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How To Use Social Media Holidays To Build Your Brand

Social Media

20 Jul 2023 • 11 min read •

The Loomly Team

Social media holidays provide exceptional organic reach. But are you using these holidays consciously?

There is a social media holiday for every occasion – official and unofficial, local and global, charitable and fun. And while social media holidays increase your brand awareness, it is equally important to pick and choose your celebrations.

Every social holiday has a unique trait — too much of which can confuse your audience. So, attempting to associate your brand with every up-and-trending holiday hashtag can damage your brand personality.

So, Pancake Day or Presidents Day — you have to choose based on the brand story you want to tell.

As a brand that wants to stay in the spotlight, it’s tempting to hop onto every new trending hashtag. But is it worth it?

In this guide, you’ll discover:

  • What social media holidays are
  • Why social media holidays matter for your brand
  • The most popular social media holidays
  • How to keep up with social media holidays

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What are social media holidays?

Social media holidays, or hashtag holidays, are specified days when you celebrate a particular event on social media. These holidays are not only restricted to official holidays but also extend to celebrations of many unofficial events like Pizza Day. For example, Domino’s increased their engagement by 15% with the celebration of #NationalPizzaDay:

Holidays provide your brand the perfect opportunity to emotionally connect with your audience and humanize your brand.

A strategic holiday strategy can be priceless in attracting your ideal customer by celebrating events of their interest.

Why social media holidays matter for your brand

Social media holidays can help your brand in more than one way. Let’s take a look at some of them:

Humanize your brand

Research shows that 87% of consumers would buy from a brand that supports issues they care about. And social media holidays let you show your concern and support for specific causes, which humanizes your brand. Moreover, you can establish a more personal and warmer connection with your audience.

Develop your brand personality

The holidays in which you choose to participate will set your brand personality. Making use of this, you can strategically join events that you want your brand to be associated with. For example, if you need to position your brand as quirky and cool, you can participate in corresponding themed holidays.

Strengthen your community

While holidays are one of the best times to sell, a well-made and well-executed holiday social media strategy will also build and strengthen your community.

People love to have a purpose, and the feeling of being part of something bigger than just buying a product will encourage them to come back again.

Increase engagement with your audience

Holiday-themed posts give your audience space to interact with you, which might not have been possible otherwise.

People share what they resonate with. And they love to spread the holiday spirit. For example, a post on Friendship Day will receive many comments and shares since people will share it with their friends:

Promote your products or services to boost sales

If you have a product or service that’s difficult to market, you can use holidays to help you promote them. For instance, you could:

  • Find a way to make your products or services part of the celebration.
  • Create an offer aligned with the holiday.
  • Host a giveaway or contest.

Social media holidays for your content calendar

January social media holidays

Financial Wellness Month

Date Holiday to Celebrate Hashtag to Use
January 1 New Year’s Day #HappyNewYear
January 4 National Trivia Day #NationalTriviaDay
January 15 National Hat Day #NationalHatDay
January 15 National Bagel Day #NationalBagelDay
January 17 Ditch Your Resolution Day #DitchYourResolutionDay
January 21 National Hugging Day #NationalHuggingDay
January 24 National Compliment Day #NationalComplimentDay
January 25 Opposite Day #OppositeDay

Blue Monday: Third Monday of January

February social media holidays

Black History Month (US)

Date Holiday to Celebrate Hashtag to Use
February 6 Safer Internet Day #SaferInternetDay
February 8 National Boy Scouts Day #BoyscoutsDay
February 9 National Pizza Day #NationalPizzaDay
February 11 International Day of Women and Girls in Science #WomenInScience
February 11 National Inventors’ Day #NationalInventorsDay
February 13 Galentine’s Day #GalentinesDay
February 14 Valentine’s Day #ValentinesDay
February 17 Random Acts Of Kindness Day #RandomActsOfKindnessDay

March social media holidays

Women’s History Month

Endometriosis Awareness Month

Date Holiday to Celebrate Hashtag to Use
March 3 National Wildlife Day #WorldWildlifeDay
March 8 International Women’s Day #InternationalWomensDay
March 18 World Sleep Day #WorldSleepDay
March 18 Global Recycling Day #ZeroWaste
March 20 International Day of Happiness #InternationalDayofHappiness
March 22 World Water Day #Water2me #WorldWaterDay

April social media holidays

Date Holiday to Celebrate Hashtag to Use
April 1 April Fool’s Day #AprilFools
April 6 National Carbonara Day #NationalCarbonaraDay
April 7 World Health Day #WorldHealthDay
April 7 Walk to Work Day #WalktoWorkDay
April 7 National Beer Day #NationalBeerDay
April 10 Siblings’ Day #NationalSiblingsDay
April 20 National Look-Alike Day #NationalLookAlikeDay
April 22 Earth Day #EarthDay
April 23 World Book Day #WorldBookDay
April 29 International Dance Day #InternationalDanceDay

 

Hyundai USA social media holiday example

(Image Source)

May social media holidays

Mental Health Awareness Month

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Date Holiday to Celebrate Hashtag to Use
May 4 Star Wars Day #StarWarsDay
May 12 International Nurses Day #InternationalNursesDay
May 17 International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia #IDAHOT

June social media holidays

LGBTQ Pride Month

Date Holiday to Celebrate Hashtag to Use
June 1 International Children’s Day #ChildrensDay
June 2 National Donut Day #NationalDonutDay
June 2 World Running Day #GlobalRunningDay
June 3 World Bicycle Day #WorldBicycleDay
June 4 National Cancer Survivors Day #CancerSurvivorsDay
June 4 National Cheese Day #NationalCheeseDay
June 6 Higher Education Day #HigherEducationDay
June 8 World Oceans Day #WorldOceansDay
June 8 Best Friends Day #BestFriendsDay
June 21 National Selfie Day #NationalSelfieDay
June 30 Social Media Day #SocialMediaDay #SMDay

July social media holidays

Date Holiday to Celebrate Hashtag to Use
July 1 Canada Day #CanadaDay
July 4 Independence Day (US) #IndependenceDay
July 6 International Kissing Day #InternationalKissingDay
July 7 World Chocolate Day #WorldChocolateDay
July 16 National Ice Cream Day #NationalIceCreamDay
July 17 World Emoji Day #WorldEmojiDay
July 30 International Friendship Day #FriendshipDay

 

 August social media holidays

Black Business Month

Date Holiday to Celebrate Hashtag to Use
August 8 International Cat Day #InternationalCatDay
August 12 International Youth Day #YouthDay
August 13 International Left-Handers Day #LeftHandersDay
August 14 National Financial Awareness Day #NationalFinancialAwarenessDay
August 15 National Relaxation Day #NationalRelaxationDay
August 19 World Photo Day #WorldPhotoDay
August 26 National Dog Day (US) #NationalDogDay

September social media holidays

World Alzheimer’s Month

Date Holiday to Celebrate Hashtag to Use
September 11 National Day of Service #NationalDay
September 12 National Video Games Day #NationalVideoGamesDay
September 21 World Alzheimer’s Day #WorldAlzMonth
September 28 National Sons Day #NationalSonsDay
September 30 International Podcast Day #InternationalPodcastDay

October social media holidays

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Date Holiday to Celebrate Hashtag to Use
October 1 International Coffee Day #InternationalCoffeeDay
October 4 National Taco Day #NationalTacoDay
October 5 International Teachers Day #WorldTeachersDay
October 9 Thanksgiving (Canada) #Thanksgiving
October 10 World Mental Health Day #WorldMentalHeathDay
October 11 National Coming Out Day #NationalComingOutDay
October 16 World Food Day #WorldFoodDay

November social media holidays

No-shave November: Men’s Health Awareness Month

Date Holiday to Celebrate Hashtag to Use
November 3 National Sandwich Day #NationalSandwichDay
November 8 STEM Day #STEMDay
November 13 World Kindness Day #WKD #WorldKindnessDay
November 19 International Men’s Day #InternationalMensDay
November 23 Thanksgiving (US) #Thanksgiving

Black Friday: Friday following Thanksgiving Day (US)

Cyber Monday: Monday following Thanksgiving Day (US)

Giving Tuesday: Tuesday following Thanksgiving Day (US)

IMDB social media holiday example

(Image Source)

December social media holidays

AIDS Awareness Month

Date Holiday to Celebrate Hashtag to Use
December 3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities #IDPwD
December 4 National Cookie Day #NationalCookieDay
December 24 Christmas Eve #ChristmasEve
December 25 Christmas Day #MerryChristmas
December 26 Boxing Day (Canada) #BoxingDay
December 31 New Year’s Eve #HappyNewYear

How to keep up with social media holidays

As the vast list of holidays shows, some are evergreen, while others are topical. So, to ensure you keep up with both types of social media holidays, integrate these two approaches:

  • Proactive
  • Reactive

Take a proactive approach

Some major events occur every year on a fixed date. These holidays matter for your audience and demand a special place in your social media holiday strategy.

Taking a proactive approach involves planning for such holidays, allowing you enough time to create a powerful brand story. For such preparation, follow this proactive approach:

  1. Identify important holidays for your brand
  2. Manually add them to your social media calendar
  3. Analyze previous campaigns
  4. Generate ideas
  5. Craft a story that connects with your audience
  6. Create stunning visuals
  7. Don’t be afraid to use emojis
  8. Use special hashtags
  9. Have fun with it
  10. Leverage your existing followers

1. Identify important holidays for your brand

You can celebrate anything and everything. But should you?

No. Doing so will harm your brand.

Decide strategically what holidays are important for your brand by asking these questions:

  • What is the theme of the holiday?
  • What is the holiday celebrating?
  • How did this holiday come into being?
  • Who primarily celebrates this day? Are they my ideal customers?
  • Does my product/service relate to it in any way?
  • Do I support the cause?
  • Is it something I can connect to personally?

For example, even Jeep celebrated #NationalPuzzleDay:

2. Manually add them to your social media calendar

Once you have a list of holidays you want to associate your brand with, add them to your social media calendar.

“Anytime you want to be involved in a holiday with your brand, definitely start thinking about it at the beginning of the year,” says social media strategist Audrie Segura.

Holiday seasons are overwhelming, and it’s easy for things to slip by. To ensure a smooth holiday campaign that generates huge profits for your organization, plan ahead of time. Manually adding holidays to your calendar can make it easier.

Alternatively, you can use Loomly to plan every social media holiday in one place with just one click:

Social media holidays Loomly post ideas view

You can plan all the significant events of the year and eliminate the risks of last-minute planning.

3. Analyze previous campaigns

Every major campaign needs a detailed analysis before planning. And holiday posts are no different. To make it an absolute success, perform an in-depth analysis of previous campaigns of your competitors and yourself to map out:

  • The time frame of the campaign. This will depend on the type of holiday you choose to participate in. Is it a one-day event, or goes on for several days? When will you start and end the holiday campaign?
  • The platforms on which you’ll execute your strategy. Not every type of content works on all platforms.
  • The frequency of your posts through the holiday campaigns. How many posts are you planning to do for this event? How will they be spread out?

Analyze the type of content that worked (and didn’t work).

Ask yourself:

  • What hashtags did they use?
  • What was the CTA?
  • What can you bring in that’s new?

4. Generate ideas

Now that you know what works and what doesn’t, let your creative juices flow and jot down all the social media post ideas that come to your mind.

On D-day, social media will be overflowing with holiday posts, with every brand doing its best.

So, how do you stand out?

By using authentic and unique social media ideas around a central concept.

If it seems like too much work, it’s because it is! But Loomly eases the task for you by giving you holiday post ideas by the day:

Social media holidays loomly post ideas post builder

You can see the relevant events even when scheduling a post for your desired date. Not only this, but Loomly also shows you popular, topical hashtags around which you can create a post:

Social media holidays Loomly post ideas post builder by date

You can save your time searching for topical hashtags and spend it on strategizing instead.

5. Craft a story that connects with your audience

After selecting a central idea for a holiday, craft a story that flows seamlessly and connects with your audience. A compelling story grabs your audience’s attention and connects on an emotional level.

Take your time to do this and make sure it integrates with your holiday CTA. Take inspiration from Starbucks and their use of different formats of content:

Social media holidays Starbucks example

(Image Source)

Along with this, make sure you include posts that allow audience engagement. Some ideas for such posts include:

  • Giveaways
  • Contests
  • Irresistible holiday packages/deals
  • “Limited Time only” offers

6. Create stunning visuals

According to Twitter, tweets with images and videos receive a 35% and 28% boost, respectively, in retweets. And holidays are the perfect time to put this into practice.

Use stunning visuals to attract and hold your audience’s attention and stand out from the crowd. Take an example from CerealLife on #NationalCookieDay:

Example from CerealLife on #NationalCookieDay

(Image Source)

They stood out from the crowd with their use of vibrant colors and garnered over 16 thousand likes!

If it’s an important day, you can also change your profile theme to match that of the holiday. For example, many brands changed their logo in support of Pride Month, including Converse:

Change your profile theme to match that of the holiday

7. Don’t be afraid to use emojis

Emojis have become a universal language on social media, allowing users to express emotions and add a touch of playfulness to their posts.

When it comes to social media holidays, don’t be afraid to incorporate emojis into your content. Emojis can help convey the spirit of the holiday and add a personal touch to your brand’s message.

8. Use special hashtags

Hashtags play a crucial role in social media holiday campaigns. They help you increase your reach, join relevant conversations, and make your content discoverable by a wider audience.

When planning your holiday posts, research and use special hashtags that are specific to the occasion. These hashtags can be trending ones related to the holiday or unique ones created by your brand.

9. Have fun with it

Social media holidays are all about celebrating and engaging with your audience in a lighthearted and fun manner. So, embrace the festive spirit and inject some humor and playfulness into your content. Share funny memes, create entertaining videos, or come up with witty captions that resonate with the holiday theme.

Remember, people are more likely to engage with content that brings a smile to their faces.

So, let your creativity shine, and don’t hesitate to add a touch of humor to your social media holiday strategy.

10. Leverage your existing followers

Your loyal followers are your brand advocates, and they can be your biggest asset during social media holidays. Encourage them to participate and share their experiences related to the holiday. Run contests or giveaways exclusively for your existing followers, rewarding their loyalty and encouraging them to spread the word about your brand.

By leveraging your existing followers, you not only strengthen your brand community but also amplify your reach as their posts and recommendations reach their own networks.

Remember, the power of word-of-mouth marketing can be particularly influential during social media holidays, so make the most of your engaged audience.

Take a reactive approach

While proactive approaches work well for fixed events, audiences often develop new hashtags based on topical events. To keep up with such events, you can integrate these three reactive approaches into your hashtag holidays strategy:

  1. Follow the news
  2. Monitor social media trends
  3. Watch your competitors

1. Follow the news

There’s no need to fear topical events. To connect with your audience in real time, you need to keep a tab on current events.

In 2020, during the highly anticipated launch of the video game Cyberpunk 2077, Xbox, a major gaming console brand, took advantage of the buzz surrounding the game’s release. They cleverly incorporated the game’s futuristic theme into their social media marketing strategy.

Xbox’s official Twitter account changed its display name to “Xbox Series X Fridge” and posted a tweet with a video showcasing the design of their upcoming gaming console, Xbox Series X, juxtaposed with a shot of a fridge. The tweet read, “Fridge for scale. #PowerYourDreams.”

The tweet played off the ongoing jokes and memes on social media comparing the size and design of the Xbox Series X to a fridge due to its rectangular shape. Xbox embraced the meme and used it to their advantage, generating a humorous and relatable moment for their audience. The tweet quickly gained attention, engagement, and shares across social media platforms.

2. Monitor social media trends

Social media monitoring is the process of keeping an eye on valuable information for your business – your brand mentions, competitors’ mentions, and hashtags gaining popularity.

It helps you remain aware of your audience’s changing sentiments and interests, but it can be tiresome. Plus, if not performed meticulously, you can lose out on lucrative moments.

To prevent this, Loomly gives you suggestions for trending hashtags based on your copy, along with the recent stats of the hashtags:

Social media holidays hashtag suggestions Loomly

3. Watch your competitors

Getting busy with content creation and other logistics during holidays is common. But no matter how busy it gets, make it a point to monitor your competitors’ activities.

If your competitor is receiving engagement on a certain kind of post, learn how those posts target your audience.

Ready to create your 2023 social media content calendar?

Social media holidays provide you with the opportunity to create a brand story that attracts your ideal customers. You can use these events to target specific identities that resonate with your brand.

Social media holidays help you:

  • Humanize your brand
  • Develop a brand personality
  • Strengthen your community
  • Increase engagement with your audience
  • Promote your products and services to boost sales

Once you identify the social media holidays to celebrate, you can use Loomly to get post inspiration, schedule your posts, interact with your audience, and measure your success all in one place.

Loomly is the Brand Success Platform that empowers your marketing team to streamline collaboration — and make the most of the social media holiday calendar: Start your 15-day free trial now.

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