Written By: Emily Addison, Community Manager at FCS
As a young Black woman in the Social Media and Marketing industry, I’m intrigued by how brands and companies seem to understand or misunderstand how they can best post content relating to holidays that derive from ethnical/racial communities. After reading about Walmart and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ mishaps, I decided to put down my thoughts on what the best practices are on honoring holidays like Juneteenth.
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is a day of celebration as it marks when enslaved African Americans were freed on June 19th, 1865. The holiday originated in Galveston, Texas, as it was where federal troops marched into town to take control of the state and ensure that the enslaved people were freed. Even though it occurred two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, after that day in 1865, Juneteenth was only recognized as a state holiday in Texas. However, it’s now a federal holiday, thanks to a bill signed by President Biden on June 17th, 2021.
How to Post About Juneteenth on Social Media as a Brand
If your brand or company frequently partners with businesses, it’s best to amplify Black-owned businesses by tagging them as recommendations for your followers.
Post the holiday’s origins and how the Black community celebrates the holiday.
Create a social media campaign where you ask your Black employees about what Juneteenth means to them. Tip: This best practice only works if a brand constantly highlights Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts because a random campaign can come across as performative. However, the holiday can be a good starting point for brands that want to begin highlighting DEI initiatives.
Examples of Good Content
In 2020, Twitter tweeted an voice note from one of the Co-Founders of #BlackLivesMatter, Opal Tometi, where she explains Juneteenth’s significance and what it means to her. I like how Twitter “passed the microphone” to a Black person because it’s a great way of spotlighting Twitter users who use the platform as a way of staying active in movements such as #BlackLivesMatter.
The NBA used a thread as a way to share how their followers can start ther holiday celebrations or add onto their traditions while sharing how they are commemorating the holiday. This is a great example of how it’s okay to stray away from the usual content and do it the right way.
Examples of Poor Content
Duolingo tweeted a brief explanation of Juneteenth’s history along with an image of its flag and date, only to stop there with a link to a Washington Post article that informs readers of how to honor Juneteenth. Yes, it’s good to post an explanation, but linking an article isn’t enough. It comes across as a “Oh, I need to post today! Let me put together a quick content and copy post.”
Two years ago, Adobe informed their followers in a tweet that their employees would be out of the office as they would be honoring Juneteenth by taking time for reflection and and advocacy. It reads like Adobe is using the day off as a excuse to take time off of work. This is a classic example of how people seem to think “a day of reflection and advocacy” is enough when it’s not and never will be.