We’ve all seen them. National Waffle Day, World Turtle Day, National Escargot Day (which is today! While I write this! I should’ve waited because tomorrow is National Wine Day…poor planning). I refer to all of these “days” (or weeks or months or even years) as “Social Media Holidays.” I know that lots of them existed before Social Media and have just had increased awareness after the rise of SM but some of them are just weird and crazy and only exist because of this new online world.
Proclamations, I found by just a simple Google, can be requested by anyone so that may be the reason behind some of the odder of these holidays (Molly Morello Day anyone?)
but I guess when you dig down, they are all important to someone. National Escargot Day turns out to be a horrible example as it is unknown why it was created or why it is May 24th and it is just to honor and celebrate eating escargot. Now National Wine Day I can get behind! …. oh wait, its origins and reasoning’s are also unknown. Okay so neither of those are great examples but Star Wars Day is! It has a funny slogan, a well-known history and it’s easy to celebrate online. The point of all this poorly planned rambling is to do your research beforehand.
The magic of SM holidays for social media managers is two-fold. 1) it gives you content for the day, so you don’t have to think of something else 2) it has a built-in hashtag that is going to be used by a lot more people than your normal audience (probably), giving you a chance to increase your engagement and followers. But, just like the Force, you must use them wisely. Too many of them and your feed looks bloated and lazy. Lack of research and you could end up posting on the wrong day (there are some with firm dates and some that are like the third Thursday of the month). Plus, you gotta check those hashtags. You don’t want to be left out of getting the fun Twitter emjoi because you arranged your words in the wrong order. I speak from experience which is why I now I have a firm plan when it comes to using these days on my accounts.
I start by keeping a tally all year round on my desktop that I update when I find new ones. Sometimes its too late in the day to make a post about the specific holiday (you might get lucky and discover a celebratory week on a Monday although it still can mess up your week’s plan) but it still goes on the list. Then, around the 20th of every month I go through that list and about 5 social media holiday calendars I found online (just search “Social Media Holidays” and you’ll find lots of options!) and write down all the ones that are relevant to my accounts. Once I have all of those, I note which accounts I’m going to post them on (for example, Father’s Day is on all of them, Best Friends Day is on Whale Tales and Physarum only etc). Then I can add them to my content calendars for next month and start scheduling them in when I have time. But before you hit “schedule” there is the most important step which I mentioned above: RESEARCH. Google the day and make sure you put the year in your search! I incorrectly recorded the date for Endangered Species Day this year and found out it was a day earlier than I thought. An early morning shuffle of my posts saved me, but time zones and my morning person personality were on my side. You are not always that lucky.
Your research can also be helpful in generating content. A lot of the nature or environment based “holidays” will have websites and some will have content already curated that you can use, with images and hashtags ensuring you get their message across in the best way possible. Research will also help to confirm whether its a “National” or “World” or International” day – very important for hashtagging and a great way to confirm the country of origin as well. Most of the time the silly ones like National Wine Day originate in the States but why can’t Canadians enjoy it too???
It may seem like a lot of steps to take but then you have correct content that goes out there and takes on the world without embarrassing you or your account. When appropriate, SM holidays are also a great excuse for silly images or funny GIFs-a way to change up your feed almost always for the better.
So, get Googling and find ones that work for you. In the meantime, I’m gonna get an early start on National Wine Day – its tomorrow already in Australia right?!