German supermarket Aldi attracts its fair share of fanatic fans, but few have turned their love for the discount giant into a business.
Meet Sam Jockel, who loves Aldi so much it started paying her.
The 32-year-old started the Facebook page Aldi Mum in 2010, after the German grocery giant opened a store near her home in Clontarf, north of Brisbane.
"I noticed early on that mums really like to know what other mums think about products, because nothing at Aldi is branded, so it's a risk to buy anything," Mrs Jockel told Fairfax Media.
"So the goal was to build a community of mums around Aldi, talking about it and sharing advice."
The group quickly amassed 5000 members; small beer compared to its current 90,800, but significant at a time when few brands were taking Facebook as seriously as they do now.
Six months in, the mother of three decided to monetise the operation.
"I thought, 'how much time and energy do I want to put into this thing just for fun, when essentially it's supporting a big business," Mrs Jockel said.
She sewed together enough "Aldi mum" tote bags to send to each Aldi state head office with her phone number and a simple message: "Come and have fun with Aldi mum".
"They called me and we started a conversation," she said.
After six month of negotiation, they arrived at what Mrs Jockel described as a "mutually beneficial relationship".
That involves Aldi paying her to post five Aldi products on her page a week for the group's members to review.
On Monday, a post of an Aldi smoothie maker attracted a dozen positive reviews within a few hours, along with half a dozen questions from other "Aldi mums" about the machine.
"My hubby brought this home on the weekend and I was dubious," one user responded.
"We have enjoyed crushed ice slushies all weekend! Great little appliance."
Other posts are questions from group members about products they are interested in.
Mrs Jockel writes Aldi a weekly report summarising what the group thinks, while also updating members on specials and occasionally even publishing product recalls.
"No one's getting paid to write that information, so it's pretty honest, genuine feedback for the company," she said.
Mrs Jockel wouldn't say how much Aldi paid her for her services, other than that it was "enough to cover the time to keep it happening."
Mrs Jockel has also become a talking head for media covering the supermarket, and earlier this month appeared on A Current Affair to spruik Aldi's prices and products.
Viewers weren't told about her commercial deal with Aldi, but Mrs Jockel said Channel 9 had approached her directly to talk about Aldi's product "testers club", of which she is a member.
Aldi is by no means alone in utilising digital communities and social media to promote and improve their brand, and those who control such groups are in hot demand.
Mrs Jockel is promoted as an "influencer" by public relations firm The Remarkables Group, which specialises connecting bloggers with clients like Woolworths, Coles, Priceline, Ikea, Big W and even the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
The fashion industry is one of the most prolific at using social networks to promote brands and products by paying fashionistas to include them in photos on channels like Instagram.
But the line between advertising and honest opinion can be blurry, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission advises bloggers to be "transparent about commercial relationships" and to include a prominent explanation of any such deal.
Mrs Jockel said she does this through the information section of her page, where it says she is "sponsored" by Aldi and that she gives Aldi a summary of discussions.
"It's really clear that I'm compensated and anytime anyone asks a question, I'm always really honest," she said.
Sam Jockel frequently updates members on specials and occasionally even publishing product recalls. Photo: Glenn Hunt
She said that while not all group members would be aware their opinions were being harvested for Aldi's market research, the Facebook page was open to the public, meaning anyone could be monitoring their opinions.
In a statement, Aldi said it was "excited and humbled" when Mrs Jockel started Aldi Mum.
"We stay in touch with our loyal fan base via social media and customer service channels," the statement said.
"These communities are a big part of how ALDI operates in Australia and we are always keen to hear what our customers are saying.
"As a blogger, ALDI Mum is independent and the author of her own content."
Aldi has expanded to 382 stores across the eastern seaboard, with annual revenue of more than $6 billion, since arrive in Australia 14 years ago.