by Robin Wauters on September 14, 2009

RefMob is launching at the TechCrunch50 event today a service that allows business owners to make more noise about their paid referral programs online while at the same time giving more people the opportunity to earn bonuses for referring people using social networking apps.

RefMob enables people to share paid referrals that they know of for a variety of business categories, like bonuses for getting new apartment tenants or driving more job applications to a company looking to hire, instantly on Twitter and Facebook. The general idea is to let people leverage the tools they’re already using to keep in touch with each other for sharing referrals and consequently making arrangements for splitting the financial gains between them.

The big plus for companies is that they get an easy way to create a paid referral program online that they can easily distribute via their customer base, essentially magnifying the reach. They can easily measure the success of these programs in a handy dashboard and evaluate results for future programs.

Expert panel Q&A:

Q – Paul Graham: I like the idea, and I can see business getting excited about this. But which ones are you going to be able to convince?

A: We have found there are lots of small business owners who struggle with their social media strategy and we can help them. Companies who conduct business online are obviously a good match for our service.

Q – Marc Andreessen: What does a business do to get started?

A: They sign up, create a referral and distribute it to their customers by e-mail.

Q – Tony Hsieh: It seems unnatural friend behavior to institutionalize this type of thing?

A: Well they do work, although admittedly not in every industry. We just want to magnify the effect for those who it would work for.


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