February is the shortest month of the year, thanks to egotistical Roman emperors thoughtlessly pillaging its days to make their own months longer. However, despite being cruelly abused by July and August, February still has a lot to offer and holds up its part of the calendar admirably.
The following is a list of holidays, anniversaries and events taking place this February, along with some general advice on how to apply them to your content marketing and social media strategy.
World Interfaith Harmony Week (February 1st-7th)
Image Source: World Interfaith Harmony Week
Originally proposed in 2010 by the King and Prime Minister of Jordan, World Interfaith Harmony Week is officially recognised by the UN and always falls in the first week of February. The week is dedicated to bringing people together, and building bridges across the religious and cultural schisms that divide us.
In an increasingly divided world, the week is more needed than ever. It doesn’t present a lot of content marketing opportunities for most businesses – but it’s worth mentioning it once or twice on social media. Harmony and peace are (usually) inoffensive things to aim for, so mentioning that your business – whether you’re an international consultancy or a small, local business – supports World Interfaith Harmony Week is a nice way to make yourself look good, even if it’s not going to drive customers to your site in droves.
Anniversary of “The Day the Music Died” (February 3rd)
Image Source: I’m Music Magazine
On February 3rd, 1959, American musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper died in a plane crash. The event was immortalised by singer-songwriter Don McLean as ‘The Day the Music Died’, and became even more famous thanks to McLean’s hit song “American Pie” (which may now be stuck in your head for days, sorry!).
This isn’t a holiday or an observance as such, but it’s a fun (in a morbid way) thing to acknowledge on your social media. Obviously, if you sell music, it’s a good day to promote the recordings of the men that died, as well as McLean’s stuff.
Super Bowl LI (February 5th)
The Super Bowl is the US’s biggest sporting event, by a wide margin, and is slowly becoming a truly international spectacle. This year, the 51st edition of the game takes place in Houston, Texas on the 5th of February – which means that it’ll actually be happening on the 6th in most of the world.
Most years, you can expect to see hashtags related to the game trending on Twitter and other social media platforms. This year, the New England Patriots will take on the Atlanta Falcons for the World Championship. However, for many people, the spectacle is more about the new commercials that will air, as well as the halftime show – this year to be performed by Lady Gaga.
If you happen to be on social media during the game, and you happen to be watching on TV, it’s worth commenting on anything particularly interesting that happens. Two years ago, #LeftShark took the world by storm – if something similar happens again, getting in on it could get some extra eyes on your Twitter feed, and thereby on to your site and your company.
Festivale (February 10th-12th)
Image Source: Australia.com
Held in Launceston, Tasmania, Festivale is designed as a “showcase of the best food, cool climate wines, beer and local art that Tasmania has to offer”. If you’re in Tasmania, or sell travel to it, then this provides an obvious opportunity to promote your goods and services to tourists heading to the event.
Generally speaking, if you’re near enough culturally or geographically, it might be worth throwing out a few mentions of ‘Hey. hope everyone at @festivaletas is having fun!’ style message, even if you’re not attending or trading with people who are. Appearing to be a part of the local community can always help to build your brand.
International Darwin Day (February 12th)
Image Source: Darwin Day
Held on the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth in 1809, International Darwin Day is a celebration of the great man’s work, his discoveries, and the spirit of intellectual bravery and curiosity in general. It’s not, as yet, a hugely well-known event, so ‘Hey, today is International Darwin Day!’ is a great first way to acknowledge it.
You might also want to promote any relevant products or services you offer. This could be almost anything. Scientific educational sets for children, science books, monkey toys, biographies of Darwin – it could be almost anything.
If you’re in the UK, or do business there (especially in the financial sector), you might also want to share this little fun fact: this is the last Darwin Day on which Charles will be the unopposed occupant of the £10 note, with a new polymer note featuring Jane Austen set to be introduced this year.
Valentine’s Day (February 14th)
This one almost goes without saying. Valentine’s Day is – technically – a Christian celebration, held in remembrance of the martyrdom of St. Valentine, but the modern event is all about romance, flowers, and chocolate.
Therefore, if you’re a romantic restaurant, a florist or a confectioner – well, you don’t need me to tell you that Valentine’s Day is a big deal for you. You’re probably already planning to blog about it, tweet about it, post to your other social media accounts about it, and generally make sure everyone knows they can count on you for their romantic Valentine’s needs.
That’s a good thing. After all, it’s good sense for a chocolatier to write a blog about the best chocolate to give your sweetheart on the most romantic day of the year. But clichés only go so far, and Valentine’s Day is for everyone.
No matter what business you’re in, it’s almost certainly worth acknowledging Valentine’s Day, as it’s one of the biggest holidays of the year. Whether the appropriate level of content is a single tweet or an extensive set of blog posts (gift guides relevant to your products, perhaps?) depend on who you are and who your audience is.
Anthony Burgess’s 100th birthday (February 25th)
Image Source: Mental Floss
February 25th, 2017, marks the hundredth anniversary of the birth of British novelist Anthony Burgess. Burgess is best known for A Clockwork Orange, which is perhaps now better recognised because of Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation than as a book in its own right.
With this being the centenary of Burgess’ birth, businesses of any kind can usefully Tweet or post on Facebook about it. It might also be a good day to offer flash sales, not only on copies of Burgesses books and their film adaptations, but also on things related to his best known work: bowler hats, milk and milk-related products and Beethoven records all spring to mind.
International Polar Bear Day (February 27th)
Organised by Polar Bears International, International Polar Bear Day is always held on this date in February. Largely, it is dedicated to raising awareness of the world’s largest land carnivore, and its increasingly endangered status around the globe.
If you’re a zoo that has polar bears, then obviously you’ll be all over this, but other businesses can take advantage too. If you sell soft toys, this is a good day to promote cuddly polar bears, but regardless of what you do, you can always share an image of a polar bear and let your fans and followers know about International Polar Bear Day.
Rare Disease Day (February 28th)
Image Source: Rare Disease Day
Since 2008, Rare Disease Day has been held on the last day of February each year. For most months, that would make it an unmoving observance, but – thanks to leap years – this means that Rare Disease Day falls on the 29th of February every four years, while it falls on the 28th every other year – including this year.
As you might expect, the day is dedicated to raising awareness of rare diseases. It’s celebrated in many, many countries all over the globe and, like most days dedicated to awareness of a negative aspect of life, it’s worth handling it with care.
It’s not a huge marketing opportunity, unless you’re, say, a pharmaceutical company that is selling a cure for a rare disease. For most companies, it’s likely best to just send out a single, respectful tweet or Facebook post, acknowledging Rare Disease Day, as a way to be a part of the conversation and the community, rather than trying to use it as an opportunity to go for the hard sell.