Raise the Social Bar

If you wanted to celebrate a holiday every day of the year, you could. Sure, there’s the big ones like Thanksgiving and St. Patty’s, but then there are also more obscure ones like “Houseplant Appreciation Day” (Jan 10), “Barbershop Quartet Day” (April 11), and “Name Your Car Day” (Oct. 2).

For brands looking to fill social content calendars, these esoteric holidays seem like easy fillers. However, without a guiding strategy they often end up being awkward attempts to insert themselves into a cultural conversation.

Here are a few brand posts from “Star Wars Day” (May. 4th).

Some of them make total sense for the brand i.e., NASA and Lego. This day could also make sense for brands that maybe have slightly nerdy target audiences or who have Star Wars/space themed products or are known for their retro-ness or fun/quirky personality. But what on earth made Pillsbury or CoffeeMate look at a calendar and think they needed to celebrate May the 4th?! What about that did they think would resonate with their audience? And look at the two airlines, who did almost the exact same post.

These same brands would strive to be different and true-to-brand in other communications channels like TV and print, yet they are lowering the bar in social. They are obviously lacking strategy and a clear understanding of who the brand is. Just because social media is free, doesn’t mean it has any less impact on brand equity. In fact, as evidenced by social media faux pas like the SpaghettiOs Pearl Harbor disaster, it’s clear that social media should live up to the same strategic standards as any other communications channel.



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