The Ultimate Social Media Holiday Calendar for 2020
Holidays are the time to shop. People spend the most money during holiday seasons. While small businesses have a tough time competing during the big ones, they can maximize efforts with smaller social media holidays.
Targeting lesser-known marketing holidays gives your business a better chance of getting noticed. Ice Cream Day, World Puppy Day, Stars Wars Day and more. These fun, unexpected social media holidays get shoppers excited. You can drive sales and increase engagement by coordinating your ad campaigns with these trending calendar events.
Ready to launch your own holiday campaign? Here's your ultimate social media marketing calendar for 2020.
How do I create a social media calendar?
No matter your industry, you can use holiday marketing calendars to boost sales, run promotions and connect with your audience in fun, engaging ways.
Here’s how to kickstart your planning:
Define Your Audience
Create Fun Posts and Hashtags
Get Your Followers Involved
01. Define Your Audience
Who’s most likely to buy your products or services? Identifying your target audience helps focus your marketing efforts. Then, craft your messaging and choose holidays that appeal specifically to them.
02. Research Holidays
There are hundreds of wacky and weird social media holidays out there. Consider which marketing holidays your target audience will find interesting. Make sure the celebration makes sense for your business and strengthens your brand identity.
Let’s say you sell sports equipment for young athletes. You could run an ad campaign leading up to National Student Athlete Day on April 6th.
You can also use your sales calendar as an opportunity to connect your brand with a cause and improve your brand reputation. 86% of people want companies to support social issues. 66% of shoppers would spend more on a product made by a sustainable brand. As a marketing tactic, choose a charitable holiday that aligns with your brand values.
03. Create Fun Posts and Hashtags
With social media holidays, you can add personality to your brand. Connect with your audience using creative and unexpected posts. Make jokes. Use eye-catching images.
You can even participate too. Have your boss dress up as your business mascot or stream a live video of the team acting silly. By putting faces to your brand, you show off your personality through content. Shoppers will be engaged and excited to celebrate with you.
When you launch your ad campaign on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, don’t forget to add relevant hashtags to build more followers. People use hashtag symbols before a keyword or phrase so they show up in search.
Clicking on hashtags leads to more posts in that category. By including a hashtag in your ad campaign, you can highlight a post and make it easier for people to find.
04. Get Your Followers Involved
Call upon your audience to create and share their own content, like photos wearing or using your products. Because your followers will celebrate with you, a social media holiday creates common interest between your business and shoppers. This makes your brand feel authentic and relatable. It creates a connection and builds a community around your brand.
Make Your Holiday Calendar Part of Your Marketing Strategy
Promote holiday-themed deals and contests. Celebrating social media holidays can boost sales during off-seasons. These promotions don’t have to last a single day either. Extend the sales period by hosting bigger promotions. Celebrate with events that last days, weeks or the full month.
“Limited Time Only” offers create urgency. Running a promotion that lasts for a limited time creates a sense of urgency and encourages buying. Use phrases like “Buy Now” or “Limited Time Only” to jolt shoppers into action.
Surprising holidays keep content fresh and engaging. Celebrating a holiday like World Puppy Day or National Hat Day is unexpected and more likely to catch people’s attention. Host a “Like and Win” contest or a trivia competition. Ask engaging questions related to the holiday. Offer incentives so people are more likely to share your posts, driving even more traffic to your sales channels and site.
Trending hashtags bring traffic. Hashtag marketing makes your content searchable, boosts impressions and invites people to talk about your brand. Here’s a pro tip: Add relevant hashtags and post at peak engagement times. That way you’ll get more followers and traffic.
2020 Social Media Holidays by Month
Jan 1 | Bloody Mary Day
Do you have a business site in the food and beverage industry? Celebrate Bloody
Mary Day by offering discounts. Ask followers to share photos with their secret ingredient, favorite garnishes and more.
Target audience: Foodies, brunch lovers, Bloody Mary fans
Jan 2 | Science Fiction Day
This day celebrates the birth of beloved science fiction writer, Isaac Asimov. Promote this social media holiday with science fiction trivia. Ask your followers to dress as their favorite science fiction character and give prizes to the winners.
Target audience: Science fiction lovers, Isaac Asimov enthusiasts, Star Wars fans
Jan 4 | Trivia Day
Promote your online business with fun facts about your industry. Invite your audience to get involved. Give a prize to the first person that answers all the questions correctly.
Target audience: Trivia lovers, history buffs, your followers
Jan 12 | Pharmacist Day
Do you own a business in the healthcare industry? Encourage community engagement. Ask followers to thank their pharmacists and tag their names using the @ symbol.
Target audience: Pharmacists, doctors, health & wellness groups
Jan 13 | Sticker Day
Want a good way to promote your brand and get your followers involved? Run an art contest to redesign your logo. You’ll gain user-generated content and get people talking about your business. At the end, give away custom-made stickers featuring your new logo.
Jan 15 | Hat Day
Selling hats? This marketing holiday gives your online store a great opportunity to promote or launch a new product line. Ask followers to post pictures in your hats. Give away prizes to those who get the most likes.
Target audience: Anyone who wears hats—from baseball caps to cowboy hats
February | Snack Food Month
If you’re in the food industry, tie-in your brand with discounts all month long. Engage customers by asking them to comment with their favorite afternoon snack.
Feb 7 | Give Kids a Smile Day
The Give Kids a Smile charity donates free dental services to millions of poor children. Show that your brand values charity. Contribute to the cause and ask your audience to donate too.
Feb 7 | Bubble Gum Day
Promote education for children. Get your followers to post pictures blowing a bubble to raise awareness. Host an event at your local school or library to read to children. You’ll get great exposure for your brand while giving back to your community.
Feb 11 | Inventors Day
Celebrate the great thinkers throughout history. Who’re the brains behind your store’s top-selling products? Recognize inventors in your industry. Run special deals to celebrate this social media holiday.
Target audience: Innovators, start-ups, universities
Feb 13 | Galentine’s Day
This is the holiday for “ladies celebrating ladies”. Starbucks, Sonic and McDonald’s all give away Galentine’s Day freebies to celebrate. Follow suit and honor your female customers with giveaways using the promo code: GALENTINES.
Target audience: Women, girlfriends, fans of the show Parks and Recreation
Feb 20 | Love Your Pet Day
Get customers to show off their furry friends. If you sell pet supplies, clothing or sunglasses, ask people to post pictures with their pets wearing your product. Give a discount to all that participate.
March | Women’s History Month
Celebrate famous female figures all month long. Host a livestream trivia session. Give away prizes or special discounts to winners.
Target audience: Women, history buffs, female empowerment groups
March 3 | World Wildlife Day
Today is about sustaining all animal and plant life. Support this cause by selling a special Wildlife Day T-shirt that includes your logo. Donate part of the proceeds to conservation efforts.
Target audience: Animal lovers, environmental activists, naturalists
March 15 | Red Nose Day
Red Nose is a charity organization aiming to end child poverty. Advocate for a good cause on this social media holiday, like when M&M’s made a huge donation. Encourage your followers to take selfies and hashtag photos wearing red noses to spread awareness.
Target audience: Parents, social workers, philanthropists
March 19 | Let’s Laugh Day
Humorous posts get more engagement on Facebook. Take advantage of this holiday by posting a meme or funny video. Team up with a comedic influencer and create original, shareable content. You can even share funny stories that happen at your business to get more comments and shares.
Target audience: Comedians, fans of standup, young adults
March 21 | Day of Forests
Environmental causes appeal to a diverse audience. Donate to this UN-sponsored holiday that supports forest conservation. Invite your followers to donate and share your post with friends.
Target audience: Environmental activists, botanists, nature lovers
March 25 | World Puppy Day
Surveys show that pet posts get more likes. Invite your customers to share adorable images of their pups with your products, like wearing a branded hat or T-shirt.
April 1 | Walking Day
The American Heart Association encourages everyone to enjoy the health benefits of walking. Celebrate with fitness-themed giveaways, like a free pair of sneakers. Engage followers by asking them to comment or share pictures of their favorite places to walk.
Target audience: Hikers, health & wellness enthusiasts, athletes
April 3 | Find a Rainbow Day
It’s time to celebrate this beautiful, natural phenomenon. Get your followers to go “rainbow hunting”. Have them snap a photo and share it with your branded hashtag.
Target audience: Photographers, Hawaiians, nature lovers
April 6 | Student-Athlete Day
This social media holiday works especially well for online stores selling products related to fitness, sports or academics. Position yourself as a brand that supports its community by funding a sports scholarship. Create content highlighting the achievements of local, young athletes.
Target audience: Young athletes, parents of student athletes, coaches
April 11 | Pet Day
Do you sell pet products, or support animal rights? Everyone loves sharing pictures of their pets. Encourage followers to post pet photos or make a donation to a local animal shelter.
Target audience: Pet owners, animal lovers, pet shop owners
April 20 | Chinese Language Day
Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world. Find ways to tap this audience today. Maybe you sell art supplies, like calligraphy pens or brushes. Post fun facts about Chinese calligraphy and give away a free art kit. Ask your followers to share their calligraphy on Instagram Stories or Facebook.
Target audience: Chinese speakers, people of Chinese heritage, linguists
April 22 | Earth Day
In 2020, Earth Day goes digital with video teach-ins and more. Join the Earthrise Movement. Contribute your own “Acts of Green”. Volunteer. Sponsor a teach-in. Team up with local sponsors. Come up with clever ways to make sustainable changes to your business. Motivate your followers to do the same.
Target audience: environmentalists, STEM educators, climate change activists
April 29 | Dance Day
UNESCO’s Dance Committee created this global celebration of dance. Ask followers to share videos of their favorite dance moves wearing your product. Give away tickets to a global dance event.
Target audience: Dancers, choreographers, educators
May | Teen Self-Esteem Month
Raise awareness about teen mental health. Organize podcast episodes throughout the month with parents, teens, teachers and experts to discuss how teenagers can shape positive outlooks for themselves. Sponsor community mentorship programs to empower youth.
Target audience: Teens, parents, high school teachers
May 4 | Star Wars Day
This celebration is already a well-known day on the social media calendar. Create funny memes that tie your product to Star Wars, like when Hasbro posted Mr. Potato Head dressed as Darth Vader. May the 4th be with you!
Target audience: Star Wars fans, science fiction buffs, George Lucas lovers
May 5 | Teacher Day
If you sell school supplies, textbooks or software for the classroom, take this opportunity to celebrate all the educators out there. Many teachers were out of work in 2020 due to COVID-19. Mobilize followers to support a teacher in your community. Donate your products to help them and their classrooms out.
Target audience: Teachers, students, friends/families of teachers
May 19 | Endangered Species Day
To recognize conservation efforts, create statistical infographics. Post a blog article with insightful research about endangered species. Partner with a nonprofit for your campaign. This will establish your online store as a brand that cares about sustainability, an important selling point in today’s market.
Target audience: Animal lovers, conservationists, scientists
May 24 | Scavenger Hunt Day
Organize a good, old-fashioned scavenger hunt. Host an online treasure hunt. Get inspired by Honda’s digital treasure hunt, challenging participants to complete online challenges to win a 2017 Civic.
Target audience: Diverse—tailor it to your industry
May 28 | Sunscreen Day
Remind everyone to stock up on sun protection. Tie this in with a summer-themed Facebook Ad campaign. Ask followers to post their favorite sun-filled destination.
Target audience: Beachgoers, vacationers, outdoorsmen/women
June 1 | Tabletop Day
Retailers are looking for ways to revive in the post-pandemic times of 2020. If you already sell puzzles or board games, what better way to boost sales than promoting real-world games that quarantiners can play at home?
Target audience: Quarantiners, fans of games/puzzles, millennials
June 3 | Global Running Day
Unite runners and encourage an active lifestyle. Partner with athletic brands and host a jogging event. Invite participants to post videos and photos of the event.
June 3 | Egg Day
Break out of your shell with posts full of egg puns. As food delivery becomes more popular in 2020, restaurants can recover by hosting discounts on egg-based dishes delivered to the home.
June 7 | Chocolate Ice Cream Day
Honor this beloved treat by offering free ice cream to local customers. Like when PetSmart got creative by giving away free ice cream—for dogs only.
Target audience: Foodies, chocolate or ice cream lovers, patissier
June 18 | Go Fishing Day
Encourage everyone to go fishing. Run trivia contests and give away fishing poles and other sporting goods. Ask followers to post pictures of the most beautiful places to fish.
Target audience: Fishermen/women, outdoor lovers, outdoorsmen/women
June 21 | Yoga Day
Brands who market to yogis can promote their online store. Give away prizes like free mats or yoga pants. You could also organize a large-scale, yoga class in your community.
Target audience: Yogis, fitness enthusiasts, meditators
July 1 | Joke Day
Get everyone giggling by creating a funny meme or Tweet that ties into a current promotion. Need inspo? Check out Spirit Airlines.
July 10 | Video Game Day
Does your target market overlap with video gamers? Start a thread on Twitter with the best video game memes. Run a poll to find out everyone’s favorite video games. Offer deals on popular video games, gaming consoles and must-have accessories to participants.
Target audience: Video gamers, arcade gamers, eSports fans
July 13 | Amazon Prime Day
Are you an Amazon seller? Take advantage of this sales-driven holiday. Offer discounts to your shoppers with Prime accounts. Ensure your products qualify for deals by coordinating with Amazon.
Target audience: Amazon Prime members, online shoppers, bargain hunters
July 15 | Give Something Away Day
Encourage people to give to others. Mobilize your followers to declutter their closets. Collaborate with community members to donate leftover store inventory. Team up with local shelters to help organize donations.
Target audience: Philanthropists, community leaders, schools
July 17 | World Emoji Day
July 22 | Hammock Day
Honor the ultimate symbol of relaxation—the hammock. People love to post pictures of themselves hanging out in beautiful locations. Share a collection of the top photo submissions on your brand’s Instagram page.
Target audience: Homeowners, beachgoers, outdoor enthusiasts
August 2 | Sisters Day
Celebrate sisterly love. Invite your audience to post pictures of their sisters or tag sisters to show appreciation using the @ symbol. Collaborate with sister influencers in your industry to promote your business.
August 2 | Coloring Book Day
Coloring books have become popular among children and adults alike. Create customizable coloring books that relate to your industry, like a flower-focused coloring book for a boutique plant shop.
Target audience: Children, fans of arts and crafts, families
August 3 | Watermelon Day
Observe a day devoted to this quintessential summertime snack. Have your followers post their favorite watermelon recipes. Sell a specialty product line featuring this adorable fruit, or have a sale on all your red and green products.
August 9 | Spoil Your Dog Day
You know how much attention your dog gets. Make the holiday special by giving away dog treats or toys. Ask your followers to post funny photos of man’s best friend getting spoiled to the max.
August 18 | Couples Day
Celebrate love at the end of summer. Create campaigns with deals on romantic gifts.
August 30 | Beach Day
When the summer is in full swing, get your followers to post pictures of their favorite beach destinations. Host a drawing with the prize of an all-inclusive beach getaway.
Target audience: Beachgoers, vacationers, college students
September | Baby Safety Month
Share videos or infographics with safety tips. Promote baby safety products sold at your online store with discounts or coupon codes like: BABYSAFE.
Target audience: New parents, doulas, nannies/caretakers
September 1 | Chess Day
Partner with community members to host a family-friendly chess championship. Use this opportunity to create a pop-up for you and other local businesses. Set up tables and sell your products.
Target audience: Chess players, families, intellectuals
September 9 | Sudoku Day
Created by the World Puzzle federation, today’s a good time to share sudoku puzzles or host online championships. Embedding interactive games on your website could simultaneously drive traffic and boost your SEO performance.
Target audience: Sudoku lovers, puzzle lovers, crossword enthusiasts
September 16 | School Backpack Awareness Day
Remind educators and parents to “lighten the load” and avoid heavy school bags. Team up with schools in your area. Participate by hosting a drawing, contests or other kid-friendly activities. Run a sale on bookbags, school supplies or digital education gear.
September 26 | Family Day
Give a shout out to the people who make life meaningful. Do you sell puzzles, games or family activities? Invite followers to use your products together as a family. Sell clothing? Ask everyone to post pictures in matching outfits from your store.
Target audience: Families, elementary/middle school teachers, daycares
September 29 | Family Health and Fitness Day
Encourage people of all ages to care about physical fitness. Promote fitness related products with deals. Organize and live stream a family fitness day in your community.
October | Vegetarian Month
Promote a plant-based diet all month long. Post vegetarian recipes and cooking videos. Create interesting infographics about nutrition. Challenge followers to go on a plant-based diet for the month. GIve away free recipe books featuring products (like kitchenware) from your store, or promote cruelty-free cosmetics.
Target audience: Vegetarians, nutritionists, conservationists
October | Italian-American Heritage Month
Italian-Americans love to pay homage to their ancestry. Do you have products made in Italy? Perhaps your family comes from Italy. Celebrate with listicles or posts of the best mafia movies. Have followers post their favorite recipes from the old country.
Target audience: Italian-Americans, Italian food lovers, mods
October 1 | Coffee Day
Show your devotion to coffee. Give away free cups of coffee, or post eye-catching photos of latte art.
Target audience: Coffee drinkers, college kids, baristas
October 2 | Name Your Car Day
Get your followers involved by naming their car and sharing photos. Offer deals on car parts and accessories sold at your store. Create a name generator, like Lexus did, with name ideas related to your industry.
Target audience: Gearheads, vintage car collectors, mechanics
October 4 | Coach Day
Honor inspiring coaches. Share video clips with student athletes giving a shoutout to their coach. Sponsor a local team and have your business advertised in the outfield or on team uniforms.
October 9th - 18th | The Coachella Festival
Coachella stands out as one of the largest music festivals in the world—especially on Instagram. Partner with influencers in your industry to post videos and photos from the festival wearing your product (clothing, accessories, shoes).
Target audience: Indie music fans, fashionistas, influencers
November | Scholarship Month
Raise awareness of scholarship opportunities by hosting a scholarship of your own. Follow-up with articles highlighting outstanding students in your community and get your followers to vote on who should get the scholarship.
Target audience: Teachers, high school seniors, guidance counselors
November 5 | American Football Day
Kick off the month by celebrating America’s most popular sport. Give away football gear or tickets. Host sports trivia on your social media accounts. Sell branded football gear with your logo and offer discounts on sporting goods.
Target audience: NFL enthusiasts, college football fans, coaches
November 8 | STEM/STEAM Day
Promote STEAM fields with fun facts. Challenge followers to submit science or art projects and pick the winners. Alternatively, create a “STEMDay” for adults with discounts on wine stemware and other alcohol accessories.
November 11 | Metal Day
Fans of the metal genre get their own day to bang heads. Share music videos, or give away prizes like concert tickets. Sell band merch on your online store at a discount. Share commercials promoting your product with metal music.
November 11 | Singles Day
Promote activities like “Delete Your Ex”. Promote your business by organizing a “Single and Proud” event, online or in your community.
Target audience: Singles, single parents, divorcees
November 15 | Drummer Day
Celebrate musicians that keep the beat. Post videos of impressive drum solos. Ask followers to share their own performances and give each a discount.
December | Safe Toys and Gifts Month
Promote child safety with discounts on all toys and gifts. Make sure your products are safe for littles ones. Create dedicated infographics teaching parents about toy safety.
December 9 | Day of Veterinary Medicine
Does your online store sell pet supplies? Ask followers to share cute photos of their pets. People can also tag their vet to say thank you in a social media thread using the @ symbol.
December 12 | Gingerbread House Day
Celebrate the family tradition of building small homes made from candy. So who can make the best gingerbread house? Find out by calling your customers to compete for a prize.
December 14 | Free Shipping Day
Celebrate the holiday season by waiving shipping fees. Create even more hype by promoting a limited-time only sale on your website.
December 20 | Ugly Sweater Day
Ugly sweaters have become a comical tradition of the Christmas season. Hook up with influencers to pose in their ugliest sweater with your product. Have followers share photos of their ugly sweater. Give coupon codes to participants.
Target audience: College students, comedians, partygoers
December 26 | Thank You Note Day
Boost ROI and retention by saying thank you to customers. Create a social media campaign thanking shoppers with discounts. Even better, send a gift or write a personalized email to show your appreciation.
Target audience: Loyal customers, new customers, social media followers
Now that you have your social media holiday calendar set up, launch your campaign. Spread the word with eye-catching social posts on your channels.
By Allison Michelle Dienstman
*References included in this article are intended to serve as examples to readers and do not imply any endorsement, partnership or affiliation with mentioned parties.