The following idea sprung from an intiative I got under way in 2009. The program is called Make a Referral Week and on top of providing lots of good information about referral generation the week focuses in the idea of making, as opposed to receiving, referrals. Folks enjoyed the giving of referrals so much an number of them carried the idea on in the form of a public display of referral giving that’s known now on Twitter as Make-a-Referral-Monday or simply #marm
The idea made it into The Referral Engine and is explained in the excerpt below.
To drive the message of referral marketing home in your business, designate Referral Mondays. On Mondays, every member of the organization’s stated and charted goal is to refer someone to another business. These referrals can go to strategic partners or to your uncle Louie’s catering business, as long as you can match someone in need with a best-of-class solution. You can take your efforts out into the world and advertise and recruit others to join in. Post your Make-a-Referral Monday initiative in your newsletter, on your blog, and through social networks such as Twitter.
There is a popular way people categorize and group things on Twitter, using something called a “hashtag.” It’s nothing more than including the # comp: use cross-hatch symbol here symbol and any other text. People can search and find other tweets using the same tag. A very popular one is called Follow Friday: People suggest other users they consider worth following and add the tag #FF or #followfriday. This way, people can find lots of users to follow by searching on those tags. Readers of this book can start a new tag for Make a Referral Monday . Get your entire universe of prospects, customers, vendors, partners, competitors, mentors, and staff involved, and make it a game.
I can think of few things that would create a culture of referral buzz more quickly and authentically than a public campaign of making referrals.