Word-of-mouth is among the most credible marketing tools for large and small businesses alike. But a problem has been a lack of scalability.
Vancouver-based SocialNature seeks to solve that problem, with a focus on companies selling green products. Clients of SocialNature include brands such as Vega, Larabars and Hippie Foods.
The company, founded by Annalea Krebs, enables brands to scale word-of-mouth by delivering product samples to highly-targeted consumers active on social media. These consumers spread the word about products they love, sharing photos on Instagram, product reviews on Twitter or recipes on Facebook.
This is Krebs’ second business in the green marketing domain, and arose out of her first company, ethicalDeal, which grew to a community of 100,000 users, and then sold to the daily deal site nCrowd in 2015.
Brands can sign on to reach different numbers of influencers depending on the tier they wish to purchase and can target influencers based on their profile answers. The idea is that, if the influencers, who are already identified as being passionate about the product area, receive the product and like it, they are likely to share it over their social media channels.
According to Krebs, leveraging this trust in an authentic way is more effective than what is traditionally understood as influencer marketing.
“Most brands to date have associated influencer marketing with celebrities, famous people on Instagram, or high profile bloggers,” Krebs said. “But who would you trust more, a blogger or your friend?”
In order to encourage more sharing, the team at SocialNature plans create more user-facing reward programs, a dashboard that shows a user’s influence, and recognition of those who share with invitations to more exclusive campaigns.
There is a simple principle that underlies the opportunity, Krebs believes: “People trust friends, not ads.”