If you’re a social media marketer, there are plenty of reasons why incorporating social media hashtag holidays into your content strategy is a great idea in 2021, and we’ll be exploring them in this article.
By the end of this read you'll be confident on the why and the how of creating highly engaging content using special holidays as your inspiration - whether you work at an agency or in-house.
And, if you're in a hurry to dive in right away, you can check out our 2021 Social Media Holidays Calendar which is the perfect tool for helping you to plan a year’s worth of social media posts based around holidays in 2021!
What are social media holidays?
Social media holidays are events that offer marketers the opportunity to create engaging content around memorable calendar dates. They can be fun or charitable, local or global, but they must resonate with your or your client’s target audience.
To give you an idea, here's how Chips Ahoy do it:
These micro-holidays often present an opportunity for marketers to get creative, whilst planning ahead and filling up their social media content calendars - so celebrating them is a win-win!
Some examples of national and social media holidays in 2020 include:
- #PancakeDay🍴(16th February 2021)
- #InternationalWomensDay 👩🌷(8th March 2021)
- #MemorialDay 🇺🇸 (31st May 2021)
- #GlobalRunningDay 🏃♂️ (2nd June 2021)
- #InternationalBeerDay 🍻 (6th August 2021)
Why should marketers be celebrating social media holidays regularly?
Being able to keep on top of news and trends is what makes a great social media marketer. That’s why it’s so important to have a well thought out content process to save time and keep you afloat.
In such a fast-paced industry, people expect to see content that mirrors what’s happening in the real world - so much so, that even NASA has to follow the trends and keep up with hashtag holidays:
Today is #NationalPuzzleDay! One of the major puzzles in astrophysics is the expansion rate of the universe, also known as the Hubble constant. Completely understanding the universe’s expansion might require new laws of physics: https://t.co/qg8Q0dcmCd pic.twitter.com/8UznUUvjm7— Hubble (@NASAHubble) January 29, 2020
But as a marketer, it’s not just followers that you have to make an impression on. You are likely to have goals and KPIs to reach, and will need to be able to show ROI for your efforts. So how will filling your calendar with social media holidays help you achieve those results?
Celebrating social media holidays can help you increase brand awareness and reach
Simply adding relevant hashtags to your holiday-themed posts allows them to be seen by a much wider audience, as well as create a buzz around a brand.
Judging by the engagement on this video post, Jamie Oliver shows that you can't go wrong with cute Valentines Day themed content:
Sharing hashtag holiday-themed content helps to engage your audience
If a brand isn’t the easiest to market, then posts about social media holidays can offer an alternative angle to promote the product or service in a more engaging way.
Online electrical retail brand AO does a great job of this on their social media channels. While they might not sound like the most exciting company, they use social media holidays to make their appeal more universal and encourage engagement from their audience, and it pays off!
Today is International Crumpet Day 🤤 Do you keep it classic with butter and jam, or something a little more inventive? Let us know your go-to in the comments below!— ao.com (@ao) February 17, 2020
Shop Toasters > https://t.co/D1Z89XMFmk pic.twitter.com/duqPVncpha
Creating themed content around social media holidays allows your brand to show a sense of authenticity
Sharing content that is linked to charitable causes and events is just one of the ways how you can demonstrate that a brand is human and authentic - which is something that consumers find really important on social media. In fact, 86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support.
Here, Condé Nast Traveller tackles the issue of anxiety in aid of World Mental Health Day, which shows them to be open and progressive:
‘I don’t know why or how my travel anxiety began. Ironically, I seemed to let it explore far further than I allowed myself.’ On #WorldMentalHealthDay, we're re-sharing one woman's story of travel anxiety. https://t.co/s7utKWFIJK— Condé Nast Traveller (@cntraveller) January 17, 2020
Celebrating social media holidays allow you to be part of the conversation
Social media is designed to facilitate conversations between people, so special holidays offer the perfect talking point to reach out to your audience. When important causes are being celebrated, brands can show support, which helps to highlight a positive image to followers.
Here, Patagonia throws support behind a social cause for Indigenous People's Day:
“Today we look across the world and we see the indigenous peoples standing united to protect Mother Earth and stand in solidarity for future generations.”— Patagonia (@patagonia) October 14, 2019
On #IndigenousPeoplesDay, we're standing in solidarity with the Gwich'in. https://t.co/ivExBubFEH pic.twitter.com/BN6huDKJsc
5 actionable steps for creating awesome content and celebrating social media holidays
Now that we’ve established why celebrating social media holidays should be an integral part of any content marketing strategy, you might be in need of some quick pointers on how you can easily incorporate these types of posts into your or your client’s social feeds.
Here are our five actionable tips for celebrating and creating content based around social media holidays.
1. Use a social media holidays calendar to help organise your campaigns and dates in one place
From national holidays to fun, food-related events, there are so many social media holidays for marketers to take advantage of. So much so, that it can be a struggle to try to keep track of them all! That’s why it’s useful to have a social media calendar which contains all of the relevant dates that you intend to celebrate.
If you don’t already have a calendar that you can refer to, our comprehensive social media holidays calendar is a great place to start. It comes in the form of a handy website page that's easy to use and share!
Since generating engagement and being authentic are huge priority for marketers, our calendar contains events that are not only widely celebrated, but also socially significant, like #LGBTMonth and #MentalHealthMonth. Plus, you’ll never forget #NationalPeanutButterDay again!
Check out our 2021 calendar here:
<<Pro tip>> If you’re a Sendible user, you can use our calendar to create quick and easy social posts. Simply pick the individual events you wish to post about and then click the "Share with Sendible" button to schedule posts, complete with image and hashtags.
2. Be visual with the content you create
When creating posts for social media, the more visual and eye-catching you can be, the better. In fact, Facebook posts that include images can garner up to 2.3 times more engagement than those without! The same goes for infographics, which can increase your web traffic by up to 12%.
In real terms, this means creating hashtag holiday-themed posts using varying content types, most likely a mixture of video, photo and graphics.
We love this example from Refinery29, who have created a fun and colourful graphic for Instagram in aid of #MakeAFriendDay. It instructs their Millennial following on how they can make friends as adults. It’s a simple but effective post, which has garnered over 250 comments!
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Refinery29 (@refinery29) on
3. Remember that original content is the best kind of content
It’s no secret that social media can be a noisy place. Marketers can struggle to get their messages heard above the masses, which is why originality is the key to great social media holiday content.
...That means it’s time to get creative - especially if you have a designer or photographer at your disposal!
You could try creating Instagram Stories with personalised stickers, making gifs or posting photos starring members of your team. We love how ZSL London Zoo celebrated Valentine’s Day by showing off their animals and accompanying the posts with some very punny captions!
Remember that it’s all about authenticity - content which features real faces is 32% more likely to receive comments on Instagram.
4. Involve the audience as much as you can
Whether it’s tweeting out questions for them to answer, or asking them to post a photo to Instagram via a holiday hashtag competition, meaningful engagements with followers and fans is exactly what a brand should aim to generate on social.
Social media marketing is all about making connections with other people. How do you do that? You interact with them, of course! And celebrating social media holidays is a great way to open up a dialogue between your brand and its followers.
Being specific and direct about what you want from your audience is important here - see how Sanrio instructs viewers of their post on exactly how they want them to respond:
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Sanrio (@sanrio) on
Learning how to write great captions for Instagram posts is half of the battle, but if it makes it easier to ask the right questions, then it’s worth it!
5. Use influence to attract attention to worthy causes
Every organisation has a voice, and it’s important that they learn how to use it. After all, businesses should have social consciences too.
There are now so many noteworthy social media holidays which draw attention to marginalised groups and charity causes, that it would be foolish not to show your true colours and get involved!
The most important thing to remember is to keep your celebrations relevant to your specific audience, otherwise, your posts could appear as random, and you may alienate an audience instead of pulling them closer. Going back to the benefits we mentioned before, you can get creative and celebrate events that are not directly related to your brand, like the Natural History Museum did on #LGBTHistoryMonth:
There are many fantastic reasons why marketers should celebrate social media holidays and plenty of meaningful causes to throw your weight behind.
Social media has made it easier than ever to reach people directly, so why not join the conversation and help bring some attention to your or your client's brand?
We can’t wait to hear how you get on!