Top mom blogger/social media influencer Vera Sweeney shares social media success tips

June 26, 2014: I recently attended the #GettingGorgeous event for mom bloggers and spoke with Vera Sweeney, founder of Vera is a long-time influencer and social media expert who’s run the #gettingorgeous event since 2012. With her partner Audrey McLelland, she’s run hugely successful Twitter parties for major national brands. Vera was gracious enough to spare a few moments to answer some questions about social media, branding, and today’s digital landscape.

Ana Raynes: What social media site are you most active on? Why? Do you have tips for success in the platform?

Vera Sweeney: To be really honest, I am on all of them. I have to have a strong presence on every channel for my job and I make sure that I update a few times a day on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. Four days ago, I opened up a Vine account. Social media is very important in my line of work. I spend hours a day making sure that I engage my audience. Personally, I find the most pleasure from Instagram.

Ana Raynes:  Where do your content ideas come from?

Vera Sweeney: My life. If my children need bathing suits, I write a post about doing a roundup. If I feel like I need to lose a little weight, I write about healthy recipes. My blog really does reflect my state of mind.

Ana Raynes:  Do you have tips for coming up with new content ideas?

Vera Sweeney: Live a rich and fulfilling life. Get out there. Explore. Unplug (gasp). Engage.

Ana Raynes: As an influencer, what do you look for in a brand that wants to collaborate with you?

Vera Sweeney: I look for a campaign that will benefit my brand and my audience in some way. I look for a long-term engagement. I always try to stretch out a contract. I would much rather work with one person all year long than try to rally six different competitors together for the 12 months and make the same amount of money. I look for brands that are established and provide a reputable, quality product or service. If I’m literally putting my name on the line , it has to be for something I personally believe in as well.

Ana Raynes: What can an influencer bring to the table for a social media campaign?  Can you tell us about your Twitter parties?

Vera Sweeney: I host Twitter parties several times a month with my partner Audrey McClelland. Together, for one hour, we push out key messaging from our partners while engaging our followers in an interactive and fun conversation. We average about 10 million impressions for that hour. It’s a great way to make a lot of noise and get the word out about a product. We work with a variety of top consumer products including P&G brands like Tide and Downy. We have also done network gigs with the Olympics and the Emmys.

Ana Raynes: What metrics, if any, do brands look to meet with an influencer campaign?

Vera Sweeney: With our Twitter parties, we supply a post-wrap up report that is pretty comprehensive. For other campaigns, social is pretty self explanatory. You can see how many likes a picture gets on Instagram or pins on Pinterest, etc. So, I rarely get asked for any follow up.

Ana Raynes: Do you ever do Google Hangouts?

Vera Sweeney: We tried to do them for a while. I don’t believe people in the U.S. have caught on yet. I know millions of people are using GH’s; I just don’t know who they are. I know they aren’t my audience.

Ana Raynes: What are important factors in self-branding? (going to events, collaboration, hashtags, social media tips?)

Vera Sweeney: All of the above. Be seen. Get the word out. Keep talking. Keep blogging. And remember – your followers on YouTube don’t read your blog. Your followers on Twitter have no clue what about is going on over on Pinterest. Every channel is an entirely new audience. I treat it this way.

Ana Raynes: Who influences you, besides your family and Audrey ?

Vera Sweeney: No one in particular. I like to do random searches on Twitter and YouTube. The other day I found a tweet from Andrew Zimmerman, of all people, and clicked over to his blog. He had a video up showing him opening up his mail and I thought that was so fun. So I started doing it on my YouTube channel too. Who would have thought a Food Network check would inspire me? I don’t even follow Andrew Zimmerman  on Twitter. Someone RT’d him. It’s completely random.  People inspire me. Life inspires me.

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Photo ofVera Sweeney
Vera Sweeney
Job Title
Lady and the Blog