It all started with this.
Simple. Brilliant. And just a great move. Then they moved on to much more obscure holidays.
And, even more obscure holidays.
OK, so a few other brands might have beat Oreo to the punch of promoting holidays on Facebook in somewhat interesting ways. But, it was Oreo that brought it to the next level. They popularized it.
And now, it seems, everyone is following their lead.
Brands big and small now routinely celebrate and acknowledge mainstay holidays like Easter and Valentine’s Day as well as the innane (but now suddenly popular) holidays like National Pi Day and National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.
But, as you look at all these brands suddenly recognizing these holidays, doesn’t it seem like engagement for the sake of engagement?
I have to raise the question: Is all this work promoting holidays by brands really beneficial?
As usual, the answer is gray: It depends. Depends on your strategy. Your goals. What you’re trying to achieve with Facebook.
For some brands, it makes sense. Here’s one example:
For Starbucks, this makes sense. They’re committed to the environment as an organization–celebrating Earth Day is a logical alignment.
But, other brands just don’t seem to be as aligned. Take a peek at just a few I found doing some simple searching:
First, Cousins Day? Second, what does that have to do with Kleenex?
Um, did Old Navy change businesses? Are they selling cookies in store now?
Not sure how this could possibly align with the Old Navy brand…
So, where does this leave us? I think brands just need to take a closer look at this business of using holidays to procure engagement on Facebook. If the day/month/holiday you’re recognizing doesn’t squarely align with your brand, its values and your culture, don’t promote it.
Plus, I just have to say, enough with these ridiculous holidays. I mean, does anyone really care about National Trail Mix Day? Or, National Cream-Filled Donut Day? Or National Pins & Needles Day? (All real “holidays”, by the way)
Chances are, most people haven’t even HEARD of this so-called “holidays.”
So, why promote them? Why take time and brainpower away from connecting with your fans about REAL topics, concerns and problems they have? Why not focus all that time and energy on developing content that: 1) Solves a problem, 2) Entertains, or 3) Educates, or (here’s a shock) 4) Results in leads/sales for your company.
I think brands continue to promote these holidays because they represent fairly easy content opportunities. And, let’s be honest, there’s an awful lot of brands (and the agencies that support them) that want to be like Oreo.
But again, are these kinds of posts going to lead to conversions for your brand (whatever those look like)? Are they going to build brand for your organization (they’re not exactly “ownable” content opportunities)?
So again, why do many brands persist?
I’m not sure.
For me, it comes down to the “less is more” theory. If brands are having a tough time coming up with content, maybe these companies should be posting fewer times, not more.
Maybe it’s OK to say less.
Maybe instead of focusing on holidays that don’t have much to do with their brand (or holidays their fans haven’t even heard of), they could be devoting those resources to developing unique and creative content that’s directly related to their brand–and their fans?
That’s my two cents. I’m really curious to hear what you think about this topic. From where I sit, a fair amount of brands are taking this approach, so I’d like to hear why so many folks are going this route–and what the pay-off has been.
Please weigh in with a short comment below.