How to do holiday social content

The fourth of July has come and gone, both the real holiday of America’s Independence Day and the social media extravaganza of brands trying their utmost to participate.  Brands everywhere were putting content out, or trying to, in order to be part of the fun.  Some were really well done and some were just lazy and/or a complete miss.

My stance on holidays or other days of importance on the calendar for brands: if you can make it relevant to the subject (the important day) while remaining on-brand, and add something entertaining or interesting to the social conversation – then by all means, go for it.  This is a lot easier said than done sometimes.  For many brands true creativity is king, and the great content is the fortunate result.  On the flip side, if you are posting something just because you have the day marked on your calendar as “important” and are literally just posting to post, because you think you have to because you know other brands will, then there’s a good chance you are just adding to the casserole of annoying brand crap that’s already out there on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and beyond…

If you can’t make it relevant, on-brand, and value-added to your audience, you don’t need to be posting on every holiday.  “Because it’s the 4th of July” is not a valid reason to put out half-assed or extremely boring and irrelevant content.  You won’t be doing your brand any favors.

That all being said, I chose four of my favorites from America’s 237th birthday, from Facebook, as well as two that I wanted to point out as not so well done.  Please note: I have blurred out the brands on the poor examples.  I am not here to bash anyone.  All brands on social have humans working behind them and some have more to learn than others.  These are examples for your viewing pleasure, not to knock the brand or to make anyone feel stupid.  

The Best

disney 4th of july post

I really liked this post.  So simple, so relevant.  Yes, there were a million firework images from people on the 4th, but this was their version of this hugely popular subject matter.  Very on-brand with the fireworks in the shape of Mickey Mouse ears, above the castle.  And, the link they provide with the image takes you to their online content hub, with a blog post all about the amazing fireworks shows at Disney World.  So, can dive even deeper into what they tease you with here.

Good

lego 4th of july post

I love the use of their own product, Legos, to be  on-brand, relevant, entertaining, and just really creative.  A very simple concept here but one that stuck with me.  Also, great job in the caption speaking to their fans, their LEGO users and builders.  Keeps it within their own community.

Subway 4th post

Clever.  Incoporated “mmmm” with America as the result of eating their sandwiches and ingredients.  Here they use their own meats and cheeses to form the flag.  Very creative and again, simple. 

huskers 4th of july post

This one isn’t for a major retail brand like some of the others, but I am a huge Husker fan and was thrilled to see this creative display.  Utilizing the stadium image from a very patriotic show from the fans, and used their regular slogan of  “Go Big Red” with a USA twist.  On-brand, interesting, relevant.  Nice.

Not So Good

not a good 4th post

These just bug me to no end.  This falls right into the category of “I think we need to post something because it’s 4th of July.”  I really hope this wasn’t an agency helping out with this.  This simple lets your community know that you are aware that it’s the 4th of July.  You aren’t adding anything interesting or entertaining to anyone’s feed.  Your audience doesn’t care if a large retail brand simply wishes them a happy 4th.  This just comes off lazy, especially when you see what other creative brands are doing.  This brand has almost 100,000 fans and this is what they put out there- the same thing your Grandma texted you.  

not a good 4th post 2

I looked at this one for several minutes trying to figure it out.  Even if there is something really creative underlying this post, I spent way to much time trying to decipher it.   Anyway, some people in the comments defended the brand saying it’s a “red, white, and blue” theme.  OK,  I guess???  She is white.  OK, her shoes are white.  The ground is kind of white?  The Canadian tuxedo she’s wearing is two shades of blue?  Is that supposed to be blue for the USA?  I just found this really confusing.  I do like how it’s subtle and simple. If it is a red, white, and blue theme which I think it is, then OK. Maybe the caption could’ve alluded to that to bring the outfit and the 4th. “Three of our favorite colors. Happy 4th.” Way more clear and on-brand to me.

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Last point, if you are posting something for a holiday as American as the 4th of July, please make use of geo-targeting for the country that cares about it.  Posting globally to tell the whole world you are happy about your country’s independence day kills the relevance factor for a chunk of your reached fans (depending on who you are and your demographics of course).

It all comes down to being creative, on-brand, and relevant.

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