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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 (although, the start of summer will look a bit different this year).

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, we’re lending you our social media agency expertise to share a few DOs and DON’Ts on what to post on this national holiday.

2020 Update: Approaching Memorial Day Amid COVID-19

Memorial Day is already a sensitive day for brands on social media, but now with the COVID-19 pandemic mixed in, things are even trickier to navigate. Topics that were once fine to mention, like having big BBQs with friends and family, aren’t appropriate given the circumstances. Here are a few tips to think about Memorial Day brand social posts this year:
 
  • This tip is really for anything you post on social regarding more sensitive topics: People generally won’t remember your silence, but they WILL remember if you post something insensitive. If you aren’t sure if what your brand is posting will go over well, it’s better to err on the side of caution and not post. One day without a post won’t hurt you. 
  • This holiday should still be treated with care, given that it’s a somber day of remembrance for fallen military heroes. As our blog post explains below, that should really be the main brand message this day and is even better if your brand has a natural tie-in to it, such as supporting military veterans and their families throughout the year. 
  • If you are going to post about the more fun “kick-off to summer” aspect of Memorial Day, be very careful about the messages you craft surrounding this, since most people won’t be able to have the traditional party. Giving them tips or tricks on how to still celebrate the day in a safe way will be key. 
  • Product availability is affected right now also, so make sure things you’re promoting are items that your fans can still buy and utilize during this time. 
 
We hope these tips help you navigate the Memorial Day holiday during COVID-19 a little easier.
 
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Tips for Excellent Memorial Day Content

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

Memorial Day AFSCME Tweet

  • 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.

Memorial Day Amazon Post

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

Memorial Day Petco Post

  • 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.

Memorial Day Trident Gum Tweet

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

Memorial Day Royal Caribbean Tweet

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

 

Content Types to Avoid

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

Memorial Day Cinnabon Tweet

  • 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.

Memorial Day IHOP Tweet

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

Memorial Day Hooters Tweet

  • 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, especially amid COVID-19? Contact us using the form below – We’d love to chat.

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