Using Social Media as Currency and How It Can Benefit Your Business

Forgetting your wallet at home could become a thing of the past. MilkUP, created by the Dairy Farmers of Canada was the first “post-to-pay” popup in Toronto that garnered the attention of hundreds of social media junkies. The concept was simple: pick up your items in the bodega, take a photo or video using their curated backdrops, and when you’re ready to leave, post your moment using their hashtags to Instagram or TikTok as your payment. No wallet necessary.

The Dairy Farmers of Canada may have been an unlikely host for such an innovative and creative event, but they accomplished something potentially revolutionary that begs the question: can we trade currency in for Instagram posts?

The answer is, we already have.

When creating branded partnerships via influencer marketing, money is exchanged for social proofing. The difference for MilkUP is that instead of just paying existing influencers to post about dairy products, they invested their marketing funds into this “free” pop-up and made all of its visitor’s influencers regardless of how many followers each person had. We were paid for our posts with food, clothing, and Instagrammable moments that primarily serve only to grow MilkUP and its partners’ brands.

So how can this benefit you as a business? We live in an Instagram culture where internet trends reign supreme and businesses need to acquire the trust of consumers in order to grow both your brand and your bottom line. Social proofing is the most effective tactic to gaining consumer trust and social media is the key to accomplishing this.

While scrolling through our feeds, most of us have become accustomed to seeing the words “paid partnership” or #ad next to the Instagram handles and captions of our favourite influencers. While transparency is appreciated, we all know that influencers are being paid to speak positively on behalf of the brand, and in a way, it becomes a less trustworthy interaction in comparison to an influencer posting a product of their own free will. This post-to-pay concept removes the branding tags from the equation and all of the content is entirely user-generated by hundreds of people, reaching significantly more people than a single influencer could. It is the purest form of social proofing because people are attending and broadcasting your event because they genuinely want to.

This hybrid digital and in-person marketing concept also offers the benefit of seeing your target audience and how they interact with your products, and the digital landscape. This can help develop future campaigns that are relevant to your audience’s needs.  Additionally, user-generated content increases your brand’s search engine rankings, general credibility, and online visibility.

Would you consider running a campaign using average people as influencers? FAULHABER can help elevate your marketing strategy with creative content. If you’re interested in discussing your marketing needs, get in touch.