Trade your thoughts for free stuff

Millennials, as a whole, are very skeptical of companies and their underlying motives of advertising. Influenster acknowledges that most consumers today heavily rely on reviews and opinions from friends when making a purchase decision. Taking this idea into the 21st century, they’ve created an online platform where you can review products with the incentive of receiving free products in the mail! Rather than give a summary on how Influenster works, I want to focus on how both businesses and consumers can benefit from these types of websites. I’m currently participating in the “Chapstick Naturals VoxBox.” I’m going to be sent a selection of Chapstick’s newest product line to test and review!

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Using a program like this is so beneficial for companies during a new product launch. The product receives guaranteed buzz and it will almost always receive accurate feedback. Influenster selects users that they believe have some authority in the product’s field and that will give an honest opinion. For example, if I had said that I do not normally use lip balms, I probably wouldn’t have been selected for the ChapStick campaign. They also select participants by their “social impact.” Your impact score is calculated by how many friends and followers you have on your social media accounts. This helps Influenster calculate how effective you will be in reaching the most amount of people. This also ensures the company that their message will reach as much of the target market as possible, as well as rewards the Influenster users that have all of their social media accounts connected. My impact score is high, which allows me to be considered for many VoxBoxes, even when I may not be the most active user.

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Influenster benefits both companies and consumers by simply sharing opinions. Consumers do not always trust a company’s word in their advertising. It often takes that third party to say, “Yes, this product is actually really great.” Influenster users are able to be that third party, while receiving benefits for their time and effort used. Try it, if it’s something you think you’d be interested! It’s totally free to join and you get free stuff, so why not?

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Use Instagram to get the most out of your city

This summer I moved to Atlanta and interned with Georgia Aquarium (the best decision I’ve ever made and I could talk about it all day). I’m not originally from Atlanta and I didn’t know what all there was to do in the city, so I followed an Instagram account that did everything for me.

ATL Bucket List highlights the trendiest and hottest spots of Atlanta. It focuses on local food and drink, but also frequently features attractions, street art and special events. The Instagram account was only created a little over a year ago in March 2015 and already has over 57,700 thousand followers (and increasing every day!). Alyssa, the account’s founder, has now expanded ATL Bucket List into a blogFacebook Page and Twitter.

Atlanta isn’t the only city to have this type of Instagram account. Nashville has a very similar account, Nashville Guru, and Chicago has an almost identical Chicago Bucket List. I’m sure there are many more cities with similar accounts that I just haven’t visited yet. If you can’t find a similar Instagram account for your city, I highly recommend starting one. Alyssa has become a major influencer in the Atlanta community in just over a year. This could have have easily been anyone! All it takes is one great idea and an Instagram account to gain a following. Through ATL Bucket List, she has gotten some exclusive VIP invites to special events, as well as free swag, from organizations like Chateau Elan and The Atlanta Beer Festival, to give away on her account.

Business owners should go home and pray that she happen upon their business. Just one post and 60 thousand potential new customers have been reached. These are 60 thousand followers there solely to get advice on where in Atlanta they should spend their money next. I am living proof that this is true. I saw these places posted on her account and tried most of them the next day. If you’re an Atlanta business owner yourself and ATL Bucket List hasn’t happened upon your business yet, Alyssa can be easily contacted by the email address located in her bio. If you really want to solidify your chances of being featured, you could always follow in Chateau Elan’s and The Atlanta Beer Festival’s footsteps by bribing her with free stuff. I’m sure she’d be willing to give your business a try then. 🙂