Discount retailers are using mothers with an eye for design for guerrilla marketing campaigns that are making the women behind them thousands.
Shops like Kmart, Target and Priceline send products or vouchers to their stores to women with high social media followings, so they can use their wares to design chic bedrooms, office spaces or children’s play areas.
One woman told A Current Affair she had received at least $60,000 in products – ‘simply just for doing posts’.
Melanie (pictured) says she has received $60,000 in free products alone in return for a post on her social media channels about it
The Instagram star boasts nearly 50,000 followers and shares photos of beautiful rooms designed with department store furniture
The use of social media works so well because followers have a high degree of trust in certain accounts
The advertising tactic works so well because the women had large followings before they accepted the cash and product bonuses, and because they appear relatable to consumers.
Marketing expert Dee Maddigan told A Current Affair trust plays a big role in how effective social media marketing is.
‘When [consumers] have a source they trust or a mum they trust who says, “hey buy this product”, it’s really super effective,’ she said.
Samantha, who runs addicted_to_bargains, began using Instagram as a ‘little hobby’ for herself.
Now, she receives products or payment in return for sponsored posts.
‘It depends on your following, and also the client as well,’ she explained.
‘Some have PR agencies they deal with directly, and they might approach you and say hey we want you to post this, and they’ll ask you how much you charge, and it just goes back and forth’.
Many department stores, and some smaller retailers, are increasingly turning to social media for effective marketing campaigns
Samantha said sharing pictures of her department-store-based interior design projects was at first just her ‘little hobby’
She is now fast approaching 100,000 followers on Instagram where she shares pictures of her home design
Samantha also works with smaller brands, and says the method of payment can vary
Melanie, who runs budgethomeliving on Instagram and boasts nearly 50,000 followers on Instagram, says she has made $60,000 in free products simply through sponsored posts.
Each month, Target emails her a brief of what they want her to buy and focus on with her posts. She then needs to design a room with the products and use certain hashtags.
Using social media savvy mums is a smart marketing move for the department stores, many of which have a strong army of representatives unknowingly working for free.
Kmart does not pay cash for a sponsored post. Instead they provide product vouchers to influencers in return for posting
One unpaid social media page presents a shrine to Kmart and the decor inspiration within – and highlights the huge market these social media mums can reach.
Kmart Mums Australia boasts more than 230,000 members, all gushing about the latest department store bargain or discussing new ways to style a room using its products.
The group is behind the unbelievable success of Kmart’s $89 vacuum which was touted to be ‘as good as a Dyson’, and members often offer to purchase items which are sold out in certain stores to ensure everyone gets to enjoy the bargain.
Samantha says other businesses might use a PR company to contact her, and she receives financial incentives for posting for them
Samantha also did promotional work for Spendless shoes (pictured)