Sales often slow down in the summer. People take vacations. Kids come home from school. People often shop a little less, putting a lag on consumer retail spending. However, you can still make your summer sales sizzle with a marketing and sales strategy featuring social media tactics that engage your target audience. Here are some ideas:
User-Generated Content (UGC) and Contests
When people see their own content on your website, it makes social media more more engaging to use. It also lends more authenticity to your brand's image. When customers see photos or videos they submitted, they're more likely to share it on their own page or profile.
To convince your audience to actually provide UGC, create a contest. Have them submit their best summer vacation photos or videos. In addition, if you have a product complementary to food or home products, launch a summer recipe contest or garden contest.
Encourage your social media followers to include a product related to your brand. This is an opportunity to subtly highlight how your products enhance their lives. Offering a prize might also incentivize more people to submit visuals that fill your social media channels with interesting content.
Tips for this social media tactic include:
- Develop a user-generated content calendar.
- Establish contest guidelines, including rules, prizes, winner selection and timeline.
- Set a policy that describes how you plan to share user-generated content. Then, make this policy available to your audience and participants.
- Maintain a budget that fits your marketing spend.
Helpful Summer-Specific Campaigns
Your social media audience may not necessarily be in a buying mood. Nonetheless, you can still interact with them frequently if you deliver content that helps them. More interaction often means more trust. More trust often means more purchases.
For example, offer written and visual content related to vacation planning, summer utility savings and keeping kids busy over break. Additionally, start ramping up back-to-school content as the end of summer nears.
To guide the success of this social media strategy, consider doing the following:
- Create a summer-specific content calendar to map out social media content campaigns. Build content suited for each social media channel.
- Use content analytics sites to determine lists of trending topics. Your audience may find these more engaging and relevant.
- Generate and schedule content in line with research you've conducted. This helps ensure you're posting at optimum days and times for your specific audience.
- Use analytics to gauge the success of your content. Explore each social media channel's analytics tools.
- Follow highly rated profiles and posts in your industry. Consider re-posting them using a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite.
Social Media Connections That Drive Offline Event Participation
Not everything related to your summer social media strategy has to remain online. Instead, leverage these platforms to encourage offline interaction at events you plan.
For example, consider participating in a summer festival, conference, or community event. Perhaps you can invest in a kiosk or pop-up shop. Promote it online through your social media channels.
Next, livestream on social media from your event. This encourages people to visit and meet your brand in-person. They'll see people having fun and may want to join in themselves.
Your social media audience may not necessarily be in a buying mood. Nonetheless, you can still interact with them frequently if you deliver content that helps them.
Get the most out of offline events by trying these strategies:
- Research local offline opportunities and get involved in those that fit your brand and offering.
- Plan your social media content to coincide with the event. Announce involvement and offer a link to event tickets. Next, offer discounts or prizes of some kind.
- Set-up a live feed and encourage your audience to share their pictures and video from the event.
Business Credit Cards That Can Help Multiply Social Media Advertising ROI
Strong organic traffic is hugely helpful to any business. However, social media advertising can be highly beneficial and effective, too. Costs vary, but it's easy to stay within your marketing budget to drive traffic to your website. Social media sites like Facebook include a maximum spend in their ad campaign setup so you don't overspend. This also lets you test a wide range of ad campaign types based on specific demographic parameters.
Rather than using available cash, consider paying for your social media advertising spend with a business credit card. You'll enjoy a longer repayment term so that ads start paying a return and you maximize cash flow. Also, many business credit cards offer rewards, such as points or cash back. This helps you get more value from investing in paid social media advertising.
Because the summer months often move at a slower speed, there may be less pressure and anxiety around deadlines. Fun may even be a higher priority because of creative campaigns and offline events. It's an ideal time to experiment with your social media use. Explore different ways to engage with your audience and discover your favorite approaches to using this marketing channel.
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