The Fourth of July is coming up, and most Americans celebrate our country's independence day in a similar fashion, with BBQ, beer, friends, and fireworks. And, though your business may go dark for the day while you spend some well-earned time off with your friends and family, there is one part of your company that shouldn't fall silent - its social media presence. Holidays are a prime opportunity to put a little extra character into your brand, and incorporating the celebration of the major holidays into your social presence helps to humanize your presence to your followers. And while it is definitely a great chance to be creative and have fun with the sites, you also don't want to spend your entire day off updating all of your social media sites. So what platforms are best suited to joining the celebration?
This one might be a bit obvious, but you'd be surprised by how many companies let their profiles go quiet on major holidays, or phone it in with a quick 'Happy (insert holiday here)' status update. A sizable portion of your customer base likely follows you on Facebook, and the more they interact with your page and your posts, the more likely their friends will be made aware of your presence. Remember that images and videos usually get the most traction on Facebook, and that you don't want whatever you put up to look or feel too much like an advertisement. If it does seem like one, no one will interact with your post. Something cute like a video of the office wishing everyone a Happy Fourth of July (in the case of the closest applicable holiday), or a nod to a local celebration, if you are a locally-based business, will probably work just fine.
Twitter may be heavily dependent on text-based updates, but you can't just update with a quick tweet acknowledging the holiday and expect that to do. Remember, including an image can double the amount of engagement with the tweet, so if you are going to update your Twitter feed to celebrate a holiday, add in a picture. Just like with Facebook, you don't want that picture to be an advertisement - turning your logo red, white, and blue for the day isn't going to make the kind of impact you want to see. Instead, use your product, or your office, or even the people in the office to create something interesting and celebratory. Do you run a coffee shop? Use the latte foam to make a little star or, if you're more ambitious, a flag. If your business doesn't have a product that lends itself to creativity, tweet out a picture of the business's founder in an American flag shirt. As long as it is easily digestible, appropriate, and clever, your followers will engage with the post.
Tumblr is one of the easiest social media sites to keep up to date because you can queue posts directly from the site - something that you need a third-party application to do for Facebook and Twitter. So, really, there is no excuse to leave your Tumblr un-updated, especially during the holidays. But beyond queuing and automatic posting, Tumblr has proved its usefulness as a way to blog about the inner-workings of a business and give a voice to your brand. If you sell a product that can be sold with visual images, like stationary, food, or candles, then getting pictures to post will be pretty simple. But even if your company sells a service, or a product that doesn't exactly lend itself to visuals, you can still include a few photos of the office during a holiday party. After you get a couple of good shots, use them to tell a short story about the business - just a few sentences will do nicely. Remember above all else to be as personable as possible when writing - this post should not be a commercial or a five page essay about the company.
Businesses that have a social presence would be remiss to ignore that presence just because everyone in the office or shop has the day off. Posting during a holiday gives you a bit more creative freedom and, since most people are home on those days, more of your followers will see what you post. Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are the three main sites you should hit, mainly because they have such a large user-base and a lot of your followers will be regularly checking those three sites. And if you have a large following on another social site, use that instead - the point here is to take advantage of the upcoming holiday to both post something interesting, and reach more people.
image: 4th of July/shutterstock