How to Use Hashtag Holidays as a Marketing Tool for your Business
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On the first of the month each month, we share a monthly "happenings and hashtag holidays" set into our Instagram stories for you to screenshot and use for your business. Today, we wanted to walk you through how you can specifically use all of these hashtag holidays in your business, to have them work well into your social media!
Hashtag holidays are meant to be fun, but they also can do a lot of work for you, depending on what the hashtag holiday is and what your business creates.
So before we get into everything, let's start with the basics. What exactly are hashtag holidays?
These are those fun holidays you see popular on one day of the year in particular, mainly on social media- #nationaldonutday and #nationalpuppyday are a couple that you may be familiar with, but more importantly, hashtag holidays were started in the first place years ago to bring attention to something in particular for one day especially.
For example, how many of you joined in on #InternationalWomensDay this year? That holiday in particular has been around since the early 1900's, but by adding a hashtag in to the mix, it enables people from all over the world to feel more connected on one particular day, and see what other people are doing to celebrate one day in particular.
Hashtag holidays have evolved and grown into almost daily common to bring people together, in so many different ways. It helps people to connect and communicate in a way that without hashtags, wouldn't be as easy to do.
So, how can you use these hashtag holidays in a way to build your brand stronger, to market your products, or letting people know a more personal, fun side of you as well?
Keep on reading, my friend. This is going to be fun!
This post was designed to give you three specific examples to think about today to think about in terms of building awareness for your business for certain holidays, incorporating planning, marketing, and creating hashtag holidays to work well for your business.
One of the first steps is determining which hashtag holidays will work the best for your business, or help you to share a personal view into something that you think will connect well with your audience. This is why each month we make a select few available for you to screenshot on the 1st of the month in our Instagram stories to pick and choose for your marketing purposes.
Plan It | Celebrate with Fun Holidays like National Donut Day
(happening on June 7th)
If you are an invitation designer, a party planner, or have a product with donuts on them, this is a perfect day to highlight that item in advance! By using the hashtag #nationaldonutday, you'll not only have more people checking out that hashtag in particular for the day, but you'll also see that people will be excited about it in general (because let's be real, who doesn't love to talk about donuts?)
If you're feeling up to it, you could choose to run a 24 hour sale on donut themed products in your shop, or instead of discounting your products, think of different ways that you could add value.
Perhaps you could create a set of limited edition donut themed notecards or postcards that people receive for every purchase they make, that are only available for orders placed that day, or something else that you know your audience would get excited about.
The main thing to take into consideration is to not only have fun, but also to market your business using this holiday if it works within your business and for your specific audience.
Market It | Business Example - Greetabl
We are big fans of Greetabl here, and always love to use this as a fun option for gifting to friends throughout the year! Today, we wanted to show two different ways that Greetabl uses hashtag holidays to market their business, that could be adapted to work well for your business too.
June 8th is Best Friends Day. A hashtag holiday that is meant to be fun, but you can probably assume now that you're going to be seeing a lot of fun shots between friends shared on Instagram, right?
I received an email from Greetabl the week before this fun hashtag holiday, with the email subject line of "BFF Day is almost here!" (shown to the left).
Inside of that email was a flatlay with two of their products, a few candids of two women you can only assume are best friends, with the words "For your Person" at the top, with a few brief sentences inviting you to "send them some love today". They sent it early enough that people were able to purchase from them, and when this holiday comes around on Saturday, what do you think people will be sharing on their Instagram feeds?
There's a pretty good chance that if they've received a Greetabl, they'll post the gift they received with the images included, share the image on social media, and tag Greetabl in the photo. This way, people are marketing for Greetabl, without them even asking, for a holiday that they knew their ideal client would be interested in.
To show another example where Greetabl used hashtag holidays to their marketing advantage, a few weeks ago they shared that National Wine Day was coming up, and showed an image that had been captured by a photographer, and used as a client gifting product.
On the specific image they shared, they included the option to have a direct link to their product shared through Greetabl on Instagram, so that you could shop with them right then and there, and within a few clicks and less than two minutes later (which I actually tested and timed myself doing it for this example specifically), you could buy a Greetabl with that product for your own person to gift it to. #impulseshoppingforthemarketingwin
In addition, in the caption, they asked for people to tag a wine-loving friend in the comments. So there, not only are they
(a) showing their product, they are also
(b) sharing user-created content (the photographers image), and
(c) inviting those who see the post to tag their friends who would be excited about that hashtag holiday too by including a specific call to action in their caption, and
(d) selling by having a shoppable post right there on Instagram for people to purchase that specific product from them.
One of the goals with social media is to connect well with your audience, and market your business without literally coming out and saying “go to our site and buy this here”, and this was an amazing subliminal way to show people what they would receive if they do so.
Create It | Example - May Designs
If there’s not a hashtag holiday for something that means a lot to you or your business, there are no rules that say you can’t make one happen individually, if there’s one that you think is missing! For example, May Designs created their own, which we think was genius. (And you all know we love our stationery around here, so needless to say, we definitely jumped in on the excitement!)
May Designs celebrates National Notebook Day every May 16th with a special happening for all their notebooks, valid for that day only. A few days before, every year, I receive an email from them letting me know to “get excited for National Notebook Day”. In addition, they started sharing about it on Social Media ahead of time, to begin to peak their followers interest, and get them prepared to shop their sale.
However, here's a little known fact about this specific holiday in itself that makes me love it even more. The May Designs team decided that this holiday needed to happen for notebook lovers everywhere, and they actually made it happen, creating it on their own!! The fun thing about this is that it goes to show that these fun hashtag holidays, the majority of which are entirely made up, can be started at any time, any where, for any cause, or by any person. All it takes is a little bit of fun, a little bit of marketing, and a well thought-out plan.
To wrap up, the biggest things to consider when thinking about using hashtag holidays to market your business are these:
(1) Plan Ahead. Think about which hashtag holidays will be relevant to your ideal clients, that they’ll want to celebrate with you about? Choose a few that will resonate well and plan out how you’ll use them in advance.
(2) Add Value. When choosing hashtag holidays, we would suggest to weave them in in a natural way as much as possible. Don’t create a post on social media just to post it, but rather to add value, using hashtag holidays to plan your content in a fun way. Choose one or maybe two each month if they work well, and use them in a way that will benefit your business and enhance your followers experience.
(3) Have Fun! And of course, there’s always the option to simply have fun with a hashtag holiday and not to think about marketing it every single time, to share a personal favorite if you think it will be a fun way for your audience to get to know you in more of a fun way and connect with them in a way that is a way they can connect more to you.
Because let’s be real. You know that when #nationalcappuccino day falls on November 8th of this year, which just so happens to be one of the days we’re at our Fall Conference, we’ll be raising those delectable cups of goodness to cheers everyone who will be sipping along with us that day, because I personally have never met a cappuccino I didn’t love. 🎉