Have you set summer marketing goals for your small business? Setting goals is important for maintaining focus so you can grow your business. To that end, the following details three summer marketing goals every small business should pursue.

1. Attend new networking events

Face-to-face networking is one of the most powerful ways to get your name (and your brand) in front of targeted prospects. It helps establish trust, earn credibility, and leads to word-of-mouth referrals – the best kind of advertising.

Look for local business networking groups and seek out industry trade shows, conferences, and seminars. If you already attend such events, find new events to explore. Think outside the box and attend events your customers will be at, not just events in your own industry.

You can also join civic organizations and non-profit groups – or simply volunteer for a good cause – to increase your networking reach. Always be sure to have business cards on-hand to give to new connections.

No matter what networking events you attend, don’t go in looking to make a sale. Instead, add value to others’ lives and make yourself part of the conversation. If you impress prospects, the follow-up calls will take care of themselves.

2. Try direct-mail marketing

Postage prices have caused some small businesses to shy away from direct-mail marketing, but you have to remember every direct-mailer is an investment that carries the expectation of return. That is to say, a good direct-mail campaign is designed to make money, not lose it.

Though there is no exact science, you can follow proven direct-mail best practices to exponentially increase your chances of success: a well-targeted audience, a can’t-miss special offer, and a compelling call to action, for example.

Not sure what type of direct-mail campaign to launch? Postcards often yield good response rates and are the cheapest type of direct-mailer to print and send, which makes them an excellent choice for budget-minded small businesses.

3. Get serious about social

Your small business probably has a Facebook page by now (if not, get one), but do you really work it to your advantage? If you’re just posting your special offers every week, you’re not engaging your audience and you’re largely wasting your efforts.

Instead of focusing on selling, focus on building relationships. Add value to your Facebook fans’ lives with interesting and relevant content. Post pictures and encourage follower involvement. Host contests and be part of the conversation – be one of your customers, instead of the company trying to sell to them.

If you don’t know social media marketing best practices, either learn them or hire someone who does. Then, get serious about using Facebook and other social media platforms (such as Twitter and Pinterest) to grow your business this summer.

Of course, these aren’t the only ways you can grow your business with summer marketing, but it’s fair to say many small business fail to take advantage of proven marketing strategies. Set goals for your summer marketing now to maintain focus and earn more customers and more sales this summer.