Did you know that while we’re on holiday we watch less TV, but are more active on social media? Do you know what the silly season is? In our last Etcetera blog post before the holiday season kicks in, we have a look at consumer’s news consumption habits and how we should use them to get more coverage.
How do we consume news when we’re on holiday?
image courtesy of hywards/Freedigitalphotos.net
In the Summer, less news and more social media
It does not come as a surprise to know that, during the months of July and August, the audience of the media decreases. According to AIMC, 59% of Spaniards consume less radio, TV, newspapers etc. when on holiday. Nevertheless, we still like to be informed even if we are on a trip: 46% of those travelling abroad read an online newspaper.
And how do we spend all this time we take from media consumption? Increasingly, social media, and according to an infographic by Adglow: July and August trigger social activity, especially on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For example, in the Summer we upload twice as many pictures as in the Winter. In addition, women are 24% more active on social media than men during their holidays. However, we do not wake up early to tell our followers the wonders of the place we are staying in: the busiest time on social media during these months is from 4pm to midnight.
Another striking aspect of our summer habits is that we disconnect from our home or work computer, but we are more addicted than ever to our mobile devices. According to a survey by Lenovo, 79% of Spaniards carry their electronic devices when they travel. The smartphone is the most used device in Summer, followed by the laptop and the tablet. And what do we use our mobile devices for? For the most part, we browse the Internet and access social media. During the holidays, 96% of Internet users get access via a mobile device according to AIMC, and 87% of those travelling abroad also connect to the Internet at some point during their journey.
The media adapts to Summer habits
With a smaller audience, journalists on holiday and spectators paying more attention to social media than to the daily news, it is not surprising that information released by the media becomes “lighter” during the summer. At this time of year, there are three types of news that never fail: supertopics, summer storms (silly season) and hoaxes.
The supertopics refers to the news that recurs every year, and even though they happen every year it doesn’t affect the quantity of coverage dedicated to the topic: For example: the heat, operation leave/return, home burglaries, jellyfish, etc. Apparently, we never get tired of talking about these issues.
Meanwhile, summer storms, are the type of news that we would not care much about during any other time of the year, but with the news drought of the summer they get a lot of relevance. For example: balconing, archeological findings like the remains of Troy or Noah’s Ark, the umpteenth attempt to find the Loch Ness Monster, etc. When September comes, this kind of information disappears without a trace, which is why this period of the year is also referred to as “silly season”.
Lastly, during the summer, hoaxes, unfounded rumors and fake information proliferate, and in many cases re-emerge every season even if they have been debunked over and over again. Some examples are the Mercadona creams or the alleged solar tattoos trend. Is it because in summer we trust more social media to be informed?
Tips to have a presence in the media and in social networks during the summer
With all that in mind we would like to share some tips based on our experience that will be useful for brands who want to have media coverage during this period:
Plan actions in advance; do not wait until the last moment. Note that many media outlets finalise their contents before going on vacation in August, and after they do, it is almost impossible to contact the journalists or the section supervisor.
To have coverage, choose the most relevant topics that are often trending in summer: travel, body care, home safety, activities for children, etc. Find a way to customise your news to what will inevitably be getting coverage.
Opt for the most used social media platforms during Summer like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, etc. Blogs and professional social networks such as LinkedIn have much less activity. It is not a good time to post on them. (This will be our last blog post for a while 🙂
Be aware that computer use decreases and smartphone use increases. Therefore, the content you publish should be visual and easy to share with a mobile phone. This is also not the right time for mass email campaigns. No one will open them.
Finally, the “closed during the holidays” does not work anymore in our hyper-connected world: it is desirable to always have someone on duty to control your brand’s appearances in both traditional and social media, and take care of possible reputation crises over the summer.
On that note we say “adiós”, “adéu” and “adeus” wishing you very happy holidays.
What about you? Do you intend to stay informed during the summer or do you take advantage to disconnect a little bit?