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Using social media

Preparing your social media for days of celebration

You may occasionally scroll through social media, and think “Wow, there is a day for everything.”

This statement isn’t far from the truth. From the more traditional holidays, such as Halloween and Thanksgiving, to the sillier holidays, such as National Siblings Day and National Farm Animals Day, it seems like there is always a day of celebration taking place.

And, we usually find out about these celebrations on social media.

To build a strong social media presence and engage with current and future followers, it is important for organizations, including nonprofits, to demonstrate awareness of trending topics. One way to do this is posting about days of celebration.

Here are some best practices of posting about holidays and days of celebration on your social media platforms.

1. Determine the relevance of a holiday.

This is the first and most important thing your organization should do before posting about a holiday on social media.

There is no shortage of holidays or days of celebration taking place around the world. Still, this does not mean your organization should post about every single one. Not only is this difficult to keep up with, but it will also cause your followers to lose interest – fast.

So, before planning one or multiple social media posts about a holiday, determine how relevant it is for your organization and your key audiences. Of course, this means posting about the more traditional days and weeks of celebration, i.e. Hanukkah, Christmas, Diwali, etc. However, it also means posting about holidays and days of celebration that are important to you and your followers.

Let’s say you are the social media coordinator for an organization that provides assistance to homeless members of the LGBTQ+ community. You know that your organization’s key social media followers are members of this community and allies. Your organization may want to post about holidays such as Gay Pride Day (June 23) and International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (May 17). On the flip side, you may not want to post about International Museum Day (May 18) or World Penguin Day (April 25). While museums and penguins are important, these days are not necessarily essential for your audiences to know about or celebrate/recognize with your organization.

Of course, if your organization wants to celebrate goofy holidays, like Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day (April 12), feel free to do so occasionally. I would say to do this once every three to four months – this will show your audiences your organization is relatable and even fun, without overwhelming them.

2. Include holiday post(s) on your social media content calendar.

Once you have determined important holidays for your organization to celebrate or acknowledge, you should plan out one or multiple posts about them on your organization’s social media content calendar.

If you do not currently have a content calendar and your organization is active on social media, I would highly recommend creating one. Content calendars are effective social media tools that allow you to keep posts organized and relevant to audiences. If you do not have a content calendar, check out this template, created by HubSpot and Buffer.

Once your monthly or annual content calendar is created, go ahead and add the holiday to it. At this point, you must determine how frequently you want to post about this day.

Ask yourself these questions when determining the frequency of your posting:

  • How important is this holiday for your organization and audiences?
  • Does the holiday take place over a series of days or just for one?
  • Is there enough content about your holiday for you to create more than one post?

If you are a nonprofit that supports nursing professionals, you may want to create several social media posts over the span of a week or two to celebrate National Nurses Week (May 6-12). On the other hand, if you work for a humane society, and you know International Dog Day is coming up (August 26), you may just want to post a picture of one of your pups on that day.

Overall, the frequency of posts about your holiday is entirely situational – however, the bullets above and a content calendar should help you get on the right track.

3. Decide what content works bests for your holiday posts.

Now that you have determined IF you should post about a specific holiday and WHEN you should post about a specific holiday, it is now time to decide WHAT you should post.

When deciding the content of your social media posts, it is important to remember followers enjoy visual content, such as images, graphics and videos. Most users on social media platforms would prefer to stop and look at an image or watch a video and read a caption than simply read a block of copy. This is why Instagram and YouTube are two of the most popular social media platforms.

Additionally, your followers want to view content that tells the story of your organization and its volunteers, donors and staff.

Finally, develop posts based off this rule of thumb: Create the content that YOU would want to see.

Consider this – you work in a nonprofit that provides art classes to refugees. Which would resonate more with you personally on World Art Day (April 15):

1. Writing a Facebook post on your organization’s timeline that simply says, “Happy World Art Day,” or
2. Sharing an image of one of the participating refugees (with their permission, of course) painting a picture with a caption about World Art Day

Clearly, option b better demonstrates the organization’s mission and story, and creates a clear connection to the holiday.

It’s always important to take a minute and celebrate days of celebration and holidays – and social media platforms give us the opportunity to do this and engage with our different audiences. If your holiday posts are relevant, strategic and thoughtful, there is no reason your organization cannot celebrate holidays with your followers and the world.


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