carry immense weight. Imagine the buzz when your customers can’t stop talking about your latest collection or unique designs. This organic form of marketing is not only cost-effective but also incredibly powerful in building a loyal customer base. 

To maximise the power of word of mouth, you need to:

 

Create a shareable experience

To get people talking, you need to create experiences worth sharing. This could be through exclusive product launches, exceptional customer service, or unique packaging. 


Link it to your referral programme:

Use referrals to track and optimise word-of-mouth sharing. Mention Me’s Name Share lets customers take up a referral offer by simply entering their name at checkout. This means you can maximise the goodwill and positivity that comes with word of mouth sharing - often around 34% of all referrals. 

 

Strategy 2: Understand what your customers are saying about you

Whether it’s a mention on social media or a review on your website, the social proof that your customers create tells you a lot about them. Tools like Sentiment Analysis allow you to turn your social proof into insightful customer data. It allows you to understand more about your customers’ feelings and sentiments towards you.

Sentiment analysis uses AI to uncover the common themes and issues your customers put voice to in the course of their interactions with your brand. You can use this data to inform your customer segments, creating more personalised and relevant messaging and campaigns for existing customers based on their reviews, feedback and social sharing. In this way, you can identify those customers who are your biggest fans, and nurture them to be even stronger advocates for your brand. 

So you not only get the initial benefit that social proof brings: attracting and impressing new customers, but you also get to use that concept of social proof to better understand and serve your existing customers.

 

Strategy 3: Be smart with user-generated content (UGC)

Encourage customers to take photos of themselves wearing your products on social media. When people share their excellent experience of your product, it creates a striking visual representation of how much your brand means to them.

When your customers show off your brand to their friends, and then those same friends get a referral link sent to them, you’ve already created a buzz before your email hits their inbox. 

 

Strategy 4: Give thoughtful gifts

Think of imaginative and unexpected ways to impress your customers and build social proof. For fashion brands, services like Inkpact add a personal touch by sending customers beautiful handwritten notes, customised to resonate perfectly with your audience and make them feel valued.

When customers receive these thoughtful gestures, they are likely to take photos, share them on social media, and feel inspired to leave the positive reviews they’ve been meaning to write. This organic content not only showcases your brand's trustworthiness but also highlights the positive experiences of your customers.

It’s a strategy that leads to genuine social proof, making customers eager to shop with you again and share their delightful experiences with friends, thereby amplifying your brand's reach and reputation.

 

Strategy 5: Maximise the value of your top reviewers 

Reviews are one of the most powerful forms of social proof. Almost all customers look at reviews as part of their decision-making process when buying. If you can feed your customer reviews into your referral marketing strategy, you’ll be better able to capture the value and goodwill wrapped up in them. 

When a customer has left a positive review, that is one of the best times to ask them to make a referral. In that moment, they’re thinking in glowing terms about your brand, so are more likely to share it with their friends. 

 

Strategy 6: Video testimonials and unboxings

Ask customers to create video testimonials or unboxing videos that include a mention of your referral programme and the rewards they received. Video content is highly engaging and persuasive: Seeing and hearing real people talk about their positive experiences provides strong social proof and encourages viewers to participate in your referral programme.

 

Nurture and reward your customers with referral marketing

Referral marketing is not just a strategy; it's a vital component in nurturing a loyal customer base and attracting high-quality new customers. When customers genuinely love your products, they naturally create beautiful and powerful social proof. Their recommendations act as the ultimate endorsement, lending authenticity and credibility to your brand.

Combe social proof marketing strategy with referral marketing to build lasting relationships with your customers and expand your brand's reach. Get it right, and you'll boost your brand's reputation, creating a vibrant community of loyal customers in the process.




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