Mother’s Day marketing and social media trends

Here’s how to make noise on Facebook and Instagram as you celebrate moms everywhere.

Mother’s Day has become serious business.

According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. consumer spending reached an all-time high for Mother’s Day last year at $23.6 billion. Celebrating moms is now a major marketing event, but what’s the best way to break through the noise?

Pulling heartstrings is a safe bet. For example, this post from One Direction’s Liam Payne was the top performer on Instagram last year:

Of course, you don’t have to be a heartthrob crooner or Kylie Jenner to make holiday marketing hay. Brand managers and publishers have ample opportunity to win over consumers with social media content that hits the right notes.

To help you do so, let’s look at data to determine which formats, topics and types of content drove the most Mother’s Day buzz last year:

Facebook keys on emotions.

The top Mother’s Day articles from 2017 included feel-good stories, politically charged content and pieces that tugged at readers’ heartstrings. All the top 10 Facebook stories had an emotional component, whether it was provoking outrage, empathy or chuckles.

Social Media Mother's Day Report Facebook

Another top tactic: the weirder the story, the better. Audiences gobbled up KFC’s Colonel Sanders romance novel and Tim Hortons’ “Donut Bouquet” stunt.

The top Mother’s Day brand post came from BarkBox, which made a viral video that appealed to “dog moms.” Overall, videos accounted for about three-quarters of the top 50 Mother’s Day Facebook posts from last year.

BarkBox Facebook video

In January 2018, Facebook’s algorithm changed to prioritize meaningful engagements and discussion in the news feed. With that in mind, we looked at which Mother’s Day posts drove the most comments on Facebook.

Surprisingly, four of the top 10 posts came from brands, with wider variety in which formats generated comments. These posts either tended to drive more of an emotional response, or they had a call to action, such as a giveaway or suggesting a recipe.

On Instagram, notable faces prevail.

Celebrities and influencers accounted for the most engaging Mother’s Day posts on Instagram last year, which is typical on the platform. However, several publishers, aggregators, sports teams and brands struck a chord as well.

Photo posts accounted for 62 percent of the top “liked” and commented posts from non-celebrity Instagram handles, and videos accounted 30 percent of the top performers.

Here’s what soared last year:

Fashion and beauty brands ranked high among Instagram Mother’s Day content. Twenty-two percent of the top 50 Instagram posts from last year came from fashion and beauty brands (non-celebrity/influencer content).

The top posts from brands tended to be more product-focused, perhaps due to Instagram’s aesthetic concentration and its inspirational nature. Images accounted for nine of the top 10 posts. Just one video cracked the top 10. Emoji were used generously, featured in seven of the top 10 posts. Hashtags were used in eight of the top 10 posts.

10 Mother’s Day takeaways

1. People turn to social media for holiday ideas; crafts, gift guides and recipes all do well.

2. Showing how celebrities and influencers celebrate holidays is a popular tactic.

3. Feel-good and emotionally charged Mother’s Day content does well on Facebook.

4. On Instagram, Mother’s Day celebrations around the world perform well.

5. On Facebook, experiment with giveaways, actionable guides or funny, relatable content.

6. It’s OK to be product-focused on Instagram due to the aesthetic and inspirational nature of the platform.

7. Regardless of the platform, use visuals. Videos and photos were the most popular formats of the top engaging posts.

8. Quirky offerings or stories (such as Tim Hortons’ doughnut bouquet) can earn coverage in popular publications.

9. Partnering with influencers can help you reach new followers and drive more substantive engagement.

10. Understanding when social media buzz builds for a holiday is key to capturing your audience in the right way, at the right time.

A version of this post first appeared on NewsWhip. To read more about top Mother’s Day marketing tactics ahead of 2018, check out NewsWhip’s full report here.

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