Posted At: October 30, 2013 4:10 p.m.
by Courtney Cox
Now more than ever, the success (or lack thereof) of a brand is ultimately in the hands of its customers. With the increasing popularity of social media, consumers are relying more heavily on opinions and recommendations from other customers when making purchasing decisions.
While shopping online a couple of weeks ago, I came across Influenster, a website that gives consumers an opportunity to share reviews of certain products and brands, while providing incentives for them to do so.
According to the site, Influenster is a “free-to-join community of invited trendsetters who live to give opinions of products and experiences.” Influenster members are rewarded for their participation, and companies use the input to evaluate existing products and to inspire the creation of new products.
Members are to choose five areas of expertise, such as fashion, beauty, fitness, food and gaming. After completing a few surveys, providing some demographic information and linking all social media accounts, each member is ranked and given an Influenster score based on their level of influence and expertise in certain areas.
Influenster members also get access to exclusive promotions, discounts and free samples from companies that are looking for customer feedback on their products. Members who are more active on the website and on social media have higher Influenster scores and increased opportunities to receive these awards.
By partnering with Influenster, brands are connected with influential customers who will give insight and generate buzz about their products. Companies can essentially earn online coverage on various social media outlets such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, as well as reviews on the Influenster website. Members act as brand advocates who spread awareness of a particular brand and provide feedback to help companies increase sales.
Some of the popular brands currently partnering with Influenster include Sargento, Colgate, Tide, Dr. Scholl’s and many more. The online community helps establish and maintain beneficial relationships between brands and their customers while facilitating communication among consumers. Although Influenster just started in 2010, its increased popularity has opened the door for partnerships with some of the country’s most well-known brands. The website gives consumers a chance to make their voices heard.