By Jenna Lebel
Although not the official start of summer, for many, Memorial Day Weekend marks the beginning of the warm summer months. If you haven't started daydreaming about beach days, road trips, Fourth of July fireworks and BBQs, this weekend is sure to get you thinking about the summer days ahead. Before you head to the beach and capture the entire experience on Instagram or tweet your way through a fun getaway, check out these must-haves for summer. Here is our social media guide to all things summer.
Get the Gear
How is your summer wardrobe looking? You probably have the shorts, tanks, sunglasses and sandals, but do you have a t-shirt that proudly proclaims your social media allegiance? Don’t worry, if you don’t, we’re here to make a few recommendations!
Nice to Tweet You T-Shirt- Is there any nicer sentiment?
Luke Skywalker #Paternity Tweet T-Shirt- Need a conversation piece at a summer BBQ? Just wear this.
Google Maps T-Shirt- No need to worry about getting lost on your summer adventures.
Your Stupid Farm T-Shirt- Sick of FarmVille? Let this shirt do the talking.
Verified T-Shirt- If you can’t get Verified on Twitter I guess this t-shirt is the next best thing.
Reading List Whether you’re commuting to work or lounging on the sand this summer, this summer reading list can help you get through.
Let Dave tell you how to delight your customers, create an irresistible brand and be generally amazing on Facebook (and other social networks). Hitting the shelves on June 3, this summer must-read uncovers the secret to successful word-of-mouth marketing on the social web. Be sure to check it out!
The Now Revolution by Jay Baer
It’s no secret that social media and technology have changed business forever. In this great summer read, Jay Baer teaches us the 7 shifts that will make companies faster, smarter and more social.
Content Rules by Ann Hadley, C.C. Chapman and David Meerman Scott
Learn how to create killer blogs, podcasts, videos, ebooks, webinars and more that will engage your customers while also igniting your business.
Social Media ROI by Olivier Blanchard
A hot topic in the industry these days, this book by top branding and marketing expert Olivier Blanchard explores how to manage and measure social media efforts in an organization.
Engage, Revised and Updated by Brian Solis
With a foreword from Ashton Kutcher, this book provides a guide for brands and businesses to build, cultivate and measure success in the new web.
Fun Getaway Options Trying to plan a getaway this summer, but can’t nail down a location? Luckily there are some great social media events taking place all over the country this summer. Let social media guide your travels!
Taking place in NYC on June 6, Realtime NY 11, formerly TWTRCON, is a full-day immersion into the mobile, social and realtime web. Discover how big brands are using technology to speak to customers and gain value.
Join in on Likeable Media’s inaugural conference. This two-day event taking place in NYC on June 8-9 will thrust you into the movement that is social media with sessions featuring thought leaders from Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks along with practical and hands-on how-to sessions.
Celebrate Mashable’s Social Media Day on June 30 with over 4,000 meetups around the world. This is the best way to connect with the social media community in your area! Gain followers, learn from thought leaders and celebrate the revolution of social media.
This year’s BlogHer event is happening in San Diego on August 5-6. BlogHer ’11 will bring over 3,000 attendees together from all over the world to share hands-on learning, rich discussions and plenty of networking opportunities.
At Content Marketing World, in Cleveland September 6-8, you’ll learn the power of storytelling and how to transform your marketing department into a storytelling factory through social, mobile, email, online and even print and in-person strategies.
Summer Friends Summer is a time to kick back and enjoy great weather and people. And these tweeters can help by providing easy-to-find information on all things summer and ultimately good company.
The best way to keep up-to-date on your summer reading list (apart from the great social media recommendations listed above), is to see what people are talking about! @googlebooks is a great resource for seeing what’s hot on the market and sizzling on the beach.
Take it from an ice cream addict, there is ALWAYS room in any diet for ice cream, and Ben & Jerry’s is the perfect choice to bring you all of your favorite flavors. Follow @benandjerrys to see what new flavors are brewing to keep you cool on those hot summer days!
Traveling this summer? You could pack your Zagat guide for every city you check out- or you could just follow @zagat on Twitter and get it all in the palm of your hand! Stay tuned to Zagat for the best hints on restaurants to check out, lounges to try, and the hottest happy hours.
For an icy summer treat without the guilty calories, check out Bethenny Frankel’s new Skinny Girl Margarita mix- just pop in the fridge for a bit, add ice, and drink!
If you’re yearning for a little summer getaway, make sure you follow @adventuregirl- her stories and tips will have you pulling out your calendar and booking a trip in no time!
Looking for a good concert this summer? Check out some outdoor concerts in your area with @livenation.
Be sure to follow the ultimate American summer tradition this summer- baseball. @MLB will keep you up to date on scores, games, promos, gossip and everything you need to know about America’s favorite pastime.
@rottentomatoes Get all the latest news on this summer’s blockbusters before heading out to the theater.
Looking to Have Fun This Summer? There are A TON of Apps for that!
No matter where you are going this summer, aside from your water bottle and sunglasses, your must-have accessory that should always be by your side is your smart phone! Check out these apps that will make your summer experiences that much better.
This app is a must-have not just for movie buffs, but for anyone who enjoys seeing a few summer blockbusters. You can save favorite movie theaters, watch trailers, and, best of all, read Rotten Tomatoes reviews! Plus you can create your own want-to-see list so you always know what sparked your interest.
This week’s App of the Week, Weber’s is perfect for anyone planning a summer BBQ. It’s a lot easier to become a grill master and host BBQs when you have a handy app like this to take care of everything for you (complete with instructional videos!)
Summer is definitely the time for seafood, but have you ever wanted to know a little more about the freshness of your dinner? By using this app, you can see what is in season right now, find the best recommendations, and discover which restaurants give you the freshest food with the least impact on the environment.
Let’s face it, when a lot of us think vacation, we think Disney, and then we think lines. If you’re making your semi-annual trek to the happiest place on earth, make sure you stay happy and avoid the lines with this super smart tracker.
Don’t let rising gas prices get you down this summer. This app will locate the cheapest gas prices around to help you save some money on your summer road trips.
Worrying about sun protection is no day at the beach at all. This app offers users sun protection information, local UV index forecasts, custom sunscreen reapplication reminders, individualized product recommendations, coupons and more!
How will social media guide your summer? Share in the comments below!