It has been proven that a marketing message holds so much more weight when it comes from a friend rather than a brand. So how can brands get in on the friend-to-friend connection? Social gifting application Wrapp seems to have this solved. By utilizing sponsored (free) and paid gift cards, Wrapp has excelled at getting brands involved in conversations with friends. Wrapp CEO Hjalmar Winbladh, as well as Gap Sr. Director of Business Strategy Soundar Koneti, spoke at the AllFacebook Marketing Conference in New York about how the company has succeeded with friend-to-friend marketing.

Winbladh conceded that many consumers see marketing as intrusive and many of them just tune out ads on Facebook because they’re looking elsewhere. He also pointed out that gift cards are big business. Over the past six years, they’ve been the most popular gift — and they generate $110 billion of revenue a year.

Winblad noted that in a recent study, 92 percent of people trust the recommendation of a friend online and 71 percent claim that reviews coming from friends or relatives exert a lot of influence over purchasing decisions.

Wrapp allows the customers to receive recommendations from friends while letting companies profit from this exchange. As we’ve written about in the past, Wrapp offers free gift cards (worth roughly $5) that are sponsored by companies such as Gap. Users see this more as a “$5 off” coupon, incentivizing them to visit the store. Through Wrapp, a user can also pay to give larger denominations to their Facebook friends.

The app has really taken off.

In one month, Wrapp distributed 55,000 gift cards, saw 47,000 gift cards posted to Facebook, and those cards were viewed by more than 500,000 unique Facebook profiles.

In May, Gap ran a promotion using Wrapp as a way to reach out to its 1.5 million Facebook fans. The company ran a Facebook post with a Wrapp promo link, reaching 4 percent of the fanbase. However, 25 percent of the fans who saw the post engaged with it in some way. 6 days after the posting, Gap found that 7,500 gift cards were claimed. Of those people who claimed cards, 1,645 unique users sent another 4,515 Gap gift cards. The retailer experienced a 22 percent friend-to-friend spread.

Koneti explained to the attendees how Wrapp helped his brand through Facebook:

We were able to not only drive incremental traffic, but show that they were driving transactions. … It provided us some unique data that we didn’t have.

Readers: Do you use Wrapp?