It seems like every time I check my social media accounts, one of my favorite companies is promoting a “National Day” that falls directly into their industry. 7-11 had their annual “SlurpFree Day” on May 23rd, and Dunkin’ Donuts will be celebrating “National Donut Day” on June 1st by giving away a free donut with the purchase of any drink.

Mind you, I’m not complaining whatsoever; any day I get a free slurpee or donut is a great day in my book. It seems like every month has a day or a week that companies could use to promote their brand and create engagement with fans on the various social media websites. If you’ve never done a promotion like this, it’s understandable how tricky it sounds. It doesn’t have to be, though!

How to start:

It all starts with a little research on which days you could celebrate that would best fit into your industry. I’d recommend, and for a clean and easy-to-read version, Renfro’s School District website. While reading through them, ask yourself, “Does it make sense for me to give out product X on day Y?” If you can make a connection, then it’s a winner and you should go for it! If you’re stretching to make it fit, then move on and continue searching. I promise there’s at least one day out of the year that will work perfectly for your promotion.

Extra Credit: Awareness weeks and months give you an extra-long amount of time for promotion. Maybe instead of doing a one-day, “everything is 50 percent off” sale, you could do a week where everything is 10 or 20 percent off. For a month long promotion, do something unique or offer discounts on specific items every day to give some variety and keep customers coming back throughout the month.

How to promote:

There’s no point in throwing a fun promotion if nobody ever knows about it! You have to promote, promote, PROMOTE your special day/week/month. Depending on how successful you want your promotion to be, put some thought into how early you advertise it. If you start to promote the day before, then you won’t have a good turn-out, but promote as early as possible and you’ll be sure to see people stopping in specifically on that day or week.

Social media is another easy way to promote your awareness day. Create an “Event” on Facebook to remind people and allow them to RSVP. This is a great way to get the word out, because when someone says they’ll attend, it lets all their friends know on their news feed and you could reach people you never would have before. You could also think of a fun and creative hashtag for Twitter that customers could tweet while waiting in line, something that encompasses the day into it (Some examples are #SlurpFreeDay for 7-11 or #DonutDay for Dunkin’ Donuts). Just with the Facebook event, hashtags could put your message in front of new people.

What to do on the day of the promotion:

When the big day arrives, be ready for it! As exciting as it may be to see a line of people out the door and wrapped around your building, the people in that line will not be as excited. Long waits may even detract people passing by to come in, because who wants to wait in a line for something they don’t know anything about? Make sure you have all hands on deck and working, too. The quicker you move people through, the quicker people can get out there and tell their friends and family about your promotion!

During the promotion, try to snap as many pictures as you can of customers, employees, and other goings-on. These pictures create further engagement on your company’s Facebook page! Not only will people who were there get a kick out of seeing themselves and other customers, but people who missed the promotion or decided not to go will make a note to go next year.

Any company can throw a “President’s Day” or a “Memorial Day” sale, but you’re more clever than that. You know that having a “National Chocolate Ice Cream Day” or “Chaos Never Dies Day” is a much better way to attract customers. Or at least now you do, right? Check out those calendars and see which day is the perfect one for you to celebrate!

Amy Swanson is part of the content department at Quality Logo Products. When she’s not writing killer content for giveaway items like promotional tote bags, she’s blogging about business inspiration. She is a marketing nerd and TV enthusiast who cites Parks and Recreation as one of her favorites. But don’t ask her to put in a good word with Ron Swanson – she unfortunately can’t help you there.


About the Author:

Amy Swanson

Amy Swanson is a part of the marketing/content department at Quality Logo Products and regularly contributes to their promotional products blog. She is a self-professed newspaper nerd, business buff, and TV enthusiast who cites 'Parks and Recreation' as one of her favorites. But don’t ask her to put in a good word with Ron Swanson – she unfortunately can’t help you there.

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  1. Serenity Morris on May 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Great Post Amy! These are really great ideas! I really like how you organized all this step by step information. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • amy swanson on May 29, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Serenity! I’m so glad you found it interesting, it was hilarious reading through all the crazy days that are out there. And even better, I now have ‘National Donut Day’ on my calendar and will be celebrating with an iced coffee and one from Dunkin’ Donuts. I can’t wait!

  2. Rachel on May 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Cool post! I love all the wacky holidays throughout the year. And what an appropriate article, seeing as today is both Geek Pride Day and Towel Day (for all the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans)! 🙂

    • amy swanson on May 29, 2012 at 10:02 am

      I was wondering why ‘Towel Day’ was trending on Twitter, now I know. Thank you! Any day is a great day for a promotion, but there’s something even better about it being a wacky day too 🙂

  3. Mandy Kilinskis on May 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Yes! National day promotions are awesome! I’ve seen lots of small business leverage these days to their advantage. For instance, QLP’s mascot is named Bubba, so we have a great promotion on National Bubba Day (June 2nd) last year. It was a great success, too!

    But you’re absolutely right that there’s a day out there to fit any brand or business. Keep looking, you’ll never know what crazy days are coming up! 🙂

    • amy swanson on May 25, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      You’re exactly right, Mandy. You just never know what crazy days are coming up, there’s bound to be something. Plus, the more clever the day the more creative you can get. If National Chocolate Chip Cookie day is coming up, but you run a clothing boutique, why not give away free chocolate chip cookies to your customers? I’d be there faster than you could say, “Go!”

      Thanks so much for commenting, Mandy!

  4. Jana Quinn on May 29, 2012 at 6:23 am

    I like how you focused on the more obscure national holidays. Everyone has Memorial Day Sales; why not embrace Do a Grouch a Favor Day and promote it as your own? Less common holidays will attract more attention, and the build-up can create some great anticipation. Great points!

    • amy swanson on May 29, 2012 at 10:07 am

      Thanks so much, Jana! I love when companies poke fun at themselves, it makes them seem a lot more genuine and less fuddy-duddy (in my opinion, that is). So, throwing a day where your items are all half-price because it’s ‘International Panic Day’ (June 18, fyi) would make your company much more memorable than a competitor who threw a President’s Day sale instead.

  5. Bret Bonnet on May 29, 2012 at 8:10 am

    The number of national days is mind boggling. Who comes up with these anyway? Is there some group of “brains” that meets annually decides which day is what?

    • amy swanson on May 29, 2012 at 9:09 am

      Haha, excellent question, Bret! I’ve wondered the same thing and I wish I knew what the answer is. How sweet would it be to the “official day maker”? That would be a good person to know and be friends with!

  6. mike on May 29, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    As always Amy your blog is full of knowledge for the small business owner. We always look froward to when you’re a guest blogger here at Paradux and read you at your daytime job blog I pulled up the ‘National Day’s’ over the weekend and began making a list of days my clients can utilize in the future.. As always thank you very much Amy!

  7. Kate Brown Wilson on June 6, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    I really appreciate this great post even though i don’t experience this kind of holiday in the place where I use to live. it seems that many people enjoyed this National day holiday. i hope soon that i can join such activity.

  8. Jeff Porretto on June 14, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Why oh why am I not surprised you mentioned Dunkin Donuts?? =] But what an excellent point about lines! Frequently when I hear about a big promotion for a store, I AVOID that store on the promotion day because I just don’t like lines/ crowds. I’m sure I’m not alone, so I think that the promotion better be worth the hassle for all involved. If you pack your store with people getting freebies for buying something else that’s cheap, but are forcing out those who want to buy the more expensive items, you might not really be helping yourself. As with all things, planning is everything… Thanks Amy!

  9. Promo Guy on December 14, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Hilarious article. Our company recently did a series of promotional products (tote bags, pens, screen printed t-shirts, etc.) for a company looking to promote a manifest “National Pedicure Day” – clearly, a day worth promoting!

  10. sunnyson548 on April 19, 2013 at 3:56 am

    Most of the products based business are concentrating on their sales and targets. This would be the perfect part of analyzing the target audience in perfect time. The marketing deals with all the major and primary strategies where the sales and target will also comes in to focus.

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