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Should Your Brand Be Active on Memorial Day?

We’re just about one month away from Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer. It’s natural to get excited about sitting by the pool, having friends and family over for a cookout, or heading to the beach for a long weekend. However, it’s incredibly important to remember what Memorial Day itself is truly about: a day of remembrance to those who died in service of the United States.

That said, just because the purpose of this holiday is somber, doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to either embrace the celebratory aspects or pay respects to those being remembered. Here are a few things to consider for your brand before publishing any holiday content this May:

1) Who Is the Content About?

Because of the gravity of Memorial Day, especially compared to more light-hearted holidays like Valentine’s Day, considering who the focus of your content is matters a great deal. Posts that are about your products, or people enjoying your products like Cinnabon did, run the risk of coming across as insensitive and self-serving.

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However, if your content is about remembering those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and NOT your brand, you’re more likely in the clear to proceed to the next consideration.

2) Does Your Brand Have Military Ties?

Even the best-intentioned posts can be misconstrued (and run the risk of creating a crisis) if your brand has no ties to the military. For example, IHOP probably didn’t mean any harm, but saying thank you, apparently for a stack of pancakes, isn’t a great look.

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However, there are great examples of companies who are either part of the military, assist military and their families, or are well-known for their support of servicemen and women. Think USAA or any number of military-friendly companies. If your brand falls into this category, a respectful post about Memorial Day is likely to go over well.

3) Want to Promote Memorial Day Activities?

As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of fun activities that happen on Memorial Day weekend, and if your brand has ties to them (food, drinks, grills, etc.), you certainly can post content around that. Just keep a couple things in mind.

• Consider hashtags. Yes, using #MemorialDay is likely to get more views for your cookout content. However, it also may bring added scrutiny to your brand’s intent and sensitivity (or perceived lack thereof) to Memorial Day.

• Timing. Does your brand have cookout, beach trip, or other festive items on sale? Talk about them in the week leading up to Memorial Day rather than on the holiday itself to lessen the risk of offending your audience.

• Tiptoe around the subject. Using a red, white, and blue color palette or saying things like “this weekend” instead of “Memorial Day” can also help your post return the desired actions from your fans.

By keeping these three points in mind, your brand’s content should be good to go for Memorial Day should you choose to post. That said, I’m always a firm believer of “when in doubt, don’t.” Need help creating great content for Memorial Day or any day before or after? Drop us a line, we’d love to chat.

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