Most businesses today use social media to market their products and services, but many forget that social media was originally supposed to be fun. Sites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat connected friends and families long before they became brand billboards, and many social users still use them exclusively for that purpose.
A 2021 report from Global Web Index on social media habits finds that 50% of social media users say keeping in touch with friends and family is the main reason for using social media, while only a quarter say it’s to find product information or read updates from preferred brands.
Indeed, even as the leading social media platforms continue to roll out business-focused features and tools, many users are largely just hoping to see some cute/cool photos and catch up on what their friends are doing.
The summer season, with all its activity and fun, is a natural time to produce personal, engaging content that builds an emotional connection with your brand. Your social media presence doesn't have to be all fun and laughs, but sprinkling in a post now and then or designing a limited campaign can be a great way to draw in new fans.
Looking for some hooks to build some summer-themed content around? Here’s a dozen ideas from our digital marketing experts you can run with, from the obvious to the adventurous.
1. Summer lifestyle tips related to your brand
If your brand sells consumer-facing products or services, it’s always helpful to offer lifestyle tips connected to your brand and industry. Whether it’s about choosing the right sunscreen (health care), gearing up for a trip (retail) or planning your dream vacation (travel/hospitality), offer tips and share content from your own employees and other trusted sources to become a resource for your customers.
2. Summer employee spotlights
Do you have seasonal employees or interns over the summer? Showcase their personality or show off their favorite summer activities through a photo collage or first-person message. This can also be adapted to showcase your full-time employees’ summer hobbies—Megan loves to garden, while Adam loves to explore on his bike.
Many companies take part in organized sporting activities, from informal softball leagues to organized corporate competitions like the Iowa Corporate Games. Show off your team’s muscle and tie it to your brand’s dedication to teamwork and cooperation. For added impact, shoutout the other corporate teams you’re taking on to reach their followers and build your network.
4. Team outings
All work and no play makes for a dull brand. Show off that team afternoon at the ballpark, museum or amusement park with candid photos or videos. You can also capitalize on the street fairs, festivals and parades that come to every town and city in the summer—show that community pride! Even the most professional brands can benefit from letting their hair down once in a while.
5. Good works
Focusing on your team’s philanthropic and community work is a great idea year round, but it can be especially effective in the summer as people work outside on landscape cleanups, Habitat for Humanity builds and more. Research shows that customers increasingly prefer brands that support charitable causes, and this can be an effective way to add your company to those ranks.
6. Food truck follies
Food photos have become one of social media’s most common motifs, so why not show off a dish from that food truck or local restaurant your team loves to visit. As a bonus, your brand will get extra love for supporting local.
Want to go a little bigger? Set up a summer-long search for the best burger/taco/cupcake/etc. in your city, and chronicle your adventures for an ongoing social campaign that will keep your fans salivating.
7. The summer of small business
Similar in vein to No. 6, this idea focuses on spotlighting and supporting the small businesses that make up your community. Shoutout a preferred vendor, show how your employees are shopping local or take your team on a fun (and documented) shopping trip. You’ll build your small business network and capitalize on a growing preference among consumers.
8. Happy hour
Summer is made for happy hour, so raise a glass with your team and document the fun on social media. You can also embrace your inner mixologist and share some of your favorite cocktail (or mocktail) obsessions. Bonus points if you can find a super summery backdrop, like a rooftop bar or lake.
9. Favorite recipes
Related to No. 7, this one is great for the foodies in your company. Share those garden salsa and pesto recipes, or offer up tips from your resident grill master on Fridays. Even though it might not tie directly into your brand, it shows your company’s personality and encourages people to keep stopping by your social channels.
10. Theme days
Embrace your inner camp counselor and host weekly or bi-weekly theme days on your social media channels. #MakerMonday, #WackyHatWeds and #FreakyFriday can all inject a dose of fun into your business and social media presence, and win the hearts of customers.
Alternately, you can also celebrate the wide range of national “days” found throughout the summer, from National Trails Day (June 5) to National Happiness Happens Day (August 8). With so many days to pick from, you’re bound to find one that resonates with your brand.
11. Book Club
Summer reading season is almost upon us. What’s on your bookshelf, or what are you looking forward to reading beachside this summer? Select books that relate or tie into your brand’s mission and use them as conversation starters, or encourage your customers to unplug with some fun fiction recommendations.
12. Road trip reports
Vacation activity is expected to boom this summer, with cooped-up Americans clearly ready to travel again. Share your employees’ trips across country and funny or poignant stories that tie into your brand and/or products. Use that spirit of summer adventure to build an emotional connection with your customers. Time for that company trip to Vegas?
As you can see, the summer has tons of possibilities for fun and authentic brand building on social media—the hardest part is just doing it. Get your employees involved and ask what they would like to do most this summer. Odds are, that will be just the thing your customers will want to read about.
Looking for more unique ideas for your social media marketing efforts? Reach out to the experts at Informatics—we’ll help your brand cut through the chatter.