Things slow down in the summer—it happens in almost every industry, every workplace. People go on vacation; the alluring call of the warm weather can be really distracting! People are spending less time in the office and less time in front of their computers.
This means great things for our collective Vitamin D intake, but not such great things for your social media strategy. Fewer people cruising the web means less potential for your brand to be seen on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Throughout the year, there are a few of these slow times (usually during the holidays) that make your social media campaign is a little lethargic. The important thing to remember is: people are still engaging with brands online. You need to be one of them. If you pay attention, you’ll see lots of organizations ramp up their social media game in the summer months. This is a strategic move—more engaging campaigns during the summer months put you a step ahead of social media programs that become neglected with the arrival of warm weather and sunshine.
Here are some ways to up your engagement for the summer months (this can also be applied to other holiday seasons, fyi).
This sounds a little mundane, but summer is prime time to solicit engagement! People are doing really fun stuff in the summer time…going to the beach, hang-gliding, wind surfing, normal…surfing. We all know that people love summer because there’s more freedom to do cool things outside the house. So, ask people what they’re doing! Tell them to upload photos of their ‘best summer experience yet!’ It’s undeniable that there’s a collective excitement when summer rolls around—tap into that.
Social media is a place where conversations are supposed to happen and experiences are meant to be shared. So, create some of your own experiences. You’re still running a business; I get it. But, as part of your summer social media effort, schedule some fun field trips and take lots of pictures. It can be business-related. Maybe an outdoor tradeshow or a fundraising BBQ outside the office. Afterward, blog about it and post the pictures. Then, start asking your following what your ‘next summer adventure should be!
*Hint: if you find your summer posts aren’t gaining much organic traction on Facebook, a little boost from paid advertising never hurt. Promote a post or a story, try running Facebook ads for a month. You’ll see a marked difference.
Content marketing is KING! This is becoming more and more apparent. The more content you upload, the more eyeballs are drawn to your platforms—your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and your website. One new piece of content to each platform, each week means more than you probably realize. So, this summer, if you have a little more time on your hands, take it somewhere new. Try a podcast.
With the advent of satellite radio, the popularity of podcasts skyrocketed. People in my age demographic (22-35) love podcasts. All my friends listen to at least one. I have six that I like. So, there’s got to be some interesting stories right at your fingertips. Grab your smartphone, tap on that ‘voice memos’ function and interview the person sitting right next to you in the next cubicle. Ask them what they like about their job. Ask them what led them here. Ask them if they have any advice for up-and-coming (insert profession here). Or, take to the streets. Spend an hour each week sitting in a park or strolling around your office complex, chatting to people. Ask them how their summer’s going. Ask them what they hate and love about working during the summer. In fact, call the podcast “How’s your summer going?”
There you go. Two free ideas. But, of course, it doesn’t have to be a podcast. The point is: summer is a great time to up your content marketing strategy. Start a photo gallery blog. Shoot an awesome promotional video on a beautiful day. Fresh content is key and when things are slow, it may be the only thing that’s regularly calling attention to your organization.
Seriously. Run a contest ANY time of the year—but, if you’re looking for a sure-fire way to up your engagement during the slow summer months, a Facebook contest can be just the ticket. Make sure you’re within the Facebook rules and regs, of course (Check out Policy, Procedure and the art of saving your hide) and have at it! Destination prizes are great for the summer months, if you can afford it. Even if you can’t, does your area have a waterpark? A zoo? A mini-golf course? Offer prize packages from any of these places…they’re outdoor themed and they also lend themselves to developing cool concepts for your contest.
Don’t get discouraged by a little lag in social networking activity during the summer…even if you are pulling out all the stops. Focus on having some fun with your campaign; chances are, your audience will see that and want to engage with you.
How do you plan on ramping up your social media program this summer? Let us know!
Here’s a killer summer jam to send you off!
Picture source: jarofsunshine
If you haven’t already ventured into the online world of social media and marketing, there are probably only a few reasons why:
These are reasonable responses to the question of “why?” but with a little further research, I think you may just change your opinion as many businesses have, including us!
It can be a little difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, especially in a business to business scenario. There are several benefits, so maybe now is the time to jump in!
You don’t know how to – It can be a little overwhelming if you don’t have an understanding of what it takes to get involved in social media. The best thing to do is search for one of your clients on these social media platforms, or even one of your competitors to see what they are doing and how they utilize Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Word Press, LinkedIn, etc. Read, read, and read… it will give you more insight in how to join the online world as well as keep you up to date on what is going on in your industry. Who knows, maybe you will have something to say right away. Commenting on other businesses blogs and pages are great ways to introduce yourself and share your knowledge on the web.
You don’t have the time to – You don’t have to dive into everything at once. Maybe you are already more familiar with Facebook than any other site. Start there. If not, just pick one to start with for the first few months and you will gradually gain the confidence to implement others. Setting up a Facebook or Twitter account will not take you long to accomplish, just get it done and you can do some tweaking later. There are actually a lot of great blogs out there that will walk you through the entire process of creating these accounts.
The best in the business are posting and tweeting multiple times a day. They most likely have the resources to have an employee dedicated solely to social media. You should shoot for at least once every couple of days and if you start up a blog, try to start by posting relevant news to your company or your industry once a week, or at a minimum, bi-weekly. The more you do it, the better you will get and thus, take less of your time to create frequent posts.
You don’t think it will benefit you – It is true that social media is more effective for B2C companies but that doesn’t mean that it is not beneficial to B2B. The idea behind social media is to first of all, create more brand awareness on the web. The more websites your company is listed and active on, the easier it is for people to find you, understand you and learn what specifically sets you apart from the rest. These sites show up on general searches through Google and other search engines, so if you post quality content, rich in industry keywords, you will get a higher ranking. It’s all about posting good content as regularly as you can to try to get people involved in your business and your industry. Start a dialogue, talk to people that you otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to, drive businesses to your website, and ultimately make a positive impact on your business. We’ve seen it work.
Remember— If you do want to get into social media and even after your research you don’t think you will be able to pull it off, you can always outsource it to a trusted company.
15 Benefits of Social Media:
A Few Points on Social Media Sites
There seems to be much debate on this particular question with no absolute answer. From the blogs and articles I’ve read, there is an ongoing ‘tug-of-war’ on the topic. Social media managers and/or firms are trying to pull more customers in (obviously) and businesses small and large are pushing back; unsure if social media is right for them. If in fact it is, are they comfortable letting a third party business control their image and online relationships?
Education is the most vital aspect of this endeavor and that cannot be stressed enough. A company venturing into social media must educate themselves appropriately so not to become overwhelmed and give up too hastily. There are no magic tricks to allow overnight success; it is a process.
On the other side of the coin, a business taking control of social media or majority thereof must have a comprehensive understanding of your company, your personality and your industry. Concise communication is essential to stay up to date and on course with your goals, while keeping your followers informed.
A plan must be put in place with a champion to manage it. There are many ways to go about achieving this. Whether you simply want to hop on the bandwagon, gain more traffic and insight with analytics, or really get in touch with your existing and prospective clients, as long as it is done professionally, ethically and consistently… there is no downside.
5 Tips to Help You Get Started
1) Get Informed – Do some research and make sure you have a fair understanding of social media and what it takes to be successful with it. Look at other businesses in your industry to see what they are doing.
2) Create Achievable Goals – Talk amongst yourselves in the business to see why you are interested and what you expect to get out of it.
3) Devote Enough Time – After your research, you will come to the realization that this can be a full time job in itself. Make sure that either through your staff or through outsourcing, you have enough time to keep at it.
4) Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew – When starting, there is no need to dive in to all aspects of social media. Take it one step at a time if that is all the time you can spare. Start by creating a blog, facebook or Twitter account, then, once you are comfortable, select an additional platform and so on and so forth.
5) Don’t Give Up! – Once more, there are no tricks to ensure overnight success. Have faith; if you are posting interesting information regularly, there is no reason why your traffic shouldn’t continue to grow.
A helpful link on this topic follows, http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/26947.asp