Wondering how to publish posts that generate strong engagement?
Most marketers plan to post on national holidays, but forget to include some unique and fun days that might appeal more directly to their followers.
In this article, you'll discover nine holidays and observances to add to your social media marketing calendar.
#1: National Smile Day
By celebrating National Smile Day on October 3, you can encourage people to post selfies of their smiles, to make a random person smile, or you can post jokes to engage your audience. If you happen to be running a dentist's social accounts, this is the best promotion day ever.
National Smile Day is a great opportunity for any business to spread goodwill and create a positive engagement experience for their fans and followers.
#2: Local Celebrations
If your business has a local presence, it's smart to include local holidays and observances in your social media content plan. It's called SoLoMo: social, local, mobile marketing.
The mobile part is important, because you want to grab people on the go to get them to act on a promotion or deal, or to be aware that they're near a business that might interest them. So it's important to have your social profile completely populated, have Google Maps activated, and post relevant and engaging content that appeals to local social media users.
Obviously, Facebook ads can help you out, but if you don't want to spend the money but still want to attract locals, jump on an event in your area and make clever use of hashtags.
Mellow Mushroom, a pizza restaurant chain, doesn't actually call itself a chain. It calls itself a “collection” of restaurants because each location is locally owned and operated. Owners are encouraged to make their restaurants totally original, so no two Mellow Mushroom restaurants look the same.
The corporate entity encourages its collection of restaurants to interact with the community, and that's usually easy, since local people are the owners. SoLoMo is crucial for franchises, but it's also pretty important for any business that wants local foot traffic.
#3: President's Day
It's amazing that anyone could forget President's Day, since practically every car dealership has a sale that day. However, you'd be surprised at how many other types of businesses forget about it. Retailers rely on President's Day because the holiday season has passed, and goodness knows people need a reason to shop.
Since brick-and-mortar retailers tend to have sales on President's Day, it may not be a bad idea to run an online ad campaign that day. You can do it to promote an in-person deal or an online deal. Get patriotic with your images and reach out to your audience with a great sale or promotion.
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#4: Celebrity Birthdays and Milestone Events
Celebrity and notable birthdays and anniversaries are useful materials for social posts, especially if you have a day that you're light on content. Depending on the celebrity or notable event you choose, you could spark a lot of user engagement on a seemingly random day for social media.
Think about celebrities or events that relate to your business. Or if your business has a long history, publish a #TBT or #FBF post related to a notable event in your business's story. This is a great way to appeal to your fans' sense of nostalgia, and it will speak to your longevity and legacy.
Volkswagen did a clever social media campaign across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. They posted the photo below with the caption that they found the first selfie in history, and that Volkswagen was there. Is it true? Who cares? The image is great, the brand features prominently, and it's a tongue-in-cheek play on brand legacy.
Volkswagen has the long history to pull that off, but not all businesses can. If this type of tactic doesn't work for your brand, try a famous person's birthday to touch your audience.
#5: National Compliment Day
This made-up holiday observed on January 24 is a great opportunity to reach out to individual followers. You can post a simple prompt encouraging people to compliment each other or to tag each other with a compliment.
Alternatively, you can start a hashtag campaign, like Honest Tea did in 2014. They also released this nifty infographic at the time.
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The campaign was a hit and the tradition continues today.
This campaign is a great example of a brand embracing a holiday and making it their own. Your business can find one too, or you can always encourage your fans and followers to be nicer to each other via compliments. Kindness never falls out of fashion.
#6: Make Up Your Own Holiday Day
Can you say “perfect opportunity”? Each year on March 26, Make Up Your Own Holiday Day brings the end-all, be-all opportunity for a campaign that can help you establish, grow, or further define your business's identity. Plus, it's a great opportunity for engagement, as you can encourage your followers to make up their very own holidays.
Some days go with brands, regardless of whether the brand makes them up. For example, Netflix has Netflix and Chill Day. They got the idea from dating apps, which is proof that you can find good marketing ideas almost anywhere. And Chipotle came up with National Avocado Emoji Appreciation Day.
And the list goes on. To get a jump on the “create your own holiday” vibe, use March 26 to encourage fans and followers to make up their own holidays and post to your page about it, or go ahead and make up your own brand holiday.
There are of course lots of actual and made-up holidays out there. You can check out holiday websites or some social media tools' holiday templates for ideas.
#7: April Fools' Day
Many marketers skip April Fools' Day because they're afraid it will drive business away. That's not true if you do it right. Mainly, you need to be careful and you really need to know your audience.
April Fools' Day is very much a “don't trust anyone” sort of day, and it's important that you have fun without betraying your fans' trust.
Amazon did it right when they rolled out an April Fools' prank the day after they announced their new Dash button. When users logged into Amazon.com on April 1, 2015, they saw this:
In addition to the retro look, all of the recommendations were April Fools' Day pranks too. Amazon only carried it so far, though; clicking any link would take people to the real site. Notice how they included the “circa 1999” badge, and they have a clear headline that says “Hello, Amazon.com has gone retro – April Fools?” This told users that they were looking at an April Fools' prank, and nobody got mad at Amazon.
Some brands simply refuse to post on Halloween, and that's a shame. Most social media users get into Halloween, and it's a great time to run a cutest costume contest, encourage people to share images, and more.
Big businesses get into Halloween, too. In 2013, on the heels of the Carrie reboot, Tide created a Halloween vine that was both funny and relevant to the season and the movie.
Whether you decide to spoof a holiday trope or go with a costume contest or other fan engagement tool, don't leave Halloween off of your social media calendar.
#9: Ask a Stupid Question Day
Ask a Stupid Question Day on September 28 provides a great engagement post opportunity for educational institutions, specialized niches, and more. Ask a question relevant to your industry, gamifying your social page for a day. Or ask a simple question that entices people to your brand, like Edy's did.
Or take this opportunity to open up a dialogue about your brand, like Sheetz did.
If you expand the comments on this post, you see that a lot of users extolled the virtues of Sheetz. One fan even said that if you went to heaven there was a Sheetz, but in the other place there's a competitor.
The post also got some complaints, to which a Sheetz social media manager responded immediately with help. If you're going to put your brand out there, be ready to provide customer service to any naysayers or people with complaints.
Keeping an eye on opportunities in the holiday and trend space for social content can only mean good things for your engagement and good responses from your users. These opportunities offer easy solutions to engaging with large audiences.
What do you think? Can you use these ideas to amp up your social media content? Do you have other holiday ideas to share? Please let us know in the comments below!
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