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.

You know how there’s one day a year where all of a sudden you see this cascade of posts about pets like it’s a National Pet Day? Or the other one is National Sibling Day, you all of a sudden see everybody’s siblings, and you’re like, “Oh crap! I gotta post one too so my siblings know that I love them!” Or, “I have to post my pet so my pet knows that I love them.” These are national hashtag holidays. Who comes up with them is somewhat unclear, unless you start searching them individually. Some are recognized by organizations, like National Diabetes Day, or World Social Media Day, where there’s been an organization or a cohort that has come together to celebrate this hashtag holiday. 

Real quick, if you’re not familiar with the word hashtag, that is the pound sign that you see in front of words that are joined together. So pound, happy birthday, without a space between happy and birthday, #happybirthday. That is a hashtag. These are used to categorize posts. It’s a brilliant way. You can go back to one of our episodes from late last year to learn more about hashtags, but it’s a great way to get your posts seen by new people. You can find like #ValentinesDay and all of your regular on the calendar holidays, but these hashtag holidays are a little bit different. My voice is getting tired of saying the letter H apparently. But hashtag holidays are a little bit different because you wouldn’t find them on a normal calendar, they’re just random days that people have picked. 

And so, it’s a conversation that we often have with people who are DIY-ing their social media or who are coming to us to do their content. Should we use hashtag holidays? Are they dumb? How many of them? If you look up on Google hashtag holidays 2023, you are gonna find 100 plus hashtag holidays. Would I recommend using all of them? That’s my first question that I often answer. Absolutely not! You should not use all of them, or else you’ll only have hashtag holidays, and you’ll be creating a ton of content, but it might not actually serve your purpose. Plus, if your service or product is not related to said hashtag, it might not be best. 

Let’s use this time to answer a few other questions. I wanna start with why; why should we use them? If I’m here telling you to use them, use them with discretion but use them. Why? First of all, when you use a hashtag holiday, and if people use that hashtag holiday to find your account, you are reaching like-minded people. So if I post something for National Pet Day, nobody else is gonna post unless they actually love their pet. If I wanna be super specific, I’m gonna go to National Dog Day. I will never ever post on National Cat Day. I’m sorry to all my friends who love cats, I am not part of your club. You will not find me posting on National Cat Day, but you’ll find other people who love cats posting on National Cat Day. That’s my first thing. You can reach people who are like you, or who might be interested in the same things that you’re interested in. Number two, the other reason that I love using them is it shows that you are human. For example, while my marketing business doesn’t have a focus on siblings by any means, on National Sibling Day, I might post a picture of me and my siblings and say, “Hey, this is totally unrelated to marketing, but here’s a picture of me and my siblings for National Sibling Day.” It shows that I’m a human, it shows that I care about my siblings. Then we have something to talk about. You, myself and a lead, we might be talking about our siblings because we have something to relate on or relate about. It helps you show yourself as more human. 

Another example would be like National Chocolate Day. That would be an excellent day to post on if you love chocolate. Maybe you make it work adjacent and you say, “Hey, today while I’m working I’m snacking on some chocolate. What’s your favorite snack?” So it makes this engagement post, it helps you connect with people who also love chocolate, but it helps people know that you are human. The third is sparking content ideas. So just like that National Sibling Day example, maybe I will say – and this is a random fact – my sister actually helped us come up with the name for Stratos. So maybe on National Sibling Day, I put, “On this #NationalSiblingDay, I wanna honor my sister Laura who helped come up with our name, and here’s a story about it.” So I’m in essence, tying that hashtag to something that relates to my business. Maybe it’s National Coffee Day, and I’m a coffee drinker. I’m not actually, but if I was, maybe I would say I’d have a picture of my laptop open and me working on maybe some captions for our clients, and say, “Today, on National Coffee Day, I’m fueling up with coffee from so-and-so while I’m writing captions.” So that’s like showing up as human one step further and creating ideas from it. 

So if you’re like, “Okay, I can get behind this, how many should I use?” Great question. What I would do is I would actually browse through the hashtag calendars that you can find online. Epost hashtags for the month every first of the month, so you can find them on our account. I would browse through them and pick one, two, maybe three, depending on how much content. You obviously don’t want to have only hashtag posts or hashtag holiday posts. So you wanna mix it up. So it’ll depend on how much content you’re posting. If you’re only posting one or two things a month, don’t go overboard on the hashtag holidays. Make sure you use them in proportion with what you’re already doing. That’s what I would do, is browse through, that’s your first step. On that day, obviously we’re all into prepping content before, so pick some of your favorites and write some posts. 

Here’s some really cool ideas that I have come up with or that we have come up with. Stratos, we actually did a National Trivia Day post, or they’re working on it. I foolishly didn’t look up on National Trivia Days for recordings, so I couldn’t tell you when that falls coming out. But for National Trivia Day, we used it as a get-to-know-you day for our staff. We always wanna create this human relationship between us and our staff. And so Ryan, who does our social for Stratos, asked all of us to give her two truths and a lie. And so, it’s gonna be a really fun post. It’s a take-on trivia, and doing our monthly introduction post. Excellent idea. She also had a really quick brainstorming conversation with one of our Stratosphere members. Stratosphere is our up and coming membership platform where people can get done-with-you content. So that’s where we collaborate on the content, you don’t have to totally DIY it. But anyway, we have brainstorming sessions every month, and they were going over some of the hashtag holidays. One of the people in our groups, a children’s book author, came across this hashtag called National Hugging Day. She’s an author of kids books, they don’t have to do with hugging, but then she remembered there’s an illustration in the book of one of the characters being hugged by their grandmother. And she was like, “That would be a perfect National Hugging Day photo, then how can I make a caption of that?”

So you might start with a caption concept or you might start with a graphic or photo concept, and then you can lead over into the other one. So now she came up with a post for National Hugging Day, even though it’s not like her business has anything to do with hugging. Another one that we obviously participate in is National Social Media Day. That’s where we could use that day as a way to talk about one of our services, or maybe we’ll talk about our examples. One thing that we love doing is we love spotlighting other people. And so, maybe that’s where we’re talking about some of the social posts that we have loved. We actually even do that for Valentine’s Day. We send pretend Valentine’s to our favorite companies via social media. And so we might say, “Sending this #ValentinesDay to so-and-so.” I think one of the recent ones was around that we love using for video software. Valentine’s Day is in fact an actual national holiday, but it does have that hashtag holiday component. 

Guys, I hate to interrupt this podcast, but I wanna share a quick message about a resource we have here at Stratos for you.

Hey guys, this is Savannah with Stratos Creative Marketing and I was just wondering if you are struggling to write social media posts for this week. Our team has compiled a list of 101 social media prompts so that you never have to run out of post ideas again. You can head over to our website and download your free guide at http://marketinginthewildpodcast.com/freebies/

A few other things that you can do with these to take them one step further, one of them that I’ve thought of was National Children’s Day. Maybe if you had a company that focused on children or a children’s clothing line, whatever it might be, maybe that’s a day that you also create a National Children’s Day coupon. It doesn’t just have to spark content, it could spark marketing strategies in general. Another one is one of our favorite businesses that you’ve heard about before on this podcast is Revel. Revel used to have a brick and mortar, now it’s DIY crafts and events. They’re amazing, they’re out of Madison. Revel is part of why I am where I am, and I’m so grateful. But anyway, what they started doing was there’s this pretend holiday, it’s called Galentine’s Day. For you guys, it’s Valentine’s Day, except G, Galentine’s Day. It is February 13th, it is when girlfriends honor each other and celebrate friendships. I believe you can correct me if I’m wrong, it was first created by Leslie Knope, from Parks & Rec way back when. Galentine’s Day has become this fun little holiday. Revel took it one step further, they used to have a Galentine’s Day celebration in their location. So they weren’t just celebrating it on social media, they took that and made it something bigger. 

A few other examples that I loved that I came up with was National Walking Day. Think about who could use this. Somebody who does fitness could use National Walking Day, somebody who does mental health could do National Walking Day, a running shoes company. So it’s not limited to just the most basic. Another one was National App Day. If you had an app, that would be an excellent day to celebrate. But let’s think about other people. At Stratos, we have favorite apps that we use, so that would be a really great productivity. Maybe we talk about our productivity apps. Maybe it is a game store, while they might be selling board games, maybe it would be a great chance to write a caption like, “Hey, sometimes you wanna play something solo. Here are favorite games for you to download on apps.” Or maybe it is a brain health for senior citizens. Maybe it’s like, “Hey, start using these apps to start exercising your mind.” That would be another great way to promote something on the National App Day. Or you can even take it one step further and you can make a spoof on it, and if you are a restaurant, you can make it National Apps as in Appetizers’ Day. Just saying. Just saying. So this is the thing though, is we don’t wanna stop with just the content creation. Then on that day, you wanna go out and find other people. Remember, this is how we reach like-minded people. Go find people who have posted on that day with that hashtag and find them. Go be human, go comment on their posts, leave them a little bit of social media love. It’s how you can build that relationship and that rapport so that you start getting to know people who are like-minded and who might be interested in your service or product. 

So guys, like I said, if you need resources on holiday hashtags, Google it, first of all, but also head over to our social at Stratos Creative Marketing. You can find it through the Marketing in the Wild social or just search it on your own, and we will have the hashtag holidays up every first of the month this year. So check those out if you need those resources. But if you need a different resource as you’re DIY-ing your own social media, please send me a personal email at julia@stratoscreativemarketing.com. We’re always looking for ways to serve our DIY community or done-with-you community. Honestly, anybody who loves social media, we’re always looking for new resources to share. Let me know. Otherwise, I’ll be here next week.

Friends, thanks for tuning into this week’s podcast episode. I am so glad that you have. If you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have, I just ask you to subscribe so you know each time we have a new episode coming out. If you’ve loved our podcast and wanna give us a rating or a review, I promise, we will read each and every one of them. A special shout out to our friend, Carson Childers, who is producing our podcast. We really appreciate him and all the hard work that he’s done for us. 

Also, thanks to the Stratos team. They have been behind the scenes doing all of the graphic design, brainstorming, et cetera, et cetera. Really, this wouldn’t be possible without them. I’m thankful for each and every one of you guys. 

Lastly, listener, we’ll be back next week, and I hope you will be too.