How to Ramp Up Social Media Marketing in Summertime

It’s summer. Which means every weekend is a time to celebrate! You’ve uncovered your grill after a long, arduous winter and fired up some New York strips. A little corn on the cob, freshly-sliced watermelon, and homemade peach cobbler round out your family’s all-American picnic.

Your house is bustling with kids (your own, plus their friends). They’re eager to spend the summer riding bikes around the neighborhood and chasing lightning bugs in the backyard at night. Day after day, they’ve begged and pleaded to head to the pool—after all, it’s hot outside.

And that vacation you’ve been planning for what seems like months is right around the corner. You’re finally doing it: renting that beach house in Maine and passing your days on the shores of the Atlantic.

Summer is here, and you’re loving every moment of it.

And for small businesses, this season marks an exciting—and important—time with respect to marketing efforts.

The change in weather also means a drastic change in consumer behavior. With temperatures on the rise, so is consumer spending.

Research indicates that people are online and on their devices—including smartphones, tablets, and laptops—more during the warmer months of the year. And the data is compelling:

  • Mobile usage grows 86% faster.
  • With 77-degree temperatures, online shopping increases 49%.
  • Facebook users share photos in summer 24% more than spring, 23% more than winter, and 5% more than fall.
  • Content posted on Facebook mobile grows by 26% and video posts grow by 43%.
  • 34% of people say they watch more on their smartphones (with cooking videos topping the list).

But that’s not all. Not surprisingly, people are more active during the summer months:

  • 48% dine out more.
  • 50% of homes are sold.
  • 80% of Americans plan a summer vacation, with an average spend of $941 per person.
  • Emergency room visits increase 15–27%.

Whether you’re running a string of fast casual restaurants, a bed and breakfast, a boarding facility for four-legged friends, or an auto-repair shop that specializes in German cars, local businesses should take note.

With summer in full swing, now is the time to ramp up social media campaigns and get in front of the flurry of potential customers out and about for the season.

Here’s how to get started:

1. Facebook is where it’s at

With 1.8 million active users worldwide, it’s the largest social media network. Stateside, 79% of Internet users are active on Facebook, and it also has the highest engagement based on the amount of time users spend on the network.

If your company doesn’t have a Facebook page, it’s time to launch one (it’s free) and begin driving customers to your website through posts and ads.

2. Basic information is key

This likely goes without saying, but make sure your business’ social media profile is completely filled out. Customers need to know the essentials—including your website URL, location, hours, and contact information.

Your company bio should be short and sweet. Some networks restrict the length, such as Twitter limiting the bio to 160 characters or less. Include information like types of products and/or services you sell as well as the type of customers you serve.

3. Image is everything

The profile image for your business on social media shouldn’t be a default avatar. Upload a high-resolution photo to all of your social media accounts. This could be your company logo or, if you’re a sole proprietor, a professional headshot.

It’s best to use the same image for all your social profiles so customers can easily recognize your brand on whatever platform their busy thumbs are scrolling through.

Consider image sizing. It’s also a good idea to name the photo files as your business name (e.g., yourbusiness.jpg) so they will show up in image searches for your business.

4. Make actions clear

Want customers to visit your website, email you, or give you call? Let them know with a call-to-action (CTA) button, which is an image or line of text that prompts visitors to take action. You can include a CTA in your bio information or as a button on your Facebook business page.

 5. Get social

Social media is all about engaging your audience and, ultimately, growing your following. Start inviting people to follow your business, and connect with friends, family, customers, vendors, business partners, and others within the industry by following them and commenting on their posts.

6. Drive reviews

Sites like Google+ and Facebook allow customers to post reviews and rate your business. Make sure you encourage loyal customers and followers to share their positive experiences with your business on your social media pages. And don’t forget to respond to the review and thank them.

7. Boost your following

One of the simplest ways to increase your following is to incorporate social media into all marketing efforts. Add social sharing icons to your website, blog posts, email signature, business cards, and flyers to spread the word.

8. Analyze to improve

Keep up with the traffic and engagement your social media page is producing through analytics. Every social platform provides some level of analytics. Examine this information to determine which posts resonate with followers and how to better engage them.

free e-book is available to help small businesses enhance their digital presence based on seasonal trends—to rank the highest, trend the hottest, and make the biggest splash this season.

Noting the hefty jump in social media usage when it’s warm, the e-book includes a dedicated section that equips local business owners with the know-how to leverage profiles on key networks that reach target customers and make the most sense for that particular industry.

This includes specific guidelines for launching pages that generate activity on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Yelp, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Because cool things should happen when the weather warms up.

Article written by Laura Cole