What’s more American than parades, barbecues, fireworks and apple pie on the Fourth of July?
Why, the sharing of pictures and comments on social media about parades, barbecues, fireworks and apple pie on the Fourth of July, of course.
Personal Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds will soon be filling up with montages of pics, videos and thoughts from friends and family all over U.S., illustrating one of the more positive attributes of social media – the creation of a real-time virtual community.
So why can’t all that be translated to the business side of things via social media holiday marketing?
A recent post highlighted the occasional off-message status update/tweet/post as a way to humanize businesses and keep a level of fun/spontaneity in the marketing mix. Holidays offer a similar opportunity to learn more about customers while letting them view a business as something more than a logo.
I’m not just talking about the obvious discounts tied to Independence Day, which are of course valid. Last time we checked, there’s no law against offering consumer deals for those who may be out and about on Wednesday; if recent history is any indication, Foursquare will also soon get busy with such check-in incentives. Hey, the freedom to make money off of holidays – that was one of FDR’s “Four Freedoms,” right?
(Insert Jeopardy-style buzzer noise here.)
Okay, maybe it was freedom from fear (of going out of business). But in any event, what we’re really talking about is taking advantage of July 4th to enhance the customer experience on a company’s social media platform.
Social media marketers talk a lot about “engagement.” It’s a $10 word for allowing full, meaningful conversations/interactivity between customers and companies. It’s about providing content that’s interesting enough to merit a response, even if it’s just a Facebook “like” or a retweet. That content doesn’t ask people to purchase – it asks them to participate.
It’s open-ended questions. It’s asking them to share pics and thoughts. It’s pop quizzes about American history. It’s memories of the best fireworks display they ever saw.
It’s a chance to extend the customer community all the way from your businesses’ front door to their actual real-world communities, where all the parades and barbecues and fireworks and apple pie are happening on July 4th.
Here’s our July 4th question for you: have you seen any great examples of holiday-themed engagement by companies using social media? Please share in our Comments section, and have a happy Fourth of July!
Love this idea, Renay. Holidays are the perfect way to get more personable with clientele, as you say, not to get them to purchase, but to get them to participate. Businesses need to invest in these types of shared experiences with clients, but try not to be disingenuous about it – ultimately, they know you’re a company with a profit motive. That’s why the link between the holiday and the company needs to be clear and relevant in the marketing campaign.
I think occasions such as this are an opportune time not to talk about business yet create meaningful engagements with your target audience, if done right. People tend to put their guard down when you just try to be a “friend” rather than sounding business-like all the time.