Mrs. Dash. Budweiser. Nerf. Redbook. L’Oreal. Lawry’s.
These are just a few of the major brands that roll off the top of my head when I think of free products that my family, friends and I have been allowed to try. Some free samples range from a coupon off the face value of one item, to a box or package full of swag that I receive on my doorstep. I am relatively new to blogging, so I don’t have advertisers knocking down my door for me to do sponsored posts (yet!). And my twitter following can best be described as moderate, but growing. So how do I receive all these goodies you say? Read on.
BzzAgent is a Social Marketing site where brands connect with BzzAgents; normal folk like you and me who, based upon demographics, geographical location, shopping preferences, etc., are invited to participate in Bzz Campaigns. BzzAgents receive some sort of incentive from the brand such as coupons or free merchandise to try for themselves and then create Bzz throughout their circle of friends, family and social media following. Campaigns last for a specific time frame and BzzAgents are required to complete various activities during the campaign in order to remain in good standing. Some of the activities include tweets to followers, Facebook posts, as well as face-to-face interactions. Based upon your activity your Bzz Score, ranging from 0-10, will either rise or fall. The more QUALITY Bzz you create, the better your score. In the spirit of full disclosure, an Agent should always advise his or her audience that they received an item free or at a discount.
I have been a BzzAgent since 2007 and overall I love it. I like being able to drive sales and influence decisions for brands that I believe in, as well as getting to try those that are new to me. The down side, if there is one, is not getting picked for Campaigns that you figure you would be a shoe-in for. This can be frustrating, but one has to keep in mind that brands set the specific criteria they are looking for (including age, race, income level and geographic region), and it is not personal. Still, it can be difficult to watch plum Campaigns being doled out that you know you would Bzz your stinger off for, only not to get an invite. But not to fret. Another “perfect-for-you” Bzz Campaign is always around the corner and life goes on.
If all of the family gatherings and girl’s-night-in’s seem to wind up at your place, House Party is for you. With House Party you fill out a pre-party application, which survey’s your familiarity with a product or brand and your willingness to host a party and give out samples and coupons. Host spots are limited per party and can range from 200 to 2000; sometimes more. With House Party you are given an opportunity to show just how much you want to get a party invite. For the weeks prior up to host selection, there are opportunities to make social media posts, complete surveys, watch video clips, etc.; all in an effort to show just how much you want to be a party host. On host selection day you will either receive a coveted “congratulations you are a host” email, or a “try again next time.” Once selected to host and logging into your party page, you have a set time limit to send out a specific number of invites (usually 10) to lock in your party host spot. You can always go back and edit your invites and your guest list.
I have been a proud House Party-er since 2009. The social butterfly in me loves to entertain. House Party is a natural fit because our house is the usual gathering spot. Being able to feature products and services, give away samples or coupons, all while hanging out with family and friends is lots of fun. Being a successful host means getting guests to respond to your invites, show up at your party and complete a survey post-party if they receive one.
If there are any complaints that I have about House Party, it’s the same as with BzzAgent. While doing all the pre party activities does not guarantee that you will get to host a party, it does improve your chances. So you just have to be a good sport and go into it with the mind frame that you may not get the party.
It is free stuff. From trusted brands. And it is fun. And did I mention the FREE stuff? Some of the Bzz Campaigns and House Party are geared towards kids, some for the family, some are 21 and up. You get to control your chances of getting future invites based on the level of activity and participation. Spreading the word about products, handing out free samples and spending time with your friend and family is time well spent.
Antandra Campbell is mom, full-time worker, some-time blogger, and all the time trophy wife. The views in this post are hers, and while she sometimes receives products and services for posting her opinion, not a thing was exchanged in relation to this one.