Social media and sampling

Spam samples

It’s a tried and tested marketing tactic to put your product in the hands of your audience. Whether it’s a Calippo sorbet handed out in beach car parks, sausage pieces dangling on the end of a toothpick at the butchers, Pantene passed on to commuters at Town Hall or a Napoleon lipgloss on the back of a magazine – samples make their way into our lives on a regular basis. It’s really no surprise that sampling has made an impact on social media. So how will it work?

Blog advertising community Nuffnang  has launched Product Talk, a product review program that puts samples in the hands of keen bloggers. A product is offered up for review and bloggers have the opportunity to participate with a set of instructions outlined for the campaign. Nuffnang wants to ensure transparency so has asked all bloggers to include a disclaimer on their blog with the review. So far there have been opportunities to try coconut water, body lotion and an iPhone app for directory assistance.

Mamamia has The Opinionator, a built in review program that allows the audience to sample a product and leave their thoughts within the Mamamia community (blog not required). The post about the product is shareable and comments are welcomed with specific questions directed at the audience with a final call to action – “so come and join the conversation”. There’s even a basic rating functionality for the smaller commitment – 1 – 5 stars. This would no doubt be used in conjunction with a recently launched advertising package which involves “a conversation based competition for readers to win your product or service”.

Analytics platform Klout has jumped into the game, combining the idea of sampling with the inherent need for SMEGs to define (and access) online influence. Klout Perks offers those with the right amount of “klout” the opportunity to register for a product all for the cost of a social update (tweet or Facebook post). I registered for a #redbullsim after seeing a tweet from Keith Don on Twitter and have been watching the hashtag madness grow since then. It may not be perfect but it certainly seems more effective than the pushy shopping centre promo staff who were accosting World Square passers-by with free SIM cards just last week. Can’t remember the name of the company and I, like many others, didn’t pick one up, mostly in fear for being signed up for something like most other centre promotions.

It seems that advertisers haven’t been jumping on board the social sample bandwagon just yet – can you see the benefits of getting a product in the hands of the vocal minorities? Or will sampling through social media just turn into spam?


Image credit: @nhoj


~ by mandi bateson on August 30, 2011.

One Response to “Social media and sampling”

  1. […] internal battle over the issue of influence. Whether it’s my hesitation about tools like Klout offering product sampling to influential audiences or my concern over customer service teams treating those with large social […]

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