Welcome to the first installment of EPIC’s “Social Sensitivity Scale” series, meant to help brands avoid disasters when posting on holidays. We’ve seen it many times – when brands jump into a conversation they have no business being in, it causes serious damage to their reputation on social media and beyond. When it comes to social media, all holidays and remembrances are not created equal, and we’re here to identify which ones to stay away from.
We’ll rate each holiday on a scale of 1-5. The scale works like this:
For more information, check out the introduction to this series.
Now, on to Valentine’s Day, which gets a “1” rating on our scale. You’ve likely heard people on social media berating Valentine’s Day for being “too commercial” and devolving into a way to sucker people into buying chocolates and flowers. While there may be a seed of truth in there, the REAL truth is that people love Valentine’s Day.
I heard on the radio this morning that Americans spend $700 million each Valentine’s Day on their pets alone. That doesn’t even count, you know, their actual spouses or significant others. That’s some serious dedication. Some people feel obligated, and some just enjoy it, but either way people participate in the holiday, and savvy brands know how to capitalize on that. Some brands (like McDonald’s and Subaru) even hang their hats on the idea of “love” in year-round, multi-million dollar campaigns. It’s a concept that stretches across all industries and walks of life.
So have at it, social media managers. Get cute. There are some bitter people out there when it comes to love, but they’re the minority around Valentine’s Day. If we have one caution, it’d be to steer clear of specifics (significant others, relationship status, etc.) and just focus on love. Your followers will get the idea that you’re tipping your hat to Valentine’s Day, and we think they’ll have fun with it.
Next up in the series is St. Patrick’s Day. Stay tuned!