Acknowledging #MemorialDay

Arlington Cemetery


After a long winter, many are looking forward to the Memorial Day three-day weekend. Today, news reports are focused on traffic, retail sales, beach weather, and kick-offs of the national morning shows’ summer concert series. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, an estimated 57 percent of U.S. consumers plan to have a barbeque or party this weekend. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds will be filled with posts about these get togethers, yet time and again sentiment for the fallen troops will be overlooked.

Often mistaken for the “official start of summer,” Memorial Day is a period of remembrance for those who have died serving in the United States’ armed forces. This year also marks 150 years since the end of the Civil War, as well as the 70th anniversary of WWII’s close. When it comes to posting on social media about a national holiday commemorating our fallen troops, how exactly do we strike the right tone? Should we advise our clients to say anything, or say nothing at all?

Take these questions into consideration when thinking about or crafting a Memorial Day social media post:

  • Is it indeed relevant to Memorial Day?
  • Does it encourage a positive response?
  • Is the client volunteering time or making a donation?
  • Will this benefit the audience in some way?
  • Is it well thought out?
  • Do the content and photo match the tone of the message?

A good example is from American Airlines last year.

A picture accompanied by a simple, well-worded tweet may be all that’s necessary. Regardless, the post should be an authentic part of a company’s brand and story. If it does not meet these criteria, consider not saying anything at all. While the long weekend can seem like its own reason to celebrate, like many Americans do, take the holiday’s origins into consideration before sharing a post on social media.

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