Ah the Fourth of July. America’s birthday conjures up images of fireworks, hot dogs, and pool parties. But before we start rattling off the Declaration of Independence and other symbols of patriotism, let us rewind and zoom in on one particular American tradition, eating and grilling hot dogs.
Did you know that Americans enjoyed an estimated 150 million hot dogs on the fourth of July last year (Fox Business). People buy their dad grills on Father’s day, but July Fourth is when families enjoy using them. There are two brands that are perhaps best known for outdoor and home improvement, Loews and Home Depot. Both are a great match for a July 4th social media campaign. How did these brands do in engaging the average hot-dog loving American?
We ran a Scraawl report to find out more.
But when we ran a brand report, looking at Instagram, we were saddened to see that @HomeDepot did not post anything on July 4th, grilling related or otherwise.
They did however post on Twitter.
— The Home Depot (@HomeDepot) June 30, 2017
Yes!! What a great grillin’ graphic– oh wait, it’s from June. In fact, Home Depot posted nothing on their Twitter or Instagram about the holiday. Considering that they did have a Fourth of July sale on their website, utilizing social media would have been an great opportunity to spread awareness and create more sales.
In fact, there were over 32,000 tweets #July4th on Twitter the day of the holiday. When we ran a streaming Scraawl report (which you can view here), of those tweets 54 were about grilling, 20 were specifically about hot dogs, and only two came from local Home Depot branches.
If Home Depot had retweeted these photos from their local branch accounts, they would have helped to boost reach of these smaller accounts and also participated in the holiday festivities.
Lowe’s Home Improvement
In comparison, Lowe’s Home Improvement did enjoy some festive holiday tweeting and instagramming, nailing the perfect tone for the Fourth of July. Here is what they posted on Twitter:
— Lowe’s (@Lowes) July 4, 2017
They also posted a respectful image on their Instagram account of an American flag. The post received over 2,000 likes and 9 comments, thus demonstrating the value of participating in holidays on social media. Not only is it a good way to stay top of mind with consumers, when done right, it is also a meaningful way to connect with audiences. Respecting holiday traditions on social media can show that your brand values align with the values of your audience.
When comparing both brands on Twitter, we unsurprisingly found that Lowes is currently outperforming Home Depot in the month of July.
Lowes Home Improvement
Lowes had over 91 million impressions whereas Home Depot had 33.79 million impressions, despite having a higher engagement rate and more followers. If Home Depot were only to engage and post more online, they could see their account’s impact rise.
Tale of Two Hardware Stores
The July4th hashtag was a missed opportunity for Home Depot. While we saw a good number of celebratory grilling and July 4th photos, we didn’t Home Depot use the hashtag for specific ad campaigns or celebrate July 4th on social media at all. Considering the popularity of the holiday and the popularity July 4th sales for hardware stores, it was a missed opportunity for Home Depot.
Meanwhile, Lowe’s took a low-key approach to the holiday that seemed to hit a note with their audience. It looks like instead of directly selling grills, Lowe’s simply promoted a relaxed and patriotic fourth of July. It goes to show, that sometimes celebrating a holiday without any promotions is the best way to connect with people after all.
Happy (belated) July 4th from the Scraawl Team.
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