In times like these, every day is a national holiday on social media, whether it’s #NationalHugATreeDay or #NationalDogDay. No matter how trivial or bizarre, the appeal of these so-called ‘holidays’ has a way of bringing people together and even viral online attention. Perhaps we all love a reminder to take a step back and enjoy the simple things in life? Or we’re all just looking for a daily excuse to celebrate? Whatever the reason, one thing is certain: social media has wiped the canvas blank and is pushing the creative industry to try new things.
Globally, users spent an average of 135 minutes a day on social media apps in 2017, led by Facebook and Instagram. At its core, social media is a means for us to connect with our friends and family. However, social media can also be a powerful tool for building customer relationships, especially considering that 74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide purchase decisions.
A common belief is that “hashtag holidays” aren’t serious enough to be worthy of inclusion in marketing efforts. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. To keep up in this lightning-fast digital world, it’s important for brands to maximize every chance to connect with consumers through timely, relevant content that’s optimized for social media. In fact, joining the conversation can be extremely effective for brands looking to increase engagement and drive awareness.
With entire calendars dedicated to these offbeat holidays, there’s sure to be at least one that’s relevant to your business. The only problem? Participating in these one-day events requires brands to create custom, authentic social content. What’s more, they need to create it quickly and at low cost. Below are just a few examples of how brands can effectively participate in the trending holidays and associated hashtags.
Offer Deals and Discounts
Offering exclusive deals and discounts is one way to naturally get involved in social media holidays. For example, a coffee brand used this strategy to generate buzz on National Coffee Day. In order to bring awareness to their special buy-one, get-one deal, the brand worked with Social Native to get real-life consumers involved in content creation. More than 100 creators were asked to visit one of the brand’s nearly 9,000 U.S. locations and share how they were enjoying their free drink. Considering that searching Instagram for #NationalCoffeeDay reveals nearly 500,000 posts, the brand harnessed the power of their consumers to break through the noise and stand out with truly native advertising.
Social media holidays also offer new opportunities to keep your business at the top of prospects and consumers’ minds. A beverage brand wanted to do just that by becoming the go-to beverage for people to enjoy with their sandwich on #NationalSandwichDay. However, they didn’t have enough high-quality creative to fuel a day-of campaign. So, the brand partnered with Social Native to create custom content on demand. We activated creators to generate an image featuring a sandwich and their beverage. In just 3 short hours (from invite to content submission), our creators delivered 30 pieces of custom branded content. After featuring their favorite images across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, the brand got record engagement and was even trending on Instagram for the better part of the day.
Showcase a Creative Use for Your Product
Leveraging the lighthearted nature of social media holidays to highlight different uses for your products and services is another great use case. Case in point, a leading CPG brand tapped into the excitement surrounding National Pizza Day to promote its variety of ranch flavors — from Siracha to avocado and more. The brand and Social Native joined forces to activate talented consumers to create content illustrating how they pair ranch with pizza. The brand encouraged creators to get as creative as possible with their pizza-ranch combos. This led to some truly epic content. Even before the brand shared the images across their owned social channels, the creators’ organic posts generated 51,000 engagements and reached 1.4 million users.
In the end, the impact of advertising is amplified when brands join social conversations and take advantage of new ways to capture consumers’ attention. The key is to generate creative, fresh, relatable social content that people actually want to engage with. While social media holidays may seem like an unconventional approach to reaching your target audience, this strategy is emerging as a fun and effective outlet for modern marketers. After all, the social sphere belongs to consumers and its brand’s responsibility to create and deliver content that they care about.