Wednesday, May 29, 2013


It pays to have a big mouth.

No, not in a I-can-fit-my-fist-in-my-mouth way (and in no way is that statement an admission of fact on that matter), but in more of an I-like-this-thing-so-much-Imma-tell-everyone-about-it way.

The latter. This post is definitely about the latter.

Influenster is a new site that allows you to turn your social media influence into opportunities to get free stuff. It takes more than social media clout (not Klout with a K, but bona fide clout) to enjoy the Influenster experience; upon receiving products, you're expected to use your social media channels to honestly review them.

I'm going to mention an aside here: In social media circles, it is considered in very bad form to accept a product or service and not deliver on some form of social media engagement, whether that be via blogging, tweeting, YouTubing or whatever social media channel you prefer. 

The exchange of goods is considered a payment for your service of review/promotion. You don't have to lie about your opinions - brands want honest to goodness perspective, but you are expected to deliver on your end of the transaction. You are welcome to decline the invitation or product if you are not interested in engaging with a brand.

And consider the FTC disclosure rules, which specifically highlight rules for blogger/social media compensation disclosures.

Okay, that's enough about that.

Influenster invites you to connect all of your social media channels to an online account, and then you're given the option to pursue different badges that highlight interests including cooking, travel, fashion, fitness, etc.

Once you connect your social channels and secure a few different badges, you're sent free products to review. The packages they send are very similar to Birchbox, a paid subscription service that sends product samples every month.

I received my first Influenster package last weekend - the Spring Fever VoxBox. Inside, I found:

  • A full-size Secret Outlast Clear deodorant
  • A tube of NYC New York Color Applelicious Glossy Lip Balm
  • A Tasty Kake Kandy Bar Kake
  • A full-size bottle of Schwarzkopf USA Osis+ Gelastic
  • Broadway Nails imPRESS press-on nails - Over the Moon color
Influenster asks you to try the products and use channels including Twitter, YouTube, Vine, and Instagram to share your thoughts with your personal network. 

I've shared some of my social media engagement with the different products below; the brands are interested in seeing Influenster participants share content about their products. I assume people who fail to participate will not receive future offers from the review service.

My product reviews: 
  • I liked the Secret deodorant. It didn't leave a mark on a LBD I wore out and about this weekend. The product may sting a bit if you apply after shaving/showering, but the stinging subsides in a moment.
  • The NYC New York Color lip balm was great. Felt nice on the lips, and the tube features a cute apple logo designed in the center of the balm. Check the Vine video below to learn more.
  • Tasty Kake: Haven't had one of those in years. It was delicious but probably too decadent for day-to-day snacking.
  • I tried the Schwarzkopf Gelastic hair product. I don't have short hair, so I'm not sure I'm the target audience, but it did seem to give me good body when I applied it to my roots before drying.
  • Broadway Nails: I'm probably not the target for this product. The set I was sent is very wild - maroon and taupe swirls all over the nails. I'm a classic clear/red/pink nail kind of girl, so I may test these out purely to see how they apply and last, but this was not a win for me.

(Disclosure: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.)

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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