Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real-life examples of the good, the bad, and sometimes wild, in marketing.

Guys – before you dive into this episode, I have a confession to make. Around the 2-3 minute mark, I start talking about a book. About halfway through my sentence, I start realizing I cannot remember the author or the title of the book, just the tagline, which is “The most human company wins.” And so I fumble my way through my sentence, don’t sound like the smartest person on the block. But the book is called “The Marketing Rebellion” by Mark Schaefer. Mark Schaefer – I’m so sorry I forgot your name. It occurred to me that the book had the same theme and I should talk about it. All of a sudden I was like, “Wait a minute, I don’t know what I’m talking about!” and did not have the book near me to reference it. I have the book in front of me now and I highly recommend it to anyone trying to create marketing campaigns that speak to humans so that your company comes across as a human company. So, without further ado, I hope you enjoy this episode and that it helps you during this holiday season. 

Well, friends, it’s November. I don’t know about you but I love the end of the year, partially for the good food that is going to be in my belly on Thanksgiving. This year, I am lucky enough to be eating for two. Just kidding. I love this time of year. And partially because of the things that happen around Thanksgiving.

And so I’m here to give you the little PSA, to put a little bug in your ear, about these holidays that you can use on your social media. Obviously, we have our classic, our favorite classic Thanksgiving. We also have Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. Five of them in a row that you get to create really great social media content for and we are going to help you. That is what we’re going to talk about today. 

So, whether you call these holidays or not, it is really important that your business or non-profit can celebrate alongside your community. Sometimes people are like, “Let’s just go radio silent because it’s a holiday and nobody’s doing anything.” But the problem is people are actually doing stuff. Their social media usage might look different than any other weekend, but it could actually be higher. So if you think about it, if somebody is bored at grandma’s house during Thanksgiving, they may be scrolling through Thanksgiving through the Thanksgiving posts. 

If you’re a retailer, you already know this. You’re probably well aware of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. But either way, don’t neglect these holidays. So I’m going to walk us through each one of them and I’m going to give you some ideas on how you can create social media content that is engaging and that will speak to your customer.

So Thanksgiving: we all love Thanksgiving, or most of us do, because it comes with really good food and really great company. But don’t let this holiday pass you by without telling your community how you feel about them. So this could be like a personal note from your CEO. It could be like a team gratitude post. You could also list the things that you all are thankful for. You could list the reasons that you’re thankful for your customer. Just do something about gratitude. Don’t just leave it at  “Happy Thanksgiving.” Write something that is personal because that will be more meaningful and make you more of a human. And remember – human marketing. The most human company wins according to our good friend who wrote that book who I can’t remember his name. Oops. Either way – be a human. Tell people what you’re thankful for and then invite them to also ask them what they’re thankful for and invite them to comment.

Perhaps you can set it up with your team ahead of time where you share what you’re thankful for and how you’re thankful for your customers. And then you could even say, “Hey, our team is going to comment below.” One, that’ll help you with the algorithm. Two, that gets your team involved. I just had that idea right now. So that would be another great idea. Don’t let it pass you by without expressing gratitude. 

So then comes Black Friday. This term was coined in the 1960s but it actually has been like an unofficial start to the shopping season since 1920. So, Black Friday, we all know, might look a little bit different this year with supply issues. But for one, if you’re a retailer, you need to start considering what sort of sales you’re going to run on Black Friday. People expect it and people are waiting for it. So while you may say, “Gosh darn it, they could buy it for full price any time of the year!” Your people want to interact with you. This is where they’re going to be stacking up on goodies for Christmas, et cetera.

So make sure that you have thought through what you want to offer to people. Offer your discounts, offer your deals. If you are a service-based business and you’re not offering a deal, perhaps share how you’re engaging with Black Friday, whether you are sitting on the couch, like I will be, or if you are out in the stores. Whatever you’re doing, share some behind the scenes. This is a great chance to do it. 

If you’re a nonprofit, make sure you’ve set up an Amazon Smile link because if people shop on Amazon and they’re shopping Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, make sure that you have that Amazon Smile link and that you have sent that out because that is a great way to do some fundraising without costing your clients any money.

Next, we come on Small Business Saturday. So guys, like literally all of these are back-to-back. The only break that we get is Sunday. But Small Business Saturday was started in 2010. So we’re going out 11 years. It actually was started by American Express which was smart of American Express to do, but now it has gone beyond American Express and is a great way to honor those small businesses, especially after Black Friday, where a lot of people are shopping at big box stores, big online retailers, et cetera.

Small Business Saturday encourages people to shop local. We love Small Business Saturday, partially because we’re working with a lot of small businesses all the time. But this again, guys, just like you would for Black Friday, share your Small Business Saturday deal. Perhaps you can even couple Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday together. Like you don’t have to have a separate one for each unless you want to take care of that sort of tracking. But a Small Business Saturday deal, if you’re a retailer, you need to have something going on because people will support you. You just have to ask them to. 

If you have a brick-and-mortar, perhaps you could have a drop-in event. That would be a great idea if you’re able to do that in your community. Non-profits — A really great idea for you is to feature small businesses that are supporting you. I did this for one of our nonprofit clients a few years ago and it was so fun because they have people who donate pizza to them for pizza nights, they have musicians that come and do concerts, they have all sorts of small businesses that are supporting them. And what we did is we put this excellent post together that just tagged all of them. And guys, that post got amazing, amazing engagement because all of the small businesses then shared it. So I am just giving you that clue. 

Remember it’s not for you, though, so if your small businesses don’t reshare, that’s very unfortunate of them. They should be, but this is a way to give back to the small businesses and it’s a way to thank them as well. 

So we have a break for Sunday. You can take Sunday off of social media. I’m giving you permission to, and actually you guys, I’m giving you permission to take the whole weekend off because really you should have scheduled all of these in advance.

So Sunday comes around. You don’t have to do anything. Monday, Cyber Monday. This started in 2005, little known fact, and started in 2018 outshining Black Friday and it’s the biggest sale of the year, which makes sense. We have become more and more internet-based over the years. So again, remember, you can have the same deal for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, but you need to have a deal, especially if you have an online store.

If you have things that you love, like the products that you love in your store, make sure you share those with your customers or followers. If you don’t have an online store, consider sharing other deals. I see a lot of bloggers do this and I know that they often set up affiliate links, but I think even that is a really cool way to either make a little bit of cash if you have an affiliate link. Or even if you don’t have an affiliate link, just share things that you love because your customers would probably love them, too, and you’re creating community.

Nonprofits, again — share your Amazon Smile link. If people use your Smile link, then Amazon contributes part of what they have made off of that to your account. It does not charge your customers or your donors any more money. Donors, if you have a non-profit that you love, ask them for their Smile link. Think about any shopping that you do during this season could be helping another nonprofit. 

Lastly, Giving Tuesday. I joke that Giving Tuesday is like our day to make amends for all of the spending we’ve done. But I really, really love that this is a holiday now. It was created in 2012. In 2018, over 150 countries raised over $400 million on Giving Tuesday for nonprofits. So that, in essence, is what it is. Their mission and their goal is to become a global day of giving that harnesses the power of technology and social media to “make generosity go viral.” I don’t know if there’s a better mission in this world than that one. 

So for one, if you’re a nonprofit, you need to get on this right away. Start planning out your Giving Tuesday goal. Start creating your social media and your email campaign. This could be the kickoff to a holiday giving season. A few years ago, I got to help a nonprofit raise more than they had ever raised on Giving Tuesday alone. I helped another one kick off a giving season with Giving Tuesday. And then by the end of the year, they had raised more than they had raised before. It is a really, really powerful day.

And oftentimes, the powers that be on the internet, aka Facebook and or some other companies, will do matches. They’re kind of hard to get, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it, but they are very, very generous. And I would look into that if you’re a nonprofit. So obviously nonprofits — direct people to where they can give on Giving Tuesday. 

Businesses, just as we’ve encouraged the nonprofits to feature small businesses, I would encourage you to feature a nonprofit that you’re really passionate about. Perhaps give a percentage of your profits to the nonprofit; that’s up to you and your personal beliefs. But especially if you have a CEO who’s particularly passionate about a cause or if you have other people on your team who are really passionate about a cause, consider taking those ideas and featuring those nonprofits.

What have you got to lose? Literally nothing. And you get to be a part of your community and possibly get some of the algorithm to work for you if people reshare those things. So these are our holidays, there’s five of them. And we’re already in November so you need to start thinking about these ASAP If you haven’t already.

Plan it out, schedule your posts, don’t go crazy. If this is your first year doing this, schedule those posts and make sure that you have something that’s engaging. This is an opportunity for you to speak up for yourself if you’re a small business or a nonprofit. It also is a chance for you to feature other things that are going on in your community.

In essence, your people, your audience, your community — they know about most of these holidays. Giving Tuesday’s a little iffy only because it’s a little bit newer, but they know about these holidays. Some of them will notice if you don’t post anything. A lot of them won’t notice. 

But again, remember guys, you have to stay at the top of mind for your people and you want to be a human marketer. And if you want to do that, you need to engage with people where they’re at. So I would encourage you: take all five of these holidays, just take one of them, whatever you want to do, but I would encourage you to put some thought behind it. Use this as a way to connect with people where they’re at, celebrating the holidays or the shopping days or the deals or the giving that they get to.

You get to be in community with them. So make sure you actually do it and don’t wait until the last minute to put something together. It’s very stressful. I don’t recommend it. 

So let us know if you have any questions about these holidays. If you have an excellent post that’s coming up or that you’re going to create because you heard about this on this podcast, tag us in it so that we can come and engage in it.  We’re really, really excited to see how you implement them.

In this episode…

Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins, by Mark Schaefer