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Dos & Don’ts Regarding What to Post this Memorial Day

Memorial Day is almost upon us once again. For millions of Americans, the holiday is a chance to remember those in the military who sacrificed their lives for our country. For others, Memorial Day is also the official demarcation of summer. It’s a day to gather with friends and family, and enjoy the warm weather.

For social media marketers, posting content related to Memorial Day can be incredibly tempting. Everyone’s using the #MemorialDay hashtag, so why shouldn’t your brand? However, this holiday – like Veterans Day and Patriot Day (September 11th) – can be a potential minefield for content that’s misinterpreted as insensitive. There’s a fine line between brilliant marketing, and offensive marketing. Just because you can shoehorn your brand into a holiday or trending topic, doesn’t always mean you should.

What kind of content is appropriate to post on Memorial Day? From honoring the military to honoring the summer, here are a few DOs and DON’Ts on what to post on this national holiday.

DO: Post a general comment, recognizing the holiday. Patriotic but apolitical images, such as an American flag or the Statue of Liberty, are appropriate.

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  • This post is simple: it mentions the reason behind Memorial Day, and it uses simple imagery.

DO: Recognize and thank members of the military. If employees of your company have served in the armed forces, including photos of them can add a human element to your content.

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  • This is a powerful image, and was shared many times. And it makes no reference to Amazon.

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  • Petco successfully integrated animals (i.e. their ‘customers’) with Memorial Day.

DO: Mention the beginning of summer, outdoor activities, or spending time with friends and family. Summer-related content that does mention your brand but doesn’t mention the military is appropriate.

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  • This cute photo successfully combines barbecue season with the product.

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  • This post invokes feelings of summer, without any overt references to Memorial Day.

DO NOT: Post content that mixes your brand with the military or their sacrifices. This will come across as insensitive and inappropriate.

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  • This is a perfect example of a post mentioning the military, while putting all the focus on the brand. This doesn’t work, and comes across as forced and insensitive.

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  • Who is IHOP thanking? The pancakes? This isn’t offensive, as much as it’s just confusing.

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  • Nope.

In summary, the enthusiasm usually employed for your product or brand, while appropriate on other days, may not work on Memorial Day. If you must mention your brand, put the focus on summer and families. If you choose to mention the sacrifices of the military, avoid mentioning your brand at all.

If in doubt about content that may be potentially offensive, it’s best not to post it at all.

Need some guidance on overall best community management practices for your brand? Contact us. We’d love to chat.

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