This post has been revised from a blog post originally written on June 25, 2014

An exciting summer marketing event keeps shoppers engaged

Generally speaking, summer is the time for families to change up their routine and kick back a little. It’s also a great time to reach shoppers through social media. Make sure this summer you have a fun summer marketing event that reminds your shoppers why they love you.

A Social Media Photo Contest

Pick a theme for this summer marketing event. A clothing consignment shop can highlight favorite outfits customers have bought to wear on a special summer date. Or, outfits to wear at the beach. If you’re a children’s shop, consider a photo contest of kids in outfits for summer play. A furniture consignment shop could feature “rooms where I do my summer reading” or “my favorite spot on lazy summer days.” Of course, all of these ideas must feature merchandise purchased in your shop. Customers submit their photos matching your theme with your special contest hashtag. Draw a winner randomly or have visitors to your Facebook page vote for their favorite. Your prize must be worthy of the time required to take and upload a photo. Consider a tie-in with a local restaurant for dinner, tickets for a family outing or merchandise giveaways. Read Why you should use Facebook contests.

Summer Quiz

I always take those surveys such as “What sports car are you most like” or “Which world leader do you most closely resemble.” They’re fun and a great way to build new leads. Set up your survey around your merchandise. Ask questions about different styles of clothing or design. Most stores can ask, “Do you consider your style casual or sophisticated?” Pose a variety of questions and give customers 4 answers to choose from. At the end of the survey, show the respondent items from your shop that fit their answers. Design your quiz on Interact. They offer a free version that’s extremely easy to set up. However, you don’t receive email leads from the free trial. Sign up for the annual plan and create as many fun quizzes as you like. Here’s mine, Find out which resale-loving celebrity is just like you.

Create your own holiday

Did you know August 1st is National Girlfriends Day or August 6th is Friendship Day? Both of those are a perfect time to host a summer marketing event encouraging customers to bring a friend to shop. Serve punch and cookies, offer special discounts or a grand prize giveaway. Be sure to collect the email addresses of everyone who attends. Holiday Insights lists unusual holidays for every month of the year. Pick an odd one like July 27 which is Take Your Pants for a Walk Day and offer a special price on every pair of pants in the store.

National Thriftshop Day

Every resale shop should be celebrating this special holiday on August 17. Even though it’s on a Thursday this year, this summer marketing event should be a big one. Take time to promote the 3 Rs…Recycle, Reuse and Reduce. Read How to be a leader for Generation Z consignors  to get some great ideas for younger shoppers. This holiday is a perfect day to clear out summer merchandise and get ready for fall. Create a special Clearance Countdown over a 4-week period. Start the week of July 16 offering a 25% off discount on all summer merchandise. The second week, offer 50% off and the third week offer a 75% discount. End the promotion on National Thriftshop Day with a “Buy-the-Bag” sale.

Christmas in July

Get your customers shopping early. Dress your staff in Santa hats; decorate your shop with red and green; play Christmas music and add the scent of evergreen. Consider renting a snow-cone machine to serve red and green “snow balls.” Or, invite Santa to the shop in his Bermuda shorts. Make a memory for all ages.