It's Summer! Sunshine, Picnics, and…Small Business Social Media?

Sure, we all want to drop everything to take advantage of these spectacular (and all-too-rare) beautiful summer days, but did you know you could be out enjoying yourself AND marketing your business at the same time?

Don't get caught up in the assumption that a successful small business social media program needs to happen on a completely separate schedule from your "real" life. And if you’re already out promoting your company or networking with potential clients, it can take just a few extra steps to repurpose some of that energy, and turn it into social media gold.

6 Suggestions for Small Business Social Media Multitasking This Summer

Events. Already booked solid attending business-related events, so there's no time to work on your social media program? Maybe not!

You're taking the time to get out of the office, shake hands, and meet potential clients and customers at trade shows, conferences, lunches, or other business events. Now go one step further, and post pictures on Facebook or Instagram of the event: your team, the catering, the band, or the cute shoes your colleague wore. Show yourself and your co-workers off at that Chamber mixer or working breakfast! Don't over-style it; post it. Just have fun! Being candid reads as being authentic, so extra polish on a message isn't always necessary or even beneficial.

“Companies that market to consumers in a way that is authentic and locally relevant to the moment have a distinct advantage over companies that merely broadcast the same message over these new channels.” - Lori Kozlowski, Forbes

Authenticity in marketing is all about letting your brand's unique "voice" come through in your communications, so if your company has a distinct look or sense of humor, it's to your benefit to show that. Give your followers a behind-the-scenes peek at who you are and what you do, and you will be rewarded. People often choose to do business with people they like and find relatable, so demonstrating your "fun" side is a great way to break the ice and start a conversation. And conversations on social media are the foundation to build deeper personal and business relationships; just as they are in real life!

Social Media Bonus: if you're online publicly praising the caterer from the event you’re attending, that caterer might become a fan of your business, and "like" you back!

Hashtag, You're It. Play by the (fun) rules and post your pics to Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook with event (#techjamvt, #btvsmd ) place (#vt, #btv), or topic (#vtbeer) hashtags. A hashtag (#) groups social media activity into one searchable channel, so you can see what others are saying, or easily look for members of your group in everyone's photos posted online.

Play Time. It's the weekend, you're off duty. Your focus is on enjoying all that your area has to offer, not on increasing sales leads. But that doesn't mean you can't still be social media multi-tasking like a pro! Do you like to hike? Know where the best burger in town is? Just really love your dog? Take pictures and post them. Customers and clients enjoy getting to know the people they do business with, so seeing a more well-rounded portrait can be appealing! And as you are sharing pictures of your routine and casually complimenting the businesses you frequent, you are building goodwill, and they will get to know who you are, and what your business might be able to do for them.

Freshen Up. Use some of those summer hike pictures you took to refresh your website and social media outlet images. It's long past time to ditch the snowy scenes and holiday lights, so take a full accounting of your backgrounds and banners to make sure everything is current and up to date.

Meet the Team. Another use for those event and play time pics? Update your staff directory (or create one!) Let clients see the faces behind the voices or the online presence of your stellar corporate team. Fostering a deeper connection between your staff and your customers naturally improves customer service by engaging staff to take a more personal interest. And by empowering all of your employees to feel a strong sense of brand ownership, you can create company ambassadors out of your staff, organically amplifying your marketing message.

"When we expand the responsibility of cultivating our brand outside the marketing department to every person in the company, a brand becomes immensely more powerful." - Shelly Kramer, V3 Intergrated Marketing

We Have a Winner. Summer is a great time to run a contest on Pinterest or have a fun giveaway! Why not try something new that doesn't require a lot of time or effort, but has the potential to attract a new audience, and encourage engagement? Ask for photo submissions showcasing your product or business, name a new team member, or have an online vote about ANYTHING. Winners can score company product or service time, a bumper sticker, or even just bragging rights!

Do you have any summer social multitasking media successes you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments, or drop us an email! We'd love to help you jumpstart your social media program! Call us today to learn more about how Breezy Hill Marketing can be your full-service agency solution.

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