Don't have time to read? Listen to the article instead

When I first got into digital marketing, there wasn’t a lot of content available, especially for smaller brands who weren’t very active. As a result, marketers would turn to everything from National Pancake Day to Hug a Stranger Day to build communication initiatives around.

While some did become quite ridiculous, spicing up your social media calendar with quirky holidays that make sense for your brand can be a great way to keep it topped off and add a bit of personality to your comms. So let’s check out how you can achieve this without making a mess of your communication strategy.

Promote your products

This is an easy one to incorporate into your calendar but, sadly, it’s also the one most likely to become cringe-worthy. Every brand’s communication initiative is obviously an attempt to dangle itself in front of consumers but it can be done tastefully. A lot like you wouldn’t smack someone over the face with the pie you were trying to get them to taste, you shouldn’t slap your audience around with your products and services. Much like the pie, it’s a waste for both you and the customer.

Samsung’s clever little take on self-promotion, takes advantage of Crossword Puzzle Day to incorporate product features into a crossword puzzle , with a bit of Christmas eye-candy on top. It’s obviously a promotional post but it’s giving the audience something to engage with, and looking at their stats, engage they did.

We’re having a #RandomActsofKindnessDay here at Little’s HQ! All Decaf Mix ‘n’ Match boxes ordered today will have a FREE Little’s eye mask thrown in, to help you on your journey to the Land of Nod. 🛏💤🌝 #decafcoffee #randomactofkindness

A post shared by We Are Little’s (@wearelittles) on

We Are Little’s takes it one step further, attaching a flash promo to Random Acts of Kindness Day. It works because instead of a boring promo, they’ve put it in the context of doing something kind for their audience.

Inspire action

Feel-good type holidays can work towards almost any brand’s advantage as all you need to do is wrap them up in a bit of brand context and you’ve got the beginning of a very nice campaign on your hands.

You can use them to drive engagement with your content or you can use them to drive engagement with your brand.

Virgin Money UK, for instance, asked people to nominate people so awesome they deserve a special, unexpected treat. The great thing about the campaign is that it asked their audience to think about the kind people in their lives, who were then shown extra-special kindness on Random Acts of Kindness Day. Beautiful!

Another long-term, beautiful campaign celebrating people comes from illy. The coffee brand asked coffee lovers to show their appreciation for the coffee growers who make it all possible.

What’s wonderful about the campaign is that it’s very personal and the brand understood that, for this to work, the focus should stay on gratitude from people to people, not numbers. Their videos show this connection between you or I writing the notes, the brand carefully placing them in the fields and the joy they brought to the people they were intended for.

Entertain your audience

While you can do a lot of complicated things with these quirky holidays, it’s important to remember that their entire point is to find a reason to celebrate every day of our lives and the simplest way to do this is through joy and laughter.

HBO does a fantastic job communicating about everything Game of Thrones and they’ve incorporated a number of quirky holidays into their social media comms. Using shots from the show, they put a funny twist on these holidays, aiming for awareness and online engagement.

Pairing a brand that sells cookies with something like World Beard Day might not be the most obvious choice but Unibic cookies proves that with clever execution, even the unlikeliest concepts can work.

The Bottom Line

Quirky holidays are no longer filler-content we dust off when we run out of even bad ideas. If you put some thought and a bit of heart into them they can work wonders on engagement with both the brand and its content.

You can simplify or amplify their level of complexity to fit whatever budget or time you might have but they are well-worth considering when you put your content strategy together.

© 2017 Shoestrings & Fancy Things. All Rights Reserved.