Hang Ten: How to Keep Students Engaged With Your Brand During the Summer

For some students, the end of the academic year is synonymous with the end of all productivity, leaving exams and internships alike on the back burner. For others, summertime is devoted to a single gig, and students stop thinking about the internship hunt. In either case, the work you’ve done for employer branding suffers as student priorities shift.

There are plenty of ways to keep the connections you’ve made with your student audience, however. Not only will your summer campaigns help you find candidates for fall openings, but it will also help your company solidify its year-round presence.

#GetSocial

Whether it’s creating a new Twitter hashtag for the summer or starting a warm weather pin board, your brand can celebrate the season on social media. Give students special incentives to interact with your brand online—this might mean featuring a daily Instagram photo on your Facebook page, linking to a student’s web page in your blog, or offering a prize for the best 140-character photo caption on Twitter.

Headline a Festival

Okay, maybe not headline, but you can at least make an appearance at one of the many summer mainstay music festivals. If you have the resources, head to Outside Lands, Bonnaroo, or Lollapalooza, etc. with some company swag; handy giveaways like tote bags and sunglasses attract the college crowd like moths to a flame. If your budget doesn’t allow for this, consider riding the news wave and using your brand’s voice to write festival reviews, make playlists, or create city guides.

Host a Workshop

Just because classes are over doesn’t mean learning stops at the final school bell. Your company is staffed with talented people—invite them to teach student workshops in their field of expertise, be it UX design or data and analytics. These one-off events get your brand in front of a talented student audience that will remember you during future internship and job searches.

Plan a Happy Hour

Does your office have a rooftop deck, a cool lounge area, or enough floor space for a keg? Celebrate the summer with a happy hour directed towards students who want to learn more about career opportunities at your company. Getting prospective interns or entry-level employees in the office will afford a much more holistic idea of company culture. CBS Interactive hosts “Thirsty Thursdays” giving employees and interns alike the chance to mix ‘n mingle over food and drinks with each other.

Run a Contest

Everyone’s got a competitive streak. Get students stoked by holding a summer contest! Ask students to snap pictures of their vacation, make unique use of your product, or come up with new designs for your company. For an added boost, make the entries available for the public to like, share, and comment on, earning your brand even more exposure.

Build a Company Page

With videos, social feeds, a FAQ section, and plenty more features to help students relate to your company’s internship program, starting a Looksharp Company Page is an easy and effective way to build your brand—even during summer. Brands like Facebook,  Do Something, and NetApp are maintaining a year-round presence with students through their Company Page.

What have you done in the past to connect with students when school’s out? Let us know in the comments, or tweet @looksharpco!

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Nathan Parcells

Nathan Parcells is VP of Marketing and co-founder of Looksharp. He has spent the past decade helping students launch their career, researching best practices for hiring millennials (including running Looksharp's annual "State of College Hiring") and sharing these insights with employers. Nathan's work has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, Business Insider and more. Outside of work, Nathan is an avid rock climber, back packer and Bob Dylan fan.