For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a huge social media enthusiast. I have a few friends who continue to cringe at social media’s progression and every network popping up because they believe it’s more of a voyeuristic aspect to living than anything else. From throwing excuses like, “my friends are not on this network” to “I don’t want people to know what I’m doing”, such reasons for not wanting to partake in social media show an interesting level of shortsightedness. If we look at social media from an objective and realistic point of view, not only can you reap the benefits of connecting with like minds and generating a discussion, but help to market genuine products through honesty.
Through hashtags and Instagrams, social media helps market your voice and credibility. By fostering relationships with new people on various networks, you’re creating opportunities for discussion without the bells and whistles, and there’s one community in particular that knows that.
I became a part of Influenster this past year, and truly believe they excel in the social aspect. By understanding the value of community and the impact consumer honesty can have on the general public, Influenster is the go-to destination for trendsetters and social media hotshots. Launched in 2010, Influenster recognizes the strong social impact members have through their opinions on an array of products. As a community of taste-makers and educated consumers, the social network runs campaigns almost everyday, rewarding users for their influence. Featuring digital and material rewards from brands (both big and small) known as VoxPerks, members can sometimes even receive the box of all boxes—the king of all boxes—a shipment of products to sample and review, known lovingly as the VoxBox.
How do you get one? Well after joining, you unlock badges. Badges can be easily unlocked by completing surveys about interests and behaviors, writing reviews on products and answering community questions by other users. While the badges are part of the game system to reward specific users with invites to specialty campaigns matching their demographic, they also award specialty badges to users participating in campaigns they are exclusively invited to. Depending on the campaign, additional prizes may be unlocked through various tasks that are not just easy, but really fun to complete.
No matter the size of a VoxBox, I’ve always had such fun testing out the products they send me. Since joining this past February, I’ve received two VoxBoxes! The Garnier Damage Eraser VoxBox was more of a prize than anything as I won it via their Twitter party; and the other VoxBox was sent to me after I qualified for their Lancome campaign for the Grandiose Mascara VoxBox. I really loved both VoxBoxes. I felt like Influenster actually listened and cared about who I was. As someone with long hair, winter is a pain on my locks, and Influenster delivered. As someone with small lashes and eyes that hide behind glasses, I was given a revolutionary and innovative mascara to test on me, and again, Influenster delivered. I like that about this community in particular. There are so many networks that send products and coupons for honest opinions, but Influenster stands out among all of them. They understand the consumer and use the word-of-mouth marketing as a positive tool for better products.
Earlier this summer, Influenster introduced The Hub which is another zone within the community that I love. Not only can you find specific product reviews, but you can find great tips and tricks, and meet other Influensters. As a social body, I really love that aspect. From categories like food to fitness, fashion to beauty, there’s a lot to read and love like the recipes (the Treat Yourself: Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls), the music picks (Artists You Should Know), and of course, the hair tips (Best Hair Products to Fight Frizz) which are perfect for this winter season.
A lot of people will think the best part of Influenster is the free stuff, but really there’s so much more to it. Sure, free stuff is amazing. We all want it! But even though I’ve only received two VoxBoxes since joining (but a dozen VoxPerks!), I’m still happy to be proud of this community because my favorite thing is the reviews. Influenster has a large community and the reviews are always something I turn to when introducing myself to a new product or even reading up on something I’m curious about after months of usage. Like, do you ever buy something and wonder why the first few days it’s great, but then after a month it’s not the same? That’s where the Influenster community comes in. With honest and unabashed reviews on almost anything you can think of or see in-store, members share with others first-hand accounts and experiences with a product. Not only does it put power into the educated consumer, but definitely feeds constructive feedback to brands and helps them to improve on what needs to be addressed, and I love that!
My favorite, favorite thing though? It just launched this past season and it’s amazing. Influenster made an app that you can use anytime, anywhere, and it’s awesome! With over 5 million products in their catalog, you can discover, review and answer all from your smartphone device (available for iOS, coming soon for Android). The best part? The barcode scanner. Do you ever find yourself in the store and wonder, “Is this a good product? Should I spend this much on it?” By simply scanning the product’s UPC, Influenster will bring up the specific product, complete with reviews, ratings, comparable prices and similar products from the particular brand in question. It’s my favorite feature on the app and makes shopping so much more fun!
The app came in handy when I was looking for a decent lip exfoliater a few days ago. I turned to the app for Influenster’s reviews and found the e.l.f Lip Exfoliator to be something I really wanted and needed. With helpful reviews from others, it was a product I bought and now absolutely love. It’s good to have an honest community help make your decision at checkout. With the way the economy is, you really want to buy something that is worth having and not disappoint you in the end. Influenster understands that and helps out.
They’re a great community and one I definitely recommend joining. With a community of 850,000 users and growing, it truly is harnessing the power of word-of-mouth in the most innovative and congenial way possible.