To kick off 2020, I created a free social media holidays calendar full of useful hashtag holidays for business owners. I was describing it to my non-marketing boyfriend over dinner…
Me: “So I’ve made a free calendar of all the social media holidays that business owners can download and print off for free”
Mick: “You mean like Hug A Drummer Day and Steak & BJ Day?”
Me: “Exactly that, minus the last one…”
Mick: “There’s one on Facebook every bloody day now! Can’t move for them! Where did they all come from?”
He’s right. Anyone with an active Insta or Facey or Twitter account will have seen a #MotivationalMonday, #TacoTuesday or #WomanCrushWednesday. You might have even shared a shameless boomerang on #NationalMargaritaDay (February 22, FYI), clinking overpriced cocktails on a five-second loop.
Christmas, New Year, Easter and Halloween – these holidays go beyond the dates your Postie acknowledges. And yes – they’re obviously, totally made-up, frivolous fun.
But they’re also big business – and in 2020, nearly everyone’s snapping them up.
So what’s the actual point of social media holidays?
And where did they all come from?
What marketers are referring to when they say ‘social media holidays’ or ‘hashtag holidays’ are trending topics on the Internet. From global awareness months to niche industry-specific campaigns, there are thousands of them.
You can thank web developer Marlo Anderson for the National Day Calendar. A self-professed geek in all things national days, Marlo created the calendar for fun. Now, there are entire companies dedicated to selling new national days to companies – you just have to glance at the success Riondo Prosecco has had since the winemakers officially “founded” National Prosecco Day to see why.
We don’t all have Riondo’s budget or size to create an entire day for our own business, but we do all have social media. And this printable hashtag holiday calendar at our disposal.
In a strict business sense, social media holidays like #BackToSchool sales to #BlackFriday deals are the perfect opportunity to meet your customers, exactly when they need you most. They’re low-risk, with potentially high rewards. So, let’s get cracking.
Three benefits of social media holidays (and how to use them)
They get more eyeballs on your small business
More eyes on you + relevant content = more potential followers, prospects and eventually, customers.
If you don’t have a big brand that millions of followers feel personally connected to, you’ll have a hard time getting others to use your own hashtag. That’s why savvy creative business owners jump on existing topics – preparing for upcoming hashtag holidays sometimes even a year in advance.
Like all trending topics and strategically used hashtags on social media, wading in on these holidays will spread your words to a lot more screens than traditional marketing.
They express our personalities & connect on a human level
In my list of 101 writing skills I’ve picked up over the years, Tip Number 45 is:
Make your writing a vehicle for self-expression. People share articles that make themselves look smart, funny, connected… anything that portrays the idealistic self.
The same goes for social media holidays. If people feel a personal connection to something, they’ll jump at the chance to express it.
You can absolutely bet I’m on Instagram every year on the 8th of August for International Cat Day…
I’m saying: “Hey, look at my cats. I’m a cat person. An absolute raging cat person. They’re really important to me. And really cute. I want to remind you all of that – and I want to see your cats too. I want to connect with other raging cat people.”
At the end of the day, that’s all social media is, really – creating our online personal brands and sharing the stuff that matters. And raging cat people.
If you know your audience well – and know what makes them tick – then give them any excuse and they’ll express it. We just can’t help ourselves.
Hashtag holidays start conversations
Social media holidays are evidently manufactured for marketing opportunities. But they’re no different to other Hallmark occasions, like Valentine’s Day. Of course, they spur us into spending – but they also give us more reason to bring people together and spend time communicating with each other.
Many small business owners cringe at sharing hashtag holidays, but they shouldn’t. Sparking conversations about common interests is an authentic and effective way of developing a relationship with your followers.
Don’t make your followers do all the hard work – boost engagement on social media holidays by asking questions or generating discussions. To give you a headstart, here are some hashtag ‘conversation starters’ you could embellish and use in your own marketing:
24 social media holiday conversation starters for 2020
January social media holidays 2020
- 20 January
It’s #BlueMonday 😢 BUT it’s also #NationalCheeseLoversDay 😃 what’s your ultimate comfort food?
- 24 January:
Today is #NationalComplimentDay – we wanna know what the most genuinely lovely compliment you’ve received is. Go on, share the joy!
February social media holidays 2020
- 1 February:
If someone were to write a book about your life, what would it be called? Mine would be [Insert Meaningful/Funny/Clever Story Title Here]. #NationalStorytellingWeek
- 9 February:
It’s a flammable topic, but we’re going there: pineapple on pizza? 🍍 OMG yass or hellllllllnooooo? #NationalPizzaDay
March social media holidays 2020
- 8 March:
REAL TALK: what assumptions about women in [industry you’re in] would you like to change? #InternationalWomensDay
- 18 March:
Since it’s #AwkwardMomentsDay, I think I dare share this. We’re all friends here, after all. [Insert awkward moment story] 😂 Okay, there’s my cringefest – now it’s your turn.
April social media holidays 2020
- 1 April:
If your pet could speak for one day, what’s the first thing they would say to you? #NationalPetMonth
- 20 April:
My friend told me I look like [insert famous person’s name here] and I’m not sure whether it’s a compliment or not? 😂 who is your famous lookalike? #LookalikeDay
May social media holidays 2020
- 5 May:
If it wasn’t for my [subject] teacher, I’d never have become the [job title] I am today. [Write about how your teacher transformed you]. Thank you, [teacher’s name]. Did a teacher change you? #ThankATeacherDay is a lovely excuse to show your gratitude 🙏
- 12 May:
Describe your brand in the form of a limerick – go! #NationalLimerickDay
June social media holidays 2020
- 8 June:
To celebrate #BestFriendsDay, we’re giving away [insert appropriate giveaway here] for you and your bestie to enjoy. Just tag them in this post and follow us for the chance to win 🤞
- 26 June:
Ahh, #NationalWritingDay. Which one book inspired you to become a writer yourself? Mine is [insert book recommendation and how it changed you].
July social media holidays 2020
- 17 July:
Describe your day using just three emojis. Mine are: 👩💻🐈☕
- 24 July:
Who is excited for the #2020SummerOlympics? It starts today! 🤸 What’s your favourite sport to follow?
August social media holidays 2020
- 25 August:
Hands up if you’re as obsessed with #TheWizardOfOz as we are? The film turns 81 today! To celebrate, we’re giving away a limited edition Emerald City print 🌈 tag a friend who’d love it – more tags give you more chances of winning! And don’t forget to follow our page ☝️
- 31 August:
There’s no better day than #WorldBlogDay to start your own blog. Whether it’s for your small business or just for fun, drop me a DM & I’ll help you think of a name for it. One day only, free of charge 🖊️
September social media holidays 2020
- 3 September:
Is there anything more exciting than fresh, lovely #BackToSchool stationery? We think NOT ✏️ head over to our site for 50% all stationery – and don’t forget to tag us in your #StationeryHaul pics!
- 30 September:
It’s that time of the year again – #InternationalPodcastDay! What are you obsessed with? I need more recommendations for my list of must-listens!
October social media holidays 2020
- 1 October:
This #WorldCoffeeDay, have a coffee on me! I’ve preloaded this @Starbucks card to treat you – my AMAZING followers – to a fresh brew. Use the hashtag #CoffeeOnNina so I can see all your happy, caffeinated faces! ♥️
CASE STUDY: Marketing goddess Amy Porterfield has a genius step-by-step guide on how she shared a Starbucks coffee with her social media followers.
- 10 October:
If you’re not okay, you’re not alone. For #WorldMentalHealthDay, we’ve created this video to help you be kinder to yourself when life feels overwhelming.
CASE STUDY: LADbible’s UOKM8? social campaign, aimed at raising awareness of mental health issues among men, reached over 38 million young people. It was relevant, human and spoke to one of the most vulnerable audiences affected by mental health and suicide in their own language.
November social media holidays 2020
- 21 November:
What can I watch now that [insert TV series here] has finished? It’s #WorldTelevisionDay and I’m craving a good Netflix binge! 📺
- 28 November:
#SmallBusinessSaturday is such an important day. Drop a link to your page on this post and we’ll share our favourite product of yours in our stories 💌
December social media holidays 2020
- 18 December:
We’re very much embracing #UglyChristmasJumperDay here at [insert business name]. Are you in on the fun? Show us ya jumpers!
- 21 December:
Joyous #WinterSolstice, my lovelies. To escape the Christmas madness, I’m spending the day in my happy place – [insert a place that makes you feel calm]. What about you – where do you flock for much-needed you-time?
These are just a handful of hashtag holidays for the year ahead. Download my free 2020 social media calendar for ALL of them in one beautifully presented printable PDF.
Let me know if there are any other CORKERS that need adding. If I spy any more, I’ll update my subscribers in my weekly newsletter.
Happy planning, wonderbeam!