Keeping up with social media seems like an impossible task some days. No sooner do you perfect your marketing on a platform than a new one springs up or begins to rise in popularity.
On top of that, the makeup of your Internet audience is constantly changing and shifting.
The best way to figure out how to plan your summer social media marketing campaign is to look at upcoming trends.
1. Event Tie-Ins
One way to up the presence of your brand on social media is to figure out which summer events you can relate to your industry.
One of the easiest ways to tie into summer activities is to first look at major holidays — Memorial Day and Fourth of July, for example. Next, look at major national and global events, such as the Summer Olympics or big festivals.
Then, you can piggyback off the marketing for these events by tying into a hashtag or running specials of your own during the same timeframe. Expect to see summer marketing tie into various summer events, both in the specials offered and hashtags used. For example, the brand Omeka uses hashtags such as #summer2018 on their Instagram page along with images of sandals and baseball caps to pull in new customers.
2. Local Trends
In recent years, businesses have come to recognize the value of local SEO. Tie into local events to gain more traffic to your site.
For example, if there is a popular festival in your area, can you rent a small booth and then share images on social media of the event? Perhaps there is a famous artist headed to your area for a concert, and you name a sandwich in your restaurant after him. Figure out how to reach people on a local level and drive them to your brick-and-mortar stores.
Summer equals beautiful weather, and people are excited to get outdoors and experience life. For summer 2018, this means a lot of different events. As a business owner, take advantage of local events by creating a Snapchat geofilter and including your snaps at events to engage current customers and connect new ones. One example of this is Churchill Downs adding snaps to their Snapchat story about the Kentucky Derby. Anyone who searches for the word “derby” sees these snaps.
3. Strong Images
Even though big, beautiful images are not a new trend, they are worth mentioning because they are such a vital part of any social media marketing campaign.
Across the board, social media posts with images tend to get shared more often than other types of posts without images. On Twitter, a post with an image is about 150% more likely to be retweeted.
Because summer is about cooking outdoors and hanging out with friends, expect to see more food images in the summer of 2018. For example, Food Lion shares recipes on their website and then uploads similar posts with strong images on their Instagram account.
4. GIFs and Emoji
Millennials, in particular, prefer emoji, GIFs, and stickers over words and relate to them better. If you want to reach people in this age range, expressing yourself on social media with these icons is a smart move.
Expect to see brands tie images into their posts in new ways. Instead of lengthy posts, you might just see a happy-face emoji combined with a symbol for money to symbolize a store that’s having a flash sale, for example.
Summer means the kids are out of school and looking for engaging brands in the summer of 2018, and brands are looking to engage them. Vodafone clearly sees generation Z and millennials as key to growing their mobile carrier service globally, as evidenced by their Instagram posts including plenty of GIFs.
5. Social Causes
Some companies have jumped onto social causes and are engaging in marketing strategies with a cause. For example, Adidas used Lean In to help promote gender pay equality with their #20PercentCounts campaign.
The campaign encourages employers to look at pay levels within their companies and to close the gap so pay is equal based on experience rather than gender. Summer brings time with family and awareness of the struggles family members face, so expect to see more companies adopting causes in the summer of 2018 and beyond. Marks and Spencer adopted the cause of breast cancer, and they share similar images on their Instagram account along with pink-themed photos.
There are a lot of serious issues in the world, but when summer hits, people want to have fun and enjoy the warmer weather. Lightheartedness seems to be well received on most social media platforms and was trending in the first quarter of 2018, which can be expected to continue into summer. After all, summer is about cooking out in your backyard or going on a boating adventure with friends. Summer equals fun, so expect to see fun posts from brands in the summer of 2018. Budweiser taps into this trend with their Snapchat posts that feature elements such as festival food and a bottle of their beer.
Social media trends for summer 2018
Each new season brings new challenges and new trends in social media marketing.
These six trends are an excellent source of ideas for your social media marketing calendar, but don’t overlook the value of staying up to date on current hashtags and trending topics online.
The key to a successful social marketing season is looking at the big picture and not being afraid to try new ideas.