Happy Whatever Day!

Father’s Day is approaching (June 16, to be exact) and that means social media brand managers will have tweets queued up on their content calendars scripted something like this:

Brand: Happy #FathersDay to all the dads out there! What are you doing to celebrate the day?

Of all the various manifestations of marketing that exist (97.8% of which are awful to begin with) this is absolutely the most awful and it needs to stop.

Here’s why.

It’s lazy. Marketers are now drunk on the fact that they can inject themselves into the broader conversation du jour on Twitter with bland holiday-related statements like the one above, then check the social media box for the day. Done! Social media strategy achieved.

It’s formulaic. This follows a classic social media content formula that is already overused: make a statement then ask for engagement. Formulas are easily detected by human B.S. radars and they will be ignored.

It’s not connected to any business goal.  If a form of marketing doesn’t align with a specific business goal or opportunity, then what’s the point of doing it? Especially on a platform where posts have a shelf life of only a few hours. With no strategic direction behind them, these tweets are a waste of time, a waste of data, and can easily be filed away in the happy horse shit, sunshine and lollipops folder. “Joining the conversation” isn’t a strategy.

I’m asking marketers to do better. Below is a fantastic example from State Farm that mentions Veterans Day but does so much more.

State Farm Veterans Day post

It connects Veterans Day back to a core piece of the State Farm brand: Their agents. It supplements the post with rich media, in this case a video of an agent describing how his military service impacts his leadership style. By doing this, they’ve created timely, relevant content that perfectly aligns with broader communication goals.

Now go celebrate Father’s Day. But give your audience something extra before you post about it.

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