Depending on the type of small business, summer can either be the busiest or slowest time of year. Regardless of which group your business falls into, there are steps you can take this summer to make sure the season is productive and you reap the benefits all year long.
- Snap fun photos. Well-lit and flattering photos of your customers and employees enjoying the summer at your business make great content to share on your social network profiles, blog, e-newsletter, and website. Smiling customers enjoying time in your store or your products or services is almost guaranteed to encourage others to join in. Save a few of the best photos to share during the winter months to give customers something to plan and look forward to!
- Try some social media optimization (SMO). If you don’t already know, social media optimization (SMO) is “techniques and strategies for promoting awareness of a [brand or product] on social media, especially by encouraging the sharing of content that attracts people to a particular website.” Summer is a great time to create or boost your social media presence and strategy with limited time offers and all those great photos you’re already taking!
Launch or grow your brand on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and/or Twitter. Experiment with different types of media posts. Start a blog or an e-newsletter for frequent buyers. With these new marketing endeavors, set reasonable goals—like uploading five new photos a week or having 100 followers—to gauge your success, learn what gets the most engagement from customers, and see how much time it will take to make it a successful marketing tool throughout the year.
- Update your website. Now’s a great time to make sure your website is capturing leads and generating sales. Add a newsletter or special offer sign-up to your website with a “Join now!” feature on each webpage. Make sure product pages are up to date and place deals and discounts on popular pages to drive digital and physical traffic to your business.
- Grow your captured audience. Your captured audience are customers you have contact information for—an email or physical mailing address. You always want to be growing this list! Consider placing a paper sign-up sheet at the register or offer customers the chance to sign up through the credit card payment portal when they decide if they want a printed or emailed receipt. Have prompts on your website asking visitors to sign up for your newsletter for insider tips or discounts.
- Review your profile on Yelp. Customer review sites like Yelp are a common resource for prospective customers. Make sure you have a full Yelp page and respond to all online reviews—positive and negative. Consider putting a sign near your point of sale to encourage customers to give a Yelp review for a discount on a future purchase.
- Meet business contacts in person. With plenty of outdoor social spaces popping up in the warm weather, now’s a great time to reach out to new and old contacts—these can be mentors, colleagues, vendors, members of your local business council, and other local small business owners. You never know what game-changing partnerships, information, or inspiration you might walk away with!
- Host a summer open house. This is a great way to thank and celebrate your customers. Consider partnering with another small business and serving their products or services via a pop-up shop at your location. Be sure to have tasty treats and drinks for everyone to enjoy! Offer special discounts or maybe a workshop related to your business.