National holidays and significant dates are always intriguing on social media. Brands love to get their voice heard, exploiting reach any way they can; this is no truer on days like today, St Patrick’s Day. The hashtag will be trending throughout the day, hundreds of thousands of tweets will be sent using it, so why not join in? Simple answer, because your product might not be relevant.
Relevance is critical in social. If your audience is using a specific hashtag, then there is a high chance you should use it too unless, of course, everyone’s using it! Some industries, alcohol (Guinness), for example, are perfectly set up for the Irish holiday, their product is heavily associated with St Patrick’s Day, and their followers would expect it.
Household products, on the other hand, have little to no association and are just being shoehorned into the hashtag theme. Fans don’t want to be spammed with irrelevant content, and you can typically see these from a mile off. They drop in competitions to attract engagement, based on a random green area of their product. It cheapens the brand, doesn’t develop a story and gives followers and potential followers a lack of direction. Those entering the competitions are of little value to the brand, only providing retweets rather than actionable data.
— Spontex UK (@SpontexUK) March 17, 2017
We’ve gone from one extreme to another in regards to the industry. This highlights the need to have a full social strategy developed before jumping into specific days. If the day doesn’t relate to the story you want to tell, avoid it. There is a lot of noise on these hashtags for the relevant brands, so your audience will overlook you, and the value of your brand won’t be there.
Something we look to do for our clients is exploring every national holiday in the year and determine whether they would be a good fit with the brand. If they are, create a story leading up to the day and integrate it into the full campaign with the relevant hashtags; this keeps the brand on trend and reaches the desired audience, cutting through the noise.
Written by Nick Thompson