5 Creative Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Referral Program Awareness

by Friendbuy

June 1, 2021

Creating a cohesive marketing strategy includes delivering a consistent message across all channels. When it comes to your referral program, the more you can do to promote it in other marketing channels, the more engagement you will get.

Promoting your referral program on social media channels not only reminds your existing customer base that they can benefit from sharing your brand but also shows potential customers that rewards are waiting for them.

Get inspiration from what other Friendbuy users are doing to drive referral program awareness on social media. 

Why Invest in Social Media to Promote Your Referral Program

You already use social media to engage customers, announce sales, and build your brand. Promoting your referral marketing program on social platforms brings your business quality referrals that are already warm. If you’re not also using it to promote your referral program, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to find new leads.

Expand Your Reach 

We borrow the term reach from the world of advertising. In advertising, reach is what you try to achieve when you spread your marketing campaign across as many third-party websites as you attempt to literally reach your widest target audience.  Casting the widest net, given the budget and resources you have, is a well-understood ‘best practice.’

Reach also applies to social referrals.  Except in the case, you’ll be identifying digital surfaces that you own and control - where you can deploy sharing widgets - instead of someone else's site.

What you may not realize is that you have more reach than you think.

You can significantly increase the overall performance of your referral program by making sharing and referral opportunities available on several digital surfaces, not just your order confirmation / post conversion pages.

See how Nuuly used Friendbuy to drive thousands of new subscriptions within weeks of launch. >>

Add sharing assets to more digital surfaces

You can add social referral assets to a few key surfaces. 

  • Homepage
  • Newsletter
  • Order confirmation / post conversion page
  • All social media bios
    • Twitter (tweet a link to your stand-alone page)
    • Facebook Page (post a link to your stand-alone page)
    • LinkedIn (post a link to your stand-alone page)
  • Product pages
  • Blog pages
  • User account pages
  • Customer service emails
  • Help desk
  • Stand-alone refer a friend page
  • Transactional emails (order confirmation, shipping confirmation, etc.)
  • Trigger emails after positive feedback or post-purchase

Adding additional placements is a ‘quick win’ that will boost your reach and requires very little effort - just install some JavaScript snippets on those pages.  The ability to rapidly deploy sharing assets to many surfaces is just one of the reasons why refer a friend platforms make your job easier.

Improve SEO

When people visit your website from a link on a social media channel, it boosts your overall SEO. Both social signals and backlinks contribute to your ranking on search engines, so promoting your referral program on social media will only help boost the overall profile of your brand.

Find Advocates Where They Are

The average social media user spends almost 2.5 hours per day on social media. Chances are they’re not spending that much time on your website. Put your referral program content where people are most likely to see it—on the social media platforms they use most.

Integrate social media with your referral marketing strategy and you will discover a brand new cost effective customer acquisition channel .

Referral Program Social Media Inspiration from Friendbuy Customers

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when coming up with a social media strategy for promoting your referral program. Check out what these Friendbuy customers are already doing and steal the ideas that are most likely to work well with your brand.

1. Bulldog Skincare

Men’s skincare brand Bulldog uses sponsored Facebook posts to reach a wider audience. This approach allows the marketing team to create targeted ads for specific locations, interests, behaviors, and demographics based on where and how they want to grow sales. The ad promotes Bulldog’s “Give $5, Get $5” referral offer so existing customers are reminded of the program and new customers immediately have an incentive to buy and share.

Ads show up in news feeds as users scroll, and because the Bulldog team gets to choose the target interests, they only go to relevant users who are likely to be interested in the brand. Using these ads, Bulldog can also target the competition’s fans and grab the attention of a built-in audience and ideal customer base.

Bulldog Skincare

Another benefit of Facebook ads is the analytics that allow Bulldog to refine specifications and truly hone in on their target audience. Facebook ads can be created around specific objectives, such as clicking on a link that goes to the referral page, so the Bulldog team can accurately measure performance and ROI. Additionally, Facebook ads tend to get a better reach than organic posts, and Bulldog can remarket to people who have visited its site.

2. RipSkirt

The marketing team for fashion brand RipSkirt pushed the easy button on their social media marketing by creating automated posts to amplify their “Give $10, Get $10” referral offer. Each post has a timely message, such as the recent post that encourages customers to “Stay in, spring clean & simplify your look!” along with a call to action, link to the referral page, and associated imagery.



By creating scheduled posts, the team can rest assured that content is getting posted on a regular basis. Additional benefits of automated posts include consistency, the ability to reach multiple time zones, and more free time for the marketing team to focus on other tasks. This approach allows the RipSkirt team to create and roll out a cohesive campaign that promotes their referral program along with all the other content they display.

3. MeUndies

Creative underwear brand MeUndies uses Instagram Stories to promote its referral offer to give friends 20 percent off their first order and $20 in store credit for advocates. The brand uses personalized URLs (PURLs) as the referral mechanism, so it is easy for customers to copy and paste their referral link into social posts and messenger apps for easy mobile sharing.


MeUndies has a well-established Instagram following of more than 420,000 people, which makes Stories a great way to reach its audience. One of the benefits of this approach is that Instagram Stories are available for a limited amount of time, which prompts action because users know they won’t be able to easily find the content later. Advocates are more motivated to act in the moment because they can’t return to it, encouraging an impulse share.

4. Getaway

Vacation rental brand Getaway uses paid social media ads through Facebook and Instagram to reach a broader audience and motivate existing customers to refer friends. Ads include a “$25 off your next getaway” call to action for its “Give $25, get $25” referral offer and compelling graphics to inspire sharing. The company has also pinned a Story on its Instagram page with the title “Refer a Friend” so users can always access the content and refer friends.

This approach has several benefits. First, users see ads on multiple social channels, which reinforces the referral program and makes it feel more integrated with the brand. Paid ads also allow the brand to target specific audiences and maximize ROI. Additionally, Facebook and Instagram allow remarketing, so people who visited the company’s website will continue to be reminded of the referral program as they scroll through social media.

5. Afterpay

Buy-now-pay-later brand Afterpay uses Instagram Stories to highlight its “Give $10/Get $10” referral offer and break it down into five steps. With the CTA clearly highlighted in its Instagram profile as well, the referral program is truly integrated with the brand. The company also promotes its referral program through regular social media posts to keep it top of mind among customers.

Additionally, Afterpay also utilizes Instagram posts and stories to promote temporary referrals boosts. This maximizes visibility and helps build awareness during a limited time promotion.


Referral Program Awareness Beyond Social Media

Talking about your referral program on social media allows you to get in front of a larger audience beyond just visitors to your website. The more opportunities people have to learn about your referral process and make referrals, the more your program will grow. Social media allows you to reach potential new customers who may not already be aware of your brand.

But social media is just one way to promote your referral program. The ideal strategy is an integrated approach that includes all other marketing channels across your website, in retail stores, in email marketing, and more. When your referral program is seamlessly and consistently integrated into your brand, customers will engage with it more.

For more tips on growing your referral program and boosting sales, read Referral Marketing: The Essential Guide.

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