Your Target Consumer is Already Thinking About Summer

Daylight savings time has arrived reminding us summer is just on the horizon. As the days get longer and the temperatures rise, one day soon the school year will end and the lazy days of summer will be here. What does that mean for your summer promotions?

This year:
• 1 in 5 millennials will plan a trip during one of the long holiday weekends.
• 64% of people will celebrate the 4th of July at a cookout, spending $6.2 billion on food.
• Americans will spend an estimated $1 billion on sunscreen products.

Reach consumers during the summer with targeted promotions and a seasonal slant.

Have You Started Thinking About Summer Promotions?

Brands synonymous with the season, such as bathing suits and sunscreen, have likely prepared a summer promotional push. However, the spirit of summer can open up timely hooks for less obvious brands. For example, summer may not seem like a prime time to think about finances, but as women schedule vacations and prepare for the upcoming fall, it is an ideal time to plan ahead.

Last summer, Sway Group partnered with a financial institution to drive awareness and generate buzz around its financial independence campaign. With select influencers sharing their vision of financial freedom during a 4th of July-timed program, the campaign secured 46 million impressions, of which 33 million impressions were generated from a complementary Twitter party that trended nationally during the hour. By infusing personality and integrating a timely promotion, the campaign was widely shared for its ability to capture women in a unique way.

Before television shows go on hiatus and summer hours take effect, let Sway Group help you think outside a traditional marketing plan to capture the attention of your target audience with tailored, high-impact results.

Does Pinterest’s New Smart Feed Have You Stumped?

Last fall, Pinterest unveiled the Smart Feed – a new home feed display ranking each pin based on a user’s interests and Pinterest history. With the new Smart Feed, Pinterest weighs each pin on a variety of factors. Incorporating search terms into the descriptions is the leading factor in how often a pin is seen in a feed, but the amount of engagement a pin receives is the second. The number of repins, comments and likes a pin receives bumps it up in the Pinterest algorithm – meaning pins with high-engagement receive high visibility and continue to gain traction over time.

Capture engagement with new Pinterest promotions to rank higher in Pinterest Smart Feed

For highly visual brands, Pinterest is an excellent way to increase brand awareness and generate long-term impressions and traffic.

Adult women, and even men, are increasingly using Pinterest, with the total proportion rising 7% in the past year, according to Pew Research Center. Through our experience working in this platform, we have seen food and drink recipes, fashion and crafts perform very well. We’ve turned a paper towel brand into a DIY superstar, a commodity food ingredient into a delicious entrée and an undergarment into a fashionista’s OOTD secret. Let us help you brainstorm how to best integrate your brand into a Pinterest-worthy campaign. Below are several of our unique offerings to attract new consumers and engage your current fans.

• Our Pinterest Promotions build awareness of your brand by encouraging fans to pin an image, using the campaign hashtag, for a chance to win a prize. Highly engaged influencers promote the Pinterest promotion on their social media channels and drive their followers to the contest.

• Similar to our Massive Tweet Campaigns, our Massive Pin Campaigns generate viral activity for your brand on Pinterest. We engage 100 Massive Sway influencers to pin one image each, during a 24-48 hour period. Sway Group works with you to include the key messages of your brand before sharing with the selected influencers for distribution.

• Our latest offering is a dedicated one-hour Pinterest Party to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. Followers will RSVP to join the discussion and will be guided by party hosts who will pin curated content (one pin per minute), dedicated to the party theme.

The proof is in the numbers.

Recently, two of our Sway Roster influencers partnered with a top brand to create branded recipes and tablescapes (For you Pinterest newbies, tablescapes is the term for a creatively designed table arrangement that showcases a specific collection or theme). Within one month of posting, the content created by our influencers was pinned 26,891 times, with a total of 38.3 million Pinterest impressions for the brand.

Contact us today to brainstorm your next Pinterest campaign.

Massive Sway Community Recognized with 2014 Bulldog Digital/Social PR Award

The Massive Sway community of bloggers, powered by The SITS Girls (a long-standing acronym that represents The Secret to Success Is The Support) maintains a simple objective: to create an educational space where bloggers can learn from their colleagues and share best practices related to the world of blogging. The community is the leading expert resource for both those new to blogging and veteran bloggers interested in learning everything they can about social media and monetization of their site.

We are thrilled to share that the industry agrees, as verified by our latest recognition with a 2014 Bulldog Digital/Social PR Award for Excellence in Online Communications. The Bulldog Awards recognize excellence in public relations and communications at the highest level. Our Massive Sway community has been selected in the Best Online/Social Media Community of the Year category for demonstrating its leadership position as an expert resource for online influencers.

Massive Sway recognized with 2015 Bulldog Award in Best Online/Social Media Community cateogry

The award celebrates the breadth and depth of the Massive Sway community, with unparalleled reach and weekly paid blogging opportunities. In the span of eight months, Massive Sway’s portal for influencers (known as iSway), which allows community members to register for sponsored post opportunities, added approximately 2,500 new members and continues along this path of growth.

Influencers seek out our network not only as a resource for strategic support and education, but also as a dependable source for steady, high quality work. We continue to grow our network of noteworthy Massive Sway influencers by allowing them to focus on content for their community, while we manage the business side..

Our clients confirm the benefits of an influencer network. The magnitude of our Massive Sway network allows for increased efficiencies in identifying the right influencers. In addition, by outsourcing the project management element of an influencer campaign, all contract negotiations, QA and coordination of post approvals are handled through the network.

As our Massive Sway community continues to grow, so too do our corresponding successful campaigns. Stay tuned for more massive engagement from the Massive Sway community as we continue our legacy of delivering noteworthy results.

Vince Vaughn’s Hilariously Terrible Stock Photos Are Free for the Taking

Wikipedia defines stock photography as a supply of photos that are used to fill the needs of creative assignments instead of hiring a photographer, often for a lower cost. They’re typically licensed for specific uses, with pricing determined by a number of factors, including size of audience and how long the image will be used. Getty Images, Corbis, and Shutterstock are the three largest traditional stock photography agencies, and alternative photo agencies have been cropping up since the 2000s.

Given how popular stock photography has become, it’s not much of a surprise that stock photo cliches have become nearly as ubiquitous as the medium itself. Overused concepts like the target, the cupped hands, the superman (why is this businessman tearing his suit open? No one knows!), the handshake, and the corporate huddle (what’s going to work? Hackneyed teamwork!) are so prevalent there are now a number of blogs parodying themes like “Women Laughing Alone with Salad” and “People Looking Shocked in Front of Computers.”

Boagworld author Paul Boag sternly admonishes against stock photo laziness, pointing out that “We should refuse to use one more photograph of business men shaking hands or ethnically diverse people laughing together,” and “A designer has literally millions of gorgeous images available to them online and should also be capable of producing unique imagery of their own” — but now there’s another option: you can use free, wonderfully cheesy images starring actor Vince Vaughn.

In order to promote the Vince Vaughn movie Unfinished Business, Twentieth Century Fox has teamed up with iStock by Getty Images to create a set of stock photos featuring Vaughn along with co-stars Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco and others. Twelve images are being made available for free download (for editorial use only) over three weeks, and they are predictably hilarious.

Here are a few of our favorites from the set — enjoy!

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Meet the Team Behind Your Influencer Programs

Social media has evolved from a marketing afterthought to an integral marketing strategy; on which 70% of marketers are planning to increase spend this year. In addition, a recent ANA study confirmed native advertising budgets are on the rise for almost two-thirds of marketers. As more brands seek out the power of influencer programs to launch new products, promote seasonal initiatives, and everything in between, Sway Group has expanded our sales group to provide customized solutions for brands.

Our sales team now includes Kristin Chambers, Christina Donnelly, Cheryl Dunn and Emily King. Each day, our National Sales team collaborates with brands to uncover specific social and influencer needs. We work together to identify the goals and pain points brand managers and agency clients face. Then, we match our clients with the right digital influencers to bring their brand messages to life through carefully created authentic stories, all aligning with KPI’s.

Our two newest team members, Christina Donnelly and Cheryl Dunn, join Sway Group with a wealth of solution-based sales experience. Christina, based in Dallas, Texas was most recently with Toni&Guy, where she focused on franchise ownership opportunities and operations. Cheryl, residing in the Greater Los Angeles area, brings a sales background from consumer product companies, Petunia Pickle Bottom and Aveda.

Our recent growth also touched our program offerings this year with the addition of high-level short content outreach on Twitter and focused Pinterest executions. As the platforms evolve with new algorithms, so too do our campaigns. Our Massive Tweet Campaigns and Pinterest Parties generate terrific viral activity, in turn increasing brand awareness and generating long-term impressions by exposing new consumers and engaging current fans.

Marketing spend on social media marketing will continue to rise in 2015

Interested in learning more about influencer programs?

For those based in Chicago, Dallas-Forth Worth, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Diego or San Francisco, we’d love to meet in person to chat about your new initiatives, or simply brainstorm ideas that you can take to your new or prospective clients. Reach out so we can create stories that resonate with your core audience!