[Note: It’s been a long wait for summer around here, so now that the warm weather has finally made an appearance, we’re going to give you a short break from our weekly Thursday Thoughts. See you in July!]

With Monday as the unofficial start to summer, marketers should be ready for those out-of-office auto replies to come in as we head into a season filled with long weekends and family vacations. Aside from considering the timing of important communications (will a Friday afternoon post really get much traction?), how can you get your summer marketing strategy going? Here are five ideas. 1) Create a social contest that incorporates a summer theme or activity. 2) Reconnect with inactive customers by offering a seasonal incentive with purchase or visit. 3) Identify your business’s peak traffic times and run a promotion to bring people in during off hours. 4) Show loyal customers some appreciation with a round of golf or tickets to the ballpark. 5) Participate in a local event that draws a big summer crowd. It’s a great time of year to have some fun and get creative with your marketing!