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Rethinking Holiday Posts: Are They Worth It?

Susan Barry

By Susan Barry

Aug 31, 2023

As a B2B marketing consultant to hospitality companies, LinkedIn is one of my most important tools.  Companies can post content on the platform and reach a business audience, rather than the mixed bag on other social sites.  After managing multiple company and organizational pages on LinkedIn, I’ve observed that holiday posts might not necessarily bolster a brand’s image; in fact, they might harm it.

There isn’t a single holiday devoid of some controversy. For example, many veterans don’t appreciate wishes for a Happy Memorial Day, considering the day is meant to solemnly honor those who have fallen. Some religious groups object to Happy Holidays, whereas non-religious individuals might take issue with Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or Happy Kwanzaa. Days like Mother’s and Father’s Day can evoke unexpected emotions, and celebrating Columbus Day has become somewhat passé.

Furthermore, as a LinkedIn user, I’ve often found my feed dominated by identical firework images on the Fourth of July, providing no unique value to anyone.

Do Holiday Posts Matter?

This made me question the actual effectiveness of holiday posts. To gather opinions, I first polled my LinkedIn network about their sentiments towards such posts. The unanimous response was indifference; most users weren’t offended by the absence of a celebratory post and would typically scroll past them.

Qualitative Research

Here are some of the responses I got when I asked if companies should post about holidays on LinkedIn.

“I am here for the odd, obscure holidays. I love national ice cream day, don’t really care about Happy New Year because I am not online then. But give me something fun and intriguing and why it’s important to your company (or how you celebrated it) and I am down.”

“I think it’s completely pointless for businesses to do so. Almost nobody is sitting around hoping a business will wish them Happy New Year or something. It provides no value to anybody. It’s just done because others do and they feel they have to or because it’s easy content for the sake of creating some content.”

“It’s not weird if you provide value. In our case, we signal World Tourism Day and tie it with an opinion on the state of travel or something we believe we should be celebrating.”

Quantitative Research

To validate my theory, I reviewed posts from a representative business page over the past year, totaling 365 days and 164 posts. I categorized each post, labeling any related to holidays, heritage weeks, or other commemorations as “holiday.” This yielded 24 holiday-related posts.

At first glance, while holiday posts seemed to attract fewer viewers than regular content, they still maintained decent engagement rates. Surprisingly, holiday posts had a higher engagement rate than other posts. However, a deeper analysis revealed that two out of the 24 holiday posts, which featured carousel slides of employee photographs, were significant outliers. These specific posts garnered exceptional interaction, skewing the results.

Check for Outliers

How? These two posts were designed specifically to counteract the holiday post doldrums by including photo carousels of employees that would be sure to get a reaction. They couldn’t lose.

I removed the outliers and reassessed the data. I found that while holiday posts made up 13.4% of the content, they accounted for only 8.1% of impressions, 10.1% of reactions, 3.7% of comments, and 17.5% of re-posts or shares. In simpler terms, regardless of the occasion, holiday posts on a company’s LinkedIn page don’t resonate as well as regular content. Furthermore, my qualitative research indicates that most users are indifferent.

Avoid Generic Holiday Posts

My recommendation? Avoid generic holiday posts. Unless you have something unique or can use engaging photographs of people to boost interaction, it might be best to refrain. For instance, instead of a basic red, white, and blue graphic for Memorial Day, consider only posting if you have a compelling and distinctive message to share.

About the author

Susan Barry

Susan Barry, President and Queen Bee of Hive Marketing and partner with Cayuga Hospitality Consultants, executes B2B marketing and commercial strategy projects for hotel owners, management companies, brands, investment groups and vendors. Thinking about trying something weird? We work with hospitality companies to deploy smart commercial strategy ideas. Special projects that don’t fit neatly into an org chart are our specialty. The hospitality industry relies on Hive Marketing when they need an injection of creativity through the lens of extensive hospitality industry experience. Reach out for sales, marketing, and revenue ideas that you’ve never heard before, executed with panache.

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