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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Work Relationships

4 Ways to Beat the Summer Slowdown With Social Media

For many of us, the thought of taking a breather this summer induces some serious eye rolls. There are products to sell! Events to plan! Proposals to write!

But not everyone is willing to sacrifice a bit of summertime R&R—including your customers.

If you’re a company that specializes in swimwear, outdoor activities, or fro-yo, that’s good news. But for the rest of us, June, July, and August can be tough for business, and you may be wondering how to keep those eyeballs on all of the great things you’re doing (even if those eyeballs are coming from a tennis court!).

The good news is, while many things get quiet during the summer, social media is not one of them. Here, we outline four social ideas to keep your content fresh, your customers engaged, and your platforms buzzing all through the snoozey summer months.

1. Latch on to Current Events

One thing that doesn’t stop in the summer? The news. And associating your brand with what’s happening in the world—by curating industry news, taking a stand on a hot topic, or creatively responding to a breaking story—will keep your content timely and relevant.

Need some inspiration? It’s safe to say most people weren’t thinking about Oreos during this year’s Super Bowl. But then the lights went out. Oreo tweeted—and suddenly everyone was.


2. Run a Contest

Got any leftover spring goodies you can part with? Or VIP passes to an upcoming event you can offer? Or a week of 20% shopping you’re willing to give away?

Running a contest is always a great way to generate buzz, but it can be especially effective in the summer months when you need to work a little harder (read: give away free stuff) to spark the interest of your customers. And if you run a contest that asks people to submit photos, videos, or content, like Eggo’s “The Great Eggo Waffle Off” contest, you have the added bonus of getting content you can leverage across your platforms.

If there is a specific platform you’re trying to grow (or, frankly, one that you care about more than others), consider hosting the contest on there. Just make sure you review each platform’s contest rules so you’re in line with its terms of use.

Finally, don’t rush it! Give yourself enough time to build some great buzz around the contest, especially if you’re giving away something really exciting. If you’ve got smaller freebies to offer, consider giving away a gift a week throughout the summer to continue the momentum.


3. Tap Into Existing Campaigns

#MusicMondays, #WisdomWednesdays, #TBT (Throwback Thursdays) and #FF (Follow Fridays) are all established social media campaigns that you can tap into during the summer months with your own content. And don’t be afraid to leverage that content across your other platforms beyond Twitter and Instagram. Even if some of your followers aren’t initially familiar with the hashtags, they’ll soon get used to you posting themed content on certain days of the week—like your staff’s high school yearbook photos on a Thursday—and they’ll look out for it.

4. Play Games

Summer brings out the kid in us all. So, if you haven’t already, launch a few games on your social media platforms to get your community engaged with fun, lighthearted content. Here are a few to consider:

  • Caption Contest: Post a fun behind-the-scenes photo of your company, staff, or products on Facebook or Instagram and ask your followers to caption it.
  • Summer-Themed Fill-in-the-Blank: For example, tweet “My favorite summer vacation spot is ______” or “My favorite summer food is _______” and have your followers join in.
  • Guess the Location: Post (compelling!) photos of your various company offices or your staff vacation destinations and ask your community to guess the city.
  • Word Scramble: Post scrambled words—ideally, about your company, products or industry!—on Facebook or Twitter, and ask your followers to unscramble them.

    Remember that much of your content will be consumed on mobile devices while your customers are enjoying the summer sun, so keep your posts compelling but bite-sized. And on that note—if you’ve got any big PR announcements scheduled for the second half of the summer, consider pushing to September when everyone is (finally!) getting back to business.

    Photo of man on laptop courtesy of Shutterstock.