Many small businesses notice a decline in online activity during the summer months. That’s because marketing has a ton of competition in the summer: the kids are out for summer break, impromptu pool parties, extended vacations, and let’s not forget the sizzle of the grill for those late evenings of BBQ. Don’t you just love sunshine at 9 PM? With so much competition, it’s easy to get stagnant, but you don’t have to. Create your own fire and get cooking this summer by shaking up your PR and marketing strategy. After all, summer flies by, but a lot can happen with a little effort.

Rethink Your Social Media Lineup

Using Facebook and Twitter to reach potential clients can get comfortable and easy. Why not shake up the routine up a bit and consider another platform? Instagram is a great way to visually present the lifestyle best fitting of your brand. Take for example, our client, The Graivier Center. We considered the brand, their target audience and the services they offered, and we reworked their Instagram content to appeal to the lifestyle rather than simply selling their services. This way, their Instagram content reflects the lifestyle of jetsetters, brides and moms and dads looking to revitalize their bodies and mind.

Tried Instagram already? Why not dip your toes in the Periscope pond? With Periscope, you can connect with potential clients in real time. We helped our client, TACTspace, perform a live demonstration of the TACTpuck. They reached nearly 100 potential customers and received nearly 800 “hearts” or likes. In addition, TACTspace’s other social media accounts increased about 10 percent, collectively, from the live video series. For many businesses, Snapchat is probably new and uncertain territory. However, The Social Media Examiner reports that Snapchat has more than 100 million active users per day who send a whopping 400 million snaps a day. While the current target audience age range is about 18-34, the role it plays in marketing continues to grow. Snapchat can be used to run contests, campaigns, engage in a live and personal format or take potential clients, fans and consumers behind the scenes. For example, in 2014, the NBA hit a slam-dunk with Snapchat using it as a way for users to follow the draft, all-star game and the finals. They didn’t just report scores; they took fans into the locker rooms, snapped untelevised interviews with legends and offered exclusive content available only to their Snapchat followers.

According to the Huffington Post, YouTube has one billion (yes, billion with a “B”) active users each month. The number of potential consumers is thriving in the video market. The play button is “the strongest and most effective call to action” on any social media site as the Atlanta-based Broadcast Solutions’ blog post, “Video Production: 5 Myths Busted,” points out. Video is a means of marketing that extends across all social media networks and can be easily uploaded to a website. Videos can have customized tags to reach target audiences while also enhancing SEO.

Storytelling with Visuals

Creating engaging content is only half of the fun (and half of the ROI). Businesses need strong graphics to compliment the words of a post. Creating social media graphics is one of our graphic designer’s favorite parts of the month. She has the freedom to be completely creative and come up with new and innovative ways to catch consumers’ eyes. While we encourage new and refreshing spins on your graphics, we also find it important to think about the brand and keep the graphics consistent. Using brand colors and a certain style of images tailored to the client allows for creativity, yet keeps consistent with the brand message.

Don’t get stuck in a summer state of mind. While summer is a time for vacation and relaxation, it also offers valuable time to shake things up and get ahead of the competition.