It’s almost the Fourth of July, and I know I’m not alone in my excitement. There’s nothing that defines summer in America quite like a good Fourth of July celebration.
Since many Americans feel the same way, Independence Day—and other holidays and seasons—are a perfect opportunity to catch readers’ attention with some well-executed content.
As we head into the holiday, here are five examples of brands doing seasonal content right, as well as three tips you can use for your seasonal posts year-round on Twitter and Instagram.
1. Pottery Barn
This photo from Pottery Barn isn’t overly salesy—in fact, without looking at the caption, you’d never know who posted it. This is part of what makes it so appealing: The picture seems to embody Pottery Barn’s elevated country style in a festive and colorful way without using any branding whatsoever.
Further, they go out of their way to call out the person who took the photo, which has the dual purpose of making their brand look good and appealing to fans of the photographer’s account.
The call to action doesn’t hurt, either: Notice how the brand asks readers a question, credits the owner of the photo and then tells readers how their photos can be featured, too. It invites engagement (a key factor for getting exposure on Instagram) without seeming heavy-handed or desperate.
2. Halo Top
It was ice cream, in the kitchen, with a spoon. pic.twitter.com/C22QwF5s2L
— Halo Top (@HaloTopCreamery) June 25, 2018
Everyone’s favorite low-calorie ice cream brand has some of the most charming social media content around. This post is no exception: While it may not explicitly mention the Fourth (or any holiday), those red and white stripes just scream Americana (and summer in general).
Unlike Pottery Barn’s post, this one does feature a photo of the brand’s offerings, but the caption doesn’t even have so much as a hashtag. This makes the post feel exceptionally relaxed and unaggressive. However, keep in mind that tweets with hashtags get double the engagement of those without, according to research from Buddy Media.
So, you probably shouldn’t stop using them entirely — instead, limit yourself to one or two Twitter hashtags, since tweets with more than two hashtags show a drop in engagement.
With a colorful photo, a laid-back caption and a quick tidbit of info about a new product, this post from Casper nails the casual vibe of summer, and probably piqued interest for those mattress-shaped pool floaties, too.
Take note of the caption’s sparse use of hashtags, as well: This creates a much cleaner look than dumping 30 different tags into a caption that’s 10 words long. Next time you’re posting an Instagram photo, clean it up by putting the hashtags in the comments, or just using one or two key hashtags in the caption relevant to your brand or topic.
Whether you choose to put your hashtags in the caption or comments depends on what type of engagement you’re after — a small study from Agorapulse found that posts with hashtags in the caption get more reach.
On the other hand, posts with hashtags in the comments section get more comments.
4. Blue Apron
We’re nominating tzatziki for sauce of the summer! https://t.co/GQWRtv1enw
— Blue Apron (@blueapron) June 23, 2018
I’m sure that sometime, say, 100 years ago, someone speculated that people in the future wouldn’t even have to go shopping for food—it would just be delivered to their door in temperature-controlled boxes. And look where we are now.
Blue Apron keeps it nice and concise in this summer-y post with a beautiful, well-lit photo of some fresh food, a cheerful caption and a link to the recipe on their site. I’d like to focus on this post’s photo: Every detail pops out, the colors are vibrant and the background looks homey rather than staged. Plus, who doesn’t like the sound of tzatziki in the summer?
Yet another example of subtle branding: In this post from Wayfair, the caption doesn’t encourage readers to buy, buy and buy some more, but the video lets readers know they can expect to find some great Fourth of July-themed products at Wayfair.
Plus, the caption is conversational and engaging, which never hurts. They simply ask a question and give a quick decorating tip. Short and sweet.
How to Create Seasonal Content of Your Own
Learning from the examples above, here are some tips you can use to post compelling seasonal or holiday-themed content:
1. Don’t Be Aggressive
Most holidays are time for relaxation and quality time with family, so you don’t want to sound like you view your company as being more important than those things. That’s why so many of the above examples don’t read like a mattress store blowout—instead, they read like casual, upbeat posts that let the photos and videos do the talking. The brand becomes part of the things its audience loves.
To accomplish this, use hashtags strategically, not haphazardly.
On Twitter, this means choosing your hashtags carefully: As I mentioned earlier, tweets with one or two hashtags receive the highest levels of engagement, which is backed up by data from TrackMaven.
On Instagram, this means using nine hashtags, and no more than a dozen.
2. Rely On Visuals
Since many holidays are about visual excitement, you don’t have to do a whole lot of writing to celebrate it with your readers. For Fourth of July, for example, take a video of a local fireworks display, snap a photo of some red, white and blue food or insert your product into a summery scene, like a pool or picnic. Don’t forget to edit your photo so it appears bright, light and breezy, and check out my previous post to find out how to create awesome Instagram posts.
Just remember to keep the aesthetic consistent with the rest of your feed as well as your brand’s overall look (check out my previous post to find out how to create awesome Instagram posts).
3. Share Holiday Plans
Almost everyone has some sort of plan for what they’re going to do on big holidays, so why not get them engaged by asking them to share it? After all, Instagram’s algorithm heavily rewards engagement, so engaging users is one of the best ways to boost your brand’s visibility. Bonus points if you share your own plans or reference a local event. For example, you could ask who’s planning to attend a local barbeque or fireworks display for Fourth of July.
Incorporate these tips into your seasonal social media posts and you’re sure to nab the attention of some revelers. For more social media advice, take a look at my post on how to upgrade your social media posts.
What are your plans for the Fourth of July? Comment down below!