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3 Tactics Brands Are Using This St. Patrick’s Day On Social Media

Holidays are an especially engaging time for brands on social media. In fact, in 2011, 36% of retailers said they planned on spending most of their holiday marketing budget on social media (Source).

Sure, most of the attention and money went towards Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas sales, but who said that the smaller holidays like St. Patrick’s Day couldn’t be engaging? 

While most brands choose to remain neutral, many big brands would rather not get pinched on the minor holiday of St. Patrick’s Day and have branded their social media pages to celebrate it.

We’ve identified three different tactics that three big brands are using today to promote their brand using St. Patrick’s Day branding.

1. Promote a seasonal product | McDonald’s (@McDonalds)

The only Shamrock Shake that’s being spoken about today isn’t the 4.4 rated LA earthquake that occurred early this morning. Moreover, thousands of people are tweeting about McDonald’s seasonal green colored Shamrock Shake.

Most people don’t even know what flavor a Shamrock Shake is (mint for inquiring minds). Regardless, McDonald’s pushes its branding for it, as seen on their cover photo. Using a cover photo is extremely useful as it doesn’t require the brand to post often about the product as the product promotes itself simply by existing in this coveted Facebook spot.

What flavor is a Shamrock Shake, even?

What flavor is a Shamrock Shake, even?

2. Make your brand the one-stop | Walmart (@walmart)

Festive people need to get festive for holidays, big and small. If your brand sells anything related to the holiday (ornaments for Christmas, green things for St. Patty’s Day), make your brand the one-stop for it all. Let your audience know you have it.

Walmart does this very well, mainly because they already sell anything you would ever need. Today they make posts almost hourly about the different green St. Patty’s related items you can buy there and food like cabbage and corned beef that they also sell (and of course, the pans to cook them in.)

Don't get pinched.

Don’t get pinched.


3. Throw a contest | Spencer’s Gifts (@spencers)

Your neighborhood Spencer’s Gift store is not only good for naughty adult party favors. Well, actually, we won’t make that claim. But we will point out that they’re running a rather successful St. Patrick’s Day themed sweepstakes-style contest on Instagram. They’ve been running the contest since 3/3, giving all Spencer’s patrons and, more importantly, followers, the chance to win one of 15 gift cards.

The thing Spencer’s is doing right here is virality. St. Patty’s Day is perfect for the college-aged, beer drinking, fun-loving audience that Spencer’s has, and by using the holiday as a vehicle to promote themselves, Spencer’s has the opportunity to gain a lot of community.

The image scene on Instagram's around the nation.

The image scene on Instagram’s around the nation.

Though these tips will all help your brand during major holidays, they’re very effective during minor holidays because, as previously mentioned, many brands don’t put forth the little effort it takes. Even efforts as small as saying how you interact with the holiday as a brand (“Hi, we’re Walmart and we sell green things!”) will make your brand stand out from the noise.

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