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Time of The Season: The Importance of Seasonal and Timely Social Media Content

Ryan Allen
May 27, 2024

When it comes to social media marketing, creating content that is timely and relevant to your audience has loads of benefits, from increasing engagement and reach to diversifying your content mix. From holiday celebrations to trending topics, embracing the moment can propel your brand’s visibility and engagement to new heights. While this may not be news to you, doing so may be more challenging than you would think. Luckily for you, we’re here to show you how to easily integrate this strategy and make your next content planning brainstorm a breeze.

What Is Seasonal and Timely Content?

First, we need to define what seasonal and timely content is. Seasonal and timely content can come in all shapes and sizes, from a national holiday or a social media-friendly holiday (more on that in a minute) to a viral meme or a breaking news event. These timely moments provide an opportunity for brands to join the conversation and connect with their audience in a meaningful way. 

Examples of seasonal content can be focused around major holidays, like Halloween, Christmas, and Memorial Day. Digging even deeper, unofficial holidays (or social media holidays, as we like to refer to them) like National Pizza Day or International Dog Day can also be great inspiration for content. 

Finally, timely and trending content, such as referencing the release of a new Taylor Swift album, the NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament, or social trends like the Ice Bucket Challenge, the Harlem Shake, or the Mannequin Challenge, have all been capitalized on by social media managers in hopes of resonating with their audience (or even finding a new one). 

Cosmetics retailer Sephora (amongst many, many other brands) were ready to capitalize on the announcement of Taylor Swift’s new album, The Tortured Poets Department. Inspired by the album’s cover, featuring a black and white image of Swift relaxing in bed, Sephora replaced her with a cat and branded bag, promoting their “Rouge” loyalty program. The post garnered Sephora over 81k likes, almost 250 comments, and over 7k shares on Instagram, much higher metrics than an average post on their feed.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Sephora (@sephora)

By aligning your content with these cultural touchpoints, you can increase brand visibility, foster deeper connections with your audience, help increase social metrics and – gasp! – even sales if done right.

Why Does Seasonal and Timely Content Work?

Algorithm Benefits

If you’re looking to add some new flavors to your social content without reinventing the wheel, timely content allows brands to leverage the algorithmic preferences of social media platforms, increasing the likelihood of their content being seen by a wider audience. Platforms like Instagram and X prioritize recent and relevant content, making timely posts more likely to appear on users’ feeds and timelines. By staying attuned to the trends and conversations happening on social media, brands can optimize their content strategy to maximize visibility and reach.

Content Diversity

In addition to the algorithmic benefits, creating seasonal and timely content helps diversify the content on your social media feed. Think of your social media channels as a television station. While you may favor different types of television programs, including sports, comedy, etc., most television stations do not air the same show over and over again. And as much as some of us would love a station that played, say, episodes of Friends on repeat, at some point viewers will become bored.

The same goes for the content posted to social media platforms. By creating content around real and social-media friendly holidays, or doing your best to jump on a trend, you are instantly adding variety to your content that might be difficult to achieve otherwise. Any content creator will tell you that it can be challenging to find new ways to say the same thing. Adding a seasonal strategy to your content creation approach will likely be the spice that your social content main course is missing.

Brand Personality

Finally, tapping into seasonal trends allows brands to showcase their creativity and personality, demonstrating agility and relevance in a seriously bloated social media environment. From themed campaigns to interactive content, brands can leverage seasonal moments to stand out from the competition and capture the attention of their target audience. Whether it’s creating Halloween-themed posts in October or sharing festive content during the holiday season, embracing seasonal trends enables brands to stay top-of-mind and drive engagement.

Bonus tip: Remember to include relevant hashtags when posting seasonal and timely content. Moreover, some social platforms – like Instagram – prioritize SEO over hashtag usage, so make sure to use your tags sparingly and be extra descriptive in your caption so your posts can reach the right audience.

How To Add Seasonal and Timely Content to Your Social Strategy

Now that we’ve explained what seasonal and timely content is and why you should be using it, it’s time to dig into how to bring this kind of content to life on your social feed.

Research Your Resources

First, it’s important to identify and bookmark some resources that track seasonal events, social holidays, and other relevant timely content. Our favorite resource is Sean’s Cultural Moment Encyclopedia, painstakingly (we assume) put together every year by former Apple “culture coach” Sean Choi. Choi has gone to the trouble of tracking events, holidays, observances, and even famous births and deaths into a spreadsheet that is free for anybody to use. Each category is separated by its own tab in a spreadsheet, with important dates and other information featured within. It’s essentially The Bible of seasonal and timely content, and we don’t know what we would do without it.

Spreadsheet listing federal, cultural, and religious holidays

Choi’s spreadsheet isn’t the only resource out there, however, with resources provided by the likes of Hubspot, Brandwatch, HeyOrca!, and SocialBee all featuring similar information. One thing to note is that we’re all human, so the information supplied by these resources could be incorrect, outdated, or change unexpectedly, so it’s always good to double check your information before posting. Nobody wants to post on National Donut Day when it’s actually National Taco Day. 

You might be thinking to yourself, “These resources are great, but they’re very holiday focused! How do I keep up with trends?” Well, we’re glad you asked. Social platforms like TikTok have their own creative hubs that track trends, inspirational content, and creative tools that will help you stay current with what’s landing on social media.

Screen showing TikTok's Creative Hub, with sections to see ad examples, trends, and creative guidance

Additionally, following trend spotting accounts like @WhatsTrending on Instagram or leveraging search resources like Google Trends can be the key to unlocking trending topics that can inspire some fire social media content for you and/or your brand.

Editorial Calendars and Monthly Briefs

Finally, in order to bring all of this together, we suggest adding two essential process-oriented elements to your strategy: an editorial calendar and a monthly brief. 

Your editorial calendar can be created at the beginning of the year, by quarter, by season…whatever works best for you. What’s important is that you use it to track the cultural moments and holidays that are the most relevant to YOUR BRAND. Certainly not every trending topic and holiday are going to be, so be strategic about what you choose.

Once you have your editorial calendar situated, devote some time to creating a brief every month to do your research and get your thoughts together before you start creating your seasonal and timely content. This is a great way to compile what’s trending before you shift your focus to actually making something. Use the brief as a reference throughout the creative process, and if you have a team of content creators, make sure they have access so your content is consistent throughout the month. 

The Time Has Come

The importance of timely social media content cannot be overstated. By tapping into seasonal moments, cultural trends, and platform-specific preferences, brands can stay relevant, reach wider audiences, and drive engagement. All you have to do is create a process to integrate it in your content creation strategy, and you’ll be part of the conversation in no time. 

Ready to elevate your social media strategy with timely content? Contact us at That Random Agency to learn how we can help your social remain relevant, every time, all of the time. 

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