Saying #YES to Unofficial National Holiday Hashtags Can Boost Brand Awareness

If you’ve ever been on social media, or even watched the news lately, chances are you’ve seen the fad of unofficial national holidays and resulting hashtags. Whether it’s National Pizza Day, National Taco Day, or my personal favorite, National Dog Day, these random holidays are influencing the way users interact with each other and even more so, the way brands are advertising, particularly on social media.

While some of these unofficial holidays have been around for years within certain industries, this somewhat new social trend has encouraged people all over the world to take part, including brands. Companies like Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme and Starbucks have all jumped on the bandwagon, particularly when it comes to National Coffee Day.

Most commonly used by B2C companies, this trend is also growing among B2B firms as they delve deeper into social media. Businesses want to associate with other companies that have strong brand awareness, and that’s where these hashtags come in.

In the past, this blog has covered the importance of using hashtags to boost brand awareness and join a larger discussion, and participating in these novelty holidays is no different. But before you jump in and change all your social content to incorporate this trend, there are a few things you should consider.

Are you using the correct hashtag? First and foremost, be consistent. When thinking about using a hashtag, be sure that it is the correct one. While in some cases it can be fun to make up your own clever hashtag to convey a point, this is not the case when it comes to novelty holidays. The idea of participating in an unofficial holiday is to join a larger discussion, and nothing says poor planning more than clicking on a hashtag to see what others are saying, only to be disappointed.

Is it relevant to your brand and audience? Once you’ve found a hashtag you think you might want to use, take a deeper look at how it could impact your brand. Is the holiday relevant to your brand? Is it something your audience would enjoy? If you answered yes to each of those questions, you should be golden, but if you aren’t sure, do a bit more research. For brands with more conservative audiences, it is also important to check the hashtag for any language or images that could be considered inappropriate or offensive.

Staying away from content that isn’t relevant to your brand helps keep your numbers up, as posting irrelevant or random content increases the likelihood users will unfollow your page. According to Sprout Social, 41 percent of people will unfollow a brand that posts irrelevant information.

Does it conflict with the bigger picture? Finally, remember to look at the bigger picture when planning to use a hashtag holiday. Keep in mind any current events that might require your brand to skip a fun hashtag holiday for more somber content. Additionally, while unique national holidays are fun, don’t overlook more mainstream holidays or observances that could put your content in front of larger audiences. For instance, while National Make Your Bed Day seems like a great opportunity for a mattress firm, or even a coffee brand, to post fun content about starting your day off the right way, American brands should skip this “holiday” as it takes place on Sept. 11.

If you decide to participate in this growing trend, the quote “all things in moderation,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, is a good thing to keep in mind. Take a look at some of the upcoming holidays and observances for 2017 and make note of the ones that best fit your brand. Don’t overdo it, but most importantly, have fun – we definitely have!

Here is a look at some of the unofficial national holiday hashtags M/C/C used in 2016:

#BikeToWorkDay2016

#InternationalCatDay

#EmployeeAppreciationDay

#NationalUglyChristmasSweater

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About Elizabeth Byrd

As Sr. PR & Social Media Strategist, Elizabeth works as part of the PR team to create and implement social media strategies and plans for clients. She helps manage project development, works with key influencers across different trade and industry publications to promote clients’ expertise and growth through byline articles, press releases and op-eds, and helps facilitate opportunities for MCC and its clients. Prior to joining MCC, Elizabeth worked at Saxum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her experience includes social media, media relations, research, event planning and client relations. Born and raised in Grand Prairie, Texas, Elizabeth attended the University of Oklahoma, from which she earned a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Enterprise Studies. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, exploring the outdoors and playing with her Australian shepherd, Maisey.

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