Summer is the most anticipated season of the year. With everything it brings- vacations, partying, the beach, picnics, and sunlight (lots of vitamin D), how could it not be?
But for many small business owners, summer can be a dry spell. Customers are out of town, income goes down, your kids are home on vacation, family comes to visit, and focusing on your business seems like the last thing that’s going to happen. Moreover, websites often get less traffic and sales drop because potential visitors are too preoccupied with summer activities and spend less time online.
So, unless you’re a tourist guide or running a food stand in Fiji, here are some simple tips to keep your business alive and kicking this summer.
In this day and age, everyone is online, always connected to at least one social network. Summer isn’t summer without posting pics on Facebook or tweeting about fun moments. Use this to your advantage. Provide your followers on social networks the kind of summer-oriented content they’ll be happy to see.
On Facebook– Look for great photographs of vacation spots with small quirky facts, give your customers something light that they can enjoy reading or even skimming through as they are relaxing through the summer vacation. Engage with your customer in a way suitable to their current mindset and make sure they don’t forget you when they’re back to the real world.
On Twitter– The best tool twitter gives to businesses is the ability to become personal and to actively begin a conversation with people, or respond to a tweet. No matter how far your customers may be summering away, these 140 characters will still reach their smartphones and make an impact if they’re interesting enough. Start an interaction relevant to your target audience overall. For example, if you’re a freelance photographer, share weird bio facts about known photographers, or start trivia contests on “how to best light for a photo shoot of detailed black objects in broad daylight”. Share tips and write facts that people can find useful or interesting to read.
On Instagram– If you don’t have an Instagram account for your business, now is the time to set it up. Summer brings many exciting moments that can look awesome on camera. Open an Instagram account and share the photos you take in order to start getting a following on this channel. Find out everything this amazing network has to offer by seeing how the best Instagram users do it, and finding the best brands to follow on Instagram.
On Pinterest– Pinterest is a great social network for getting to know other users and conversing over shared interests. If your line of work has to do with anything architecture/design/photography/food/fashion related, you should really take advantage of what Pinterest has to offer. Give your customers something beautiful to look at while they’re sipping on their summer margaritas!
Red Alert: introducing fun content to your social channels doesn’t mean you should pull away from your original social content plan. The idea is not to turn your social channels into fun-only channels but to integrate some more play into your existing content plan. Remember to always try to tie in each post you upload with your brand values and messaging.
Slow summer days are the best period to come up with new ideas for your business. The sun, the beach and some relaxation time are like power engines that generate ideas for new product ideas you can implement later this year. Redesign your website- Review your site’s look & feel, as well as content. Is it time for a change? You can do amazing things by simply changing the background of your website. You can also simplify your Wix website and make it more user friendly by adding one of these Wix apps.
Now is the time to strengthen your relationship with existing customers and show prospective ones what your business is made of. Informing clients about your work, recent updates or even sharing blog posts through a regular newsletter is a great way to keep the contact chain open. It’s also a good way to remind them why they became your clients the first time around and keep in touch. To create and send your newsletter, use an email marketing service like CakeMail.
Another useful way to keep in touch and get valuable info while you’re at it, is by asking for feedback. Go to SurveyMonkey.com and create a short, fun survey to ask your customers for their opinion – are their expectations met? Would they like to see more/different products? Would they recommend you to a friend?. The more information you aggregate, the more targeted your future marketing efforts will be.
Take advantage of the slow days to get your business back into action. Do some market research by joining forums and social networks that are relevant to your industry and see what the talk is. You can also go for a walk on the web and visit other professionals’ websites, blogs, and be part of the discussion. See what the hot trends in the industry are and offer your services where relevant. At this time of year when you spend lots of time outdoors, it’s also important to get to know people and be on the lookout for relevant industry events around your area like conferences, summits, lectures, etc. To get the latest scoops on nearby events, join Meetups relevant to your industry.
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