A recent study shows that only 14 percent of consumers trust advertisements while a whopping 78 percent trust peer recommendations. Let’s look at what this means.

When investigating a new doctor, a car mechanic or a financial advisor, consumers rely heavily on the opinions of their peers and other clients’ feedback. They utilize reviews to decide whether a product or service is worth the cost, their time and, most important, their trust.

Connect and create relationships
So, how do you use social media to increase your referrals? By connecting and creating relationships. When a client walks away with a positive outlook, they immediately become brand ambassadors. What better way to market your practice than to have happy clients singing your praises to numerous prospects? Did you recently throw a client appreciate event? Make sure to take photos. Post them to Facebook and tag your clients. If you tag only 10 people and each of those people is connected to 200 friends, then your message has been exposed to more than 2,000 potential clients. It’s not about “selling” but rather creating a community where clients and prospects can connect, interact and share their experience with your company.

By utilizing social media tools you can better connect with your target market, create stronger relationships and share experiences with a much larger network. Positive client feedback and referrals are powerful, and social networking sites provide a channel to amplify the message to thousands of like—minded prospects.