10.14.2012

Check out Influenster's relaunch & turn your social influence into rewards!



Now that I've had several days to get a feel for the newly relaunched Influenster website I had to write about it! Not just because there's a reward for it, but because I was already planning to do it, prizes or not. But first, a little background...

About a year ago, I stumbled upon Influenster when my husband saw something one of his cousins had posted on Facebook about it. He knows how much I enjoy trying new products and writing reviewsI've been doing it for almost 10 years now—and thought it sounded like a program I would like. But I was too busy at that time thanks to my busy book blogging schedule and the involved process of raising kids, being a slave to our menagerie of pets, and taking care of this big house. So I put it off and waited a while, holding the name in the back of my head for a free moment. And I am so glad I finally took the time to join!

 
I know that many folks join Influenster with only 'FREE STUFF!!!' as a motivating factor and are quickly disappointed when they don't get a Voxbox immediately. But—and I hate letting this secret get out there—I got the very first voxbox that came out after I joined... like less than a month after I joined. Don't hate me... my secret is that if there's an Influenster twitter party during the day, you can bet your butt I'm there. Show them you're going to make the effort to be a social media presence, trust me when I say it makes an impact. Why? Because Influenster's core is the ability to build product awareness for the companies who provide Voxbox products.

Since joining last year I've received 4 boxes and had 1 get lost in the mail. That's pretty darned good. Just enough to keep me busy without overwhelming me. Not that I wouldn't love more, but I know I can't fit every demographic that every box needs to go to. That's what makes the relaunched site so freaking awesome—it's easier than ever to make sure you get considered for Voxboxes that you will like!

 
That's my new profile. It allows me to provide information about myself—pretty much the same stuff you see around here—and links to the many social media outlets I use. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube... it's all there so connecting all of my influential outlets are easy to find. If another member wants to see where I blog and which Voxbox Campaigns I've been part of and brand badges I've earned it's all there for her (or him) to find.
 
In addition to the Voxbox and Brand Badges, there are a new system of Badges to help Influenster match you with the best campaigns for you.

Lifestage Badges are more of a demographic thing. Mine are Mother Bear, Catnip, Do-Good-Er, Wellness, and Influenster Veteran. In other words, these let Influenster and the community know that I'm a mom who does volunteer work, is interested in health and wellness, and has cats. Other Lifestage Badges might let us know that another Influenster is a dog lover, bride-to-be, or college student.

You can have as many Lifestage Badges as you fit and you can update them as your life changes. So if you get married, have a baby, or your pet runs away you can adjust your badges as needed.

In contrast, Expert Badges allow you to select specific areas of interest to you. When you start out you can have up to five and in the future you will be able to unlock more. I'm honestly not sure how that will work yet but there are about 9 total I would fit so I'm looking forward to seeing how that ends up working.

Expert Badges allow you to cater your Influenster experience to areas you might already be highly focused on. For example, here at RhiAlistic I frequently post beauty product reviews, recipes, and write about eco-friendly things to change your lifestyle. So I chose the Eco, Sweet Tooth, and Beauty Queen Expert Badges. There were so many other Expert Badges that might apply to me in other areas that I had a tough time deciding which ones I felt I should choose. From Gadgeteer and Chowhound to Decorator and Fashionista, I could have chosen an area I focus on a little bit here but in the end I decided to pick my other two as areas I have a BIG interest in more in my private life that I hadn't shared on the blog really. It gives me a chance to find motivation to reveal my Gamer side and share my passion for beer, wine, and cocktails with the High Spirits Badge in a more social media sense.

I would highly recommend taking a similar approach if you're new to Influenster so you can grow as a blogger or vlogger. One of the best things I've learned in four years of blogging is that it's good to occasionally mix it up so you don't get bored and your audience doesn't lose interest.

 
Did you notice those numbers beside each of my Expert Badges? In each area of expertise you have tasks you can do to raise your score. Naturally, in an area you write a lot of reviews, have a vlog dedicated to, or just know enough to answer questions about you will have a higher score. Which is why my High Spirits is kinda low while my Eco and Sweet Tooth are pretty high.


Review pages are so much better this time around. In addition to rating and reviewing products you can find out more about them, tag them, find price ranges, the brand website, and check out the Q and A section where you can ask things about the product or brand and answer ones for those you're an expert on. I love the Average Grade section that shows you what the concensus is amongst the community.

At the moment the Review pages are limited to a series of products fitting each Badge or Campaign category but soon Influenster will be allowing us to add pages for the ones we have something to write about. Which means I can write about any foundation, liqueur, or restaurant that deserves some praise or buyer-beware notation and boost my score. All of the activities you complete now contribute to your overall Influenster score. At the moment mine is 72 which isn't too shabby. The current All Star Members listed range from 82-38 so it looks like my score is about average. Scores update daily so being active within the community as often as possible is a good way to keep yours high.

One of the things I love about Influenster is that you're not required to give raving A+ reviews. If you don't like an item just be honest. I've been doing this long enough to know that honest negative reviews can actually be what sells a product. It sounds crazy but think about it... maybe the thing you hated about that nail polish is exactly why it's a perfect fit for another person. Either way, when you're sharing your experience through your Facebook page or Pinning that new product or mentioning it to your co-workers, you're building product awareness... you're influencing the peeps you brush up against in the social sphere. Who wouldn't want to earn rewards for that?

Do I still have your attention? Good. I know this is a lot of info if you're not yet familiar with Influenster. So on that note I wanted to mention that the newly improved and seriously amazing About page on the website has answers to all of the questions I'm sure you're confused about.

 
Another cool new feature of Influenster's new website is the dashboard. You can see in the above image how I just did the Halloween Survey under Recent Activity, that I'm working on The Influenster Relaunch program (that's what this post is for) in my Fun File, and the Plan of Attack section that has activity suggestions to boost my score. It makes it super easy to find out what I need to work on like Brand Challenges, sharing Review Pages, and which Voxbox campaign I'm currently on.
 
Additionally, you can see that I currently have five invitations available to send to friends—or one of you followers who thinks it's something you'd love to try—so they can join Influenster. If you're interested please feel free to leave a comment here since I invited most of my friends from my private life before the site changed to being invite-only.
 
 
Voxboxes will still be the same but finding and working on your Brand Challenges and earning Brand Badges and chances to get extra goodies is more streamlined. It's easier to see what Mandatory Tasks (ie. the post-campaign survey) you need to complete and now there are Bonus Tasks like sharing your unboxing video or creating a Pinterest board featuring the products from the Voxbox. I'm not sure but I'm betting Bonus Tasks give extra points to your overall score.
 
On the right hand side you can see the Brand Challenges that fall into a Voxbox's contents. These are much the same, but it's a lot easier to tell if you've completed them or not. New icons tell you when you've completed them and when you have not.
 
 
As an example, you can see the NECTRESSE Brand Challenge page. The Show More button will give you all of the info you need to complete each task like using a specific phrase in your blog title or posting a certain kind of product picture on Instagram. You also find out the details of the Challenge Prize, I've won several of them in the past and find that the tasks make for good content on days when I don't have a lot to say otherwise. While the Challenge Prize might not always be something big and many have a very limited chance of winning, if you make the effort to complete all of the challenge tasks chances are you'll have some extra goodies coming your way. Sometimes the prize is simply a guaranteed chance at a future Voxbox which is the best one if you ask me. ;)
 
Overall, the newly relaunched Influenster website is top notch. For veterans, like myself, it might take some time familiarizing yourself with the new features but it's a lot of fun. I think the increased interactive features which allow us to connect to one another will be a big boon in finding products to try (as my Rhi-flection earlier this week mentioned) and making spreading the word about favorites much easier. If you're brand new to the site congratulations on joining a fun and innnovative community of influential people just like you! There's a lot to do, it's tons of fun if you enjoy sharing your product and brand experiences, and the perks are just icing on the cake.
 
Congrats on the newly relaunched site Influenster! I love it and look forward to more exciting campaigns and finally getting the community interactivity I've been craving.
 

1 comment:

  1. Just had to comment that we have the same name and that is such a funny thing. It's even funnier because my username for almost everything is RhiAliSon! I see you added Pinterest to your Influenster, how did you do that?

    ReplyDelete

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