1. Hire some help! – School is out and kids are smart. Especially with computers and the internet. Hire one for the summer and have them help you set up that social marketing campaign you have been meaning to start. Have them set up a Facebook Page, Twitter Account and even a blog. Join the conversation with your customers online. ONE WORD OF CAUTION! If someone is helping you set up Facebook or Twitter account make sure that you own the profiles and that you learn how to manage and update them. Afterall, school is back in session in the fall and you will be on your own and you don’t want someone else no longer affiliated with your business having the control. The idea here is to get you started so that come fall you will be ready to roll and will be able to seamlessly update the profiles without spending the time to get them set up.
2. Create Some buzz – In the summer people go OUTSIDE. They are out of the house and in the great outdoors on bike paths, walking paths, parks, highways, sidewalks, etc. Think outside of the box and figure out where your customers go and how you can get people talking about you. How about sponsoring a bike ride? Or simply put a sidewalk table or bench outside of your business (if the city allows it). Hang some signs on the bike path (“This Way to a Cold Drink”) or use some sidewalk chalk for the daily deal of the day.
3.Get Involved! Summer is the time for neighborhood picnics, community events, parades, garage sales, festivals and fundraisers. Volunteer your time to these events and get involved. Make sure that you choose events that involve your target market. Also, Remember that these are fun events. Your customers are relaxing. They don’t want a sales message tossed at them. Think of ways to join in on the fun and make their experience more enjoyable. They will remember you for it.
4. Nurture Your Customer! We all know that existing customers are very important to our business. Summer is the perfect time to tell your customers that you appreciate them. By Holding an ice cream social outside of your business or hosting a good old fashioned BBQ in the backyard you tell your customers that you appreciate them and will have them talking you up to their friends for weeks.
5. Do Good! – Times are tough for businesses and even harder for non-profit and service organizations. Choose a cause that is close to the heart of your target market and/or community and sponsor or host a fundraiser to help the cause. You will be helping others while staying visible in the community. Collect clothing and food for homeless shelters, furniture for habitat for humanity or help the local community group raise funds for the latest community project.