So, Father's Day was last weekend. If you didn't naturally know, then you absolutely found out from ALL the social media posts around it. I think pretty much every one of my friends changed their profile pictures to sappy photos of them and their number one man. I'm not judging them-- Father's Day means the world to me, as well, since I have one kick ass dad myself.
However, sitting in church with someone who recently lost their father, made me realize that maybe not everyone feels the same way I do about Father's Day. As it became apparent that sermon was going to revolve around a present father's love, and the lessons you learn from your dad, he had to step out, nearly in tears.
Father's Day did not mean to him what it means to me. I couldn't help but think about how many holidays do not have the sappy, Hallmark relevance to everyone as brands tend to assume they do. While it's easier to sit back as a content strategist and create material that emanates the fuzzy, traditional feeling of every holiday, I think there's room for brands to start creating more realistic depictions of the holidays, and, ultimately, deciding if holidays are even relevant for their brand.
I'm not saying you can't share the warm photo of Dad grilling out with some text above it, but I am saying that I think holidays go deeper than that, and if that holiday is relevant to your brand, it's important to find that deeper meaning if you want to join the conversation. Find out how/if your consumers celebrate that holiday, and then create content that is relevant to their experiences. Don't just assume they spend the holiday the same way you do. Social media pros have to create content based on their fans' experiences, not just their own.
While a Father's Day post of any kind probably would not have resonated with someone that recently lost their father, it does bring to light that holidays hold significant meaning, and it's important that brands honor that significance and use it to create authentic, real content. Otherwise, they risk coming across as cheesy or unnaturally joining conversations that are important to fans --> and this WILL backfire.
It's also important for you to decide if a holiday fits in with your brand identity, or not. Not every holiday is going to be significant to every brand. Don't try to squish your brand into a holiday it's not meant to be a part of. Kindly let others join the conversation on those holidays, and use your resources to create even more valuable content for the holidays you do have a place in.
Holidays are a way for you to relate to your fans, but you first have to make sure you relate to that holiday.
- Marji J. Sherman