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Now that summer is well underway and Q3 has begun, we’ve had time to reflect on some of the trends pointed out by the eTail Mid-Year E-Commerce Outlook. Social and referral marketing are bringing in record numbers, with paid social a must-have digital marketing solution for any E-Commerce brand. Of course, any business can benefit from a well-executed paid and earned social media campaign.

STATISTIC: Marketers report that social media drives 38% of their customer acquisition and 39% of their retention

What makes social media such a powerful channel is, as the eTail report states, the fact that it is essentially “word of mouth, optimized.” Paid social posts, though they rely on an initial paid boost, will subsequently receive a huge amount of organic engagement as they spread throughout the target audience. Those in the target audience will then share the post with their Timelines or feeds, or even mention the post by literal word of mouth, creating a massive referral network that compounds the impact of the post exponentially.

A referral does more than just inform, too: it also generates brand loyalty. When audiences and friends of audiences hear about a brand through referrals, they’re much more likely to trust it than if they heard about it through any single other means. This makes referrals, and referral marketing, hugely influential, and a crucial part of any digital marketer’s social strategy.

Your business’s referral marketing program can be conducted directly through your main website, but many choose to tie it into their email campaigns as well as their social media.

STATISTIC: 35% of marketers are familiar with referral marketing, but haven’t yet tried it

Want to learn more about referral marketing and how best to integrate it into your campaigns, as well as tons of other facts and figures about marketing trends in 2016? Download The Mid-Year E-Commerce Outlook!

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