The Complete Guide to Brand Etiquette at Blogger Conferences

The 75,000 strong network of bloggers that comprise Massive Sway works with brands on campaigns of all shapes and sizes. We recently polled our community to gain insights on the brand-blogger relationship, specifically during conferences, in order to learn best practices for optimizing results.

Takeaway #1: Forget the Expo hall! Bloggers much prefer a more intimate one-on-one with a brand representative.

  • “I prefer one-on-one. I had a one-on-one conversation with a brand rep at a conference last year and I was able to gather some useful information without feeling rushed. I actually worked with them not too long after our meeting. One-on-one just seems more of an ‘appropriate’ way to start a possible professional relationship.”
  • “I think the more time that you can spend in any kind of informal setting can only be beneficial. It gives both parties a chance to figure out the best way they can work together using strengths from each side.”

Takeaway #2: When giving out branded swag, make sure it is of use to the recipient and not just promotional content. Our community admitted that while it’s a nice gesture to receive freebies, most paper they receive ends up in the trash. Consider putting your budget for promotional items towards one more expensive door prize.

  • The Bad: Paper brochures, pens, stress balls, letter openers
  • The Good: Local snacks and wine to enjoy during conference, tote bags to carry items home, double USB car chargers or portable phone chargers, product samples or coupons, beauty items (3 oz. or less for those traveling), certificates for web services, gift cards
  • The Best: Shipping swag home for attendees so they don’t have to travel with it, personalized jewelry, custom experience (e.g., photo with celebrity)

Takeaway #3: If given the opportunity, our community reported that they would like to ask the brand for more information on their product/service, key points of differentiation, vision for company, campaign metrics for success, target audience and how bloggers will be incorporated into their future marketing plans. Many bloggers want to work with brands long-term, if the fit is right.

  • “I would want to ask what their research shows their customers’ future needs to be, and how they are going to meet them.”
  • “A heart to heart with the Brand? Absolutely. It gets everyone on the same page along with setting out expectations. A win for everyone involved.” ‪

Takeaway #4: Each and every blog is unique. Smaller blogs can provide a wealth of influence, especially when combined with social media amplification on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Be open to discussing other ways of working, outside of free product and reviews, to create a personalized plan.

Moxie Research Confirms Influencers Prefer Working With Networks

Our friends at Moxie USA recently conducted research on influencer marketing – What voices carry weight in our community? Why? What does it mean for brand marketers?

According to Moxie’s 2014 Influencer Marketing Research, influencers have a very favorable attitude towards influencer networks. Sway Group CEO Danielle Wiley contributed to the research when interviewed on the role of influencer networks.

Influencers recommend networks for a number of reasons, but the primary motivation is a desire to focus on their content versus the business side of things. When an influencer can depend on a network for steady, high-quality work, he or she will readily recommend it to his or her friends.

Here at Sway Group, we do everything we can to make the relationship with our influencers a positive one by allowing them to focus on what they do best – deliver great content. And with the largest network of influencers, we know we’re doing something right.

We encourage you to download the entire study here for more insights on how brands can best incorporate influencer marketing into their campaigns. For more on Sway Group’s influencer programs, feel free to give us a shout. We’d love to hear from you.

Celebrating Back To School With The Sway Roster Bloggers

It’s time for the big back to school transition, and Sway’s roster has been sharing posts covering just about every imaginable aspect of this yearly milestone. From back to school crafts and creative lunchbox ideas, to moving personal stories and humorous anecdotes, there’s something here that will resonate with everyone!

bucket-listHowDoesShe? – Back To School Bucket List For The Family

As their summer vacation draws to an end, I try and remind my kids to make the best of their time away from school. Making and End of Summer Bucket List before school starts gets them focused on enjoying the summer. 

Free-Family-Management-Binder-Printables-3MomAdvice – 14 FREE Home Management Binder Printables

It’s time to get organized for back to school with these fourteen printables you can use to make a home management binder!


ratmvRage Against The Minivan – Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.

In the course of 12 hours I got the news that my grandma had passed away and sent my youngest child off to kindergarten. 

31-Days-of-School-Lunchbox-Ideas-sq$5 Dinners – 31 Days of School Lunchbox Ideas

I know how busy and intense the transition from lazy summer days at the pool to adjusting back to the 6:30 am wake up calls can be…so I thought I’d help out by sharing a different lunchbox idea each day this month.

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 10.05.14 AMBaby Gizmo – Sh*t Parents Say at Back to School Time

Whether it is about the other mom at the bus stop, the craziness of back-to-school shopping or just about the fact that it is time for the kids TO GET OUT OF YOUR HOUSE, parents are talking!

preschoolGirl’s Gone Child – Oh, To Preschool You Go!

Today Bo and Revi started preschool and instead of writing something sad I thought about my dad (that rhymed) who takes classic poems and rewrites them for every occasion… I thought of him when I wrote this because this is how we deal with milestones in my family.
Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 10.08.53 AMDating Divas – 100 Lunch Box Notes

School is in session and work is never ending. And when lunch times hits, we could all use a little more of a pick me up than just the food lying in our lunch bag!

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 10.13.15 AMCurves and Chaos – 7 Back-to-School Fashion Trends You Can Wear

Well, just because we’re adults and no longer in school, doesn’t mean we have to necessarily miss out on the fun. We can go out and do a little [back-to-school] shopping for ourselves!

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 10.15.33 AMSomething Swanky – 95+ Back to School Treats

Here’s a collection of more back to school treats than you can shake a ruler at!


vintage-star-wars-a-new-hope-thermos-lunch-boxScary Mommy – Going Back to School: The 1970s vs Today

Get up in the morning and make yourself a cup of Sanka with Sweet ‘n’ Low. Line up all the lunchboxes on the formica counter top in your kitchen. Open up a bag of Wonder Bread and do this assembly line style.

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 10.31.59 AMSkip to my Lou – Scentsational Back To School Teacher Gift

If you are wanting to send a little treat to the teacher for back to school and help keep the room smelling great, look no further! Here is a scentsational gift!

spohrsThe Spohrs Are Multiplying – Not Sad To See Her Go

I once told another parent how I felt about Annie being in school and she looked at me like I had two heads. “I miss my children the entire time they’re gone. I love spending time with them.” That’s awesome for her (seriously), but I don’t feel that way. I love spending time with her, but I don’t miss Annie when she’s at school.

August Updates From The Sway Roster Bloggers

August has been a busy month for the Sway roster! Here’s a look at some of what they’ve been up to:

Erin Chase Headshot smallErin Chase of $5 Dinners had a completely epic viral post this month – “20 Meals from Costco for $150” – which garnered over 90,000 shares. Also be sure to check out Erin’s NY Daily News video appearance, Lunch box ideas and more!


maegan-tintariA tassletastic home decor project by Maegan Tintari of Love Maegan was featured in HGTV’s “Monday Mood Board: Tassels.”



Morgan-ShanahanMorgan Shanahan of The 818 was featured on Good Morning America in a segment called “Plastic Surgery Confession: I Hide Botox From My Husband.”


elizabeth_brooklynsupper-478x620Elizabeth Stark of Brooklyn Supper was selected as one of’s 50 Favorite Mom Food Bloggers!



Heather-Spohr-smallHeather Spohr of The Spohrs Are Multiplying appeared in a Good Morning America segment “‘Stitch Fix’ Says It Can Keep You Fashionable for $20.”



Meet The Sway Bloggers: Rebecca Woolf

Sway’s Meet The Bloggers series presents brief introductions to our roster bloggers in which they share insights about their blogs, and themselves. Today’s featured blogger is Rebecca Woolf of Girl’s Gone Child.

rebecca-woolfRebecca Woolf is a mother of four and writer of much living in Los Angeles. She has been blogging on Girl’s Gone Child since 2005 when, at 23, she became unexpectedly pregnant with her first child and has contributed as an author and essayist since her early teens. Woolf blogs daily about family life and human relationships and regularly features art and music, ideas and locations that inspire her.

Q: What’s your all-time favorite book – the one you go back to again and again?

I guess I would have to say Tropic of Cancer. More than any other book, that one changed me. Miller’s words were honest and fearless, even when he was writing about a hole in the wall… I spent a good two years reading everything he wrote and regularly go back to Henry Miller’s books, Tropic of Cancer specifically.

Q: How would you describe your sense of style?

Style. Hmmm. The more storied the better? I wear what I love. I wear what strikes me as fun and interesting, unusual, one-of-a-kind. I wear what makes me happy. I shop at consignment stores 98% of the time, because that’s where the stories live. I want to wear stories on my body. It helps me navigate my own.

Q: If a movie was made of your life, what song would you want to play over the closing/end credits?

How about a “Landslide” (Fleetwood Mac) “Wild Horses” (Rolling Stones) mashup? Does that exist? Let’s make one!

Rebecca on Twitter
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