If a social media effort is to be successful, it requires relevant content, consistent tone and, most importantly, a flow of activity that the audience craves. All this takes time and commitment.

In many industries, the summer is when things slow down.  Momentum’s experience with education clients has taught us that the summer months require a creative approach across all communications, not the least of which is social

The following steps can provide a baseline for social media consistency at a time when clients may be less accessible:

  1. Plot out vacation schedules: Whether it’s just a couple days or a full week, it’s better to know in advance exactly when clients are out, and when someone will need to pick up the slack on social media.
  2. Repackage: Take a look at social media statistics to figure out which posts have earned the most replies, favorites or retweets, and repackage them. Preface it however you’d like (as a classic piece, or a “throwback), but be transparent about it.
  3. Schedule in advance:  Facebook itself offers a scheduling for future posts, and so does Twitter client HootSuite. These features are also useful for scheduling posts on weekends and overnight—times when your audience can read and interact as their day winds down.
  4. Highlight others: A brand should position itself as both a thought leader and as a must-follow resource, not just as a one-way portal to its own site. If you’re out of things to post, fill the void with relevant pieces from others in your industry—even if they’re a competitor—and provide context and your own take. You may even see them return the favor in the future.
  5. Provide added customer service: Consider hosting a chat on Twitter around a hashtag, or make it a point to respond to every single “@” message or comment, if you’re not already. Consider bringing in someone who doesn’t usually have a role in social media and open up the floor for real-time chatter to provide followers with responses to questions, comments and concerns. Your audience will feel more engaged, and you’ll keep your brand socially active.

Planning ahead on social media takes some foresight, fresh content and common sense, but strategizing in advance and scheduling posts can keep client’s social pages from going stagnant.

Follow Bill Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg