What Spring Breakers can teach us about Social Media Marketing

Ahhhh Spring Break. That time of year when families flood attractions large and small, and when college co-eds wreak havoc on the nation’s beaches. As I get ready for a Spring Break adventure of my own, I started to think about if there were any lessons in this annual American ritual that might be useful for those of us who spend our days in front of a screen trying to promote social media marketing ideas through blogs and tweets.

Before I zip up that last suitcase and put the little umbrella in my first cocktail of the weekend, I thought I’d share my thoughts:

It’s good to go new places and see new things:
Never seen Mount Rushmore, or even the new aquarium in your town? I think you should load up the family in the SUV and give that a whirl. Exposing ourselves to new ideas big and small help us to gain perspective on our lives. As content marketers, this search for “new things” could be as simple as trying a new type of social media or making time to read from sources outside our industry. After all, Facebook and Slate used to be the “new” guys. And, seeing things from a new perspective is a great way to inspire us to promote the same message, but with a fresh point of view or to a new audience.

If, on the other hand, “trying new things” means jello shots while bungee jumping with the guys from Theta Chi, maybe it’s also good to recognize limits. As a marketer, this means you shouldn’t spend an entire day chasing the rabbit holes of following new people on Pinterest or completing personality quizzes on Buzzfeed. Even worse, don’t abandon the communities where your message is already ingrained to spend all your time with a new type of social media that is only currently used by 12-year-old girls.

Try a bit of something new and expand your horizons!
Spend a whole day finding out your college roommate favorites everything Rainn Wilson tweets and your 1980s diva is “Whitney Houston”: maybe not.

It’s good to mix things up a bit.
The reprieve from the day-in-day-out routine is one of the best parts of Spring Break. Whether you stay home or roam, changing things up tends to recharge us. The same can be said for your marketing message. If you always are technical in your blogs and tweets, inject a little humor for once. Add a new set of photos or request interaction from your audience with a survey or contest. The break from the ho-hum is a solid attention-getter, even for a loyal audience it is good to spice things up a little so that you don’t fade from consciousness.

But, if by “Mixing it up” you are thinking about getting a skull-encompassing hotrod tattoo with your buddies or entering the bikini-wrestling contest in Cabo, ummm well, I think your mom just cut off your credit card. Seriously, the content lesson here is don’t push it too far. Like I mentioned in the “Don’t fake it ‘til you Make it” post, taking a giant 180 in the way you present your message has the risk of ringing false or confusing customers, and could lose you some business.

I’m sure there are others ideas that would work here too: Pack smart = make sure you get the right facts in your article and not too much else. Have a rainy day plan = put your message in more than one spot. But, there’s a sunset out there with my name on it, and I still need to locate my cocktail shaker so I’m gonna roll…. Here’s hoping that you get a bit of a break sometime soon too.