7 Ways Brands Most Successfully Celebrated Star Wars Day 

When marketers think about planning seasonal campaigns, usually holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas come to mind. While those should be a focus, on social media there’s also a great amount of opportunity around less formal holidays that are more playful in tone, and often build around intellectual property. May The Fourth, or the Star Wars pun that launched a thousand brand posts, is an excellent example of this type of event. 

44 years after the first movie came out, fan interest in talking about the franchise has only grown and participating in Star Wars Day is an effective way to make your own brand more top-of-mind.  Here are brand strategies that were most successful on social media around Star Wars Day this year.

#1. Leverage Library Content 

The Big Bang Theory received 30,104 responses on Facebook for a clip of the group trying unsuccessfully to explain the May The Fourth holiday to Penny while The Simpsons got 25,552 responses to an Instagram post showing Ralph Wiggum dressing up as Princess Leia for Inspirational Women Day. If you’re a media brand and have Star Wars related content in the vault, May Fourth is definitely the day to dust it off. 

#2. Lead With A Creative Visual 

Compelling visuals are never a bad idea, but considering how much of Star Wars is communicated visually, many brands were able to stand out with their May The Fourth content without having to say too much. For example, WWE had 163,869 responses to an Instagram gallery where they edited lightsabers into photos of their wrestlers fighting, Jimmy Kimmel Live received 34,550 responses to an Instagram picture of Yoda and Leia cosplay, and John Deer got 16,737 responses to Instagram concept art showing what the John Deere version of a Tauntaun would look like.  

#3. Force A Force Joke 

Dating back at least to Mel Brooks proclaiming “May the Schwartz be with you!” in Spaceballs, jokes about “The Force” have been ubiquitous, and Star Wars Day isn’t the context you’d expect restraint. The Muppets had the best performing Force related social media post, getting 33,396 responses on Facebook, with Kermit and Miss Piggy in Star Wars outfits, wishing “May the Farce be with you.” Additionally, Callaway Golf’s Force video post scored 12,212 responses on Instagram, sharing a trick shot and showing that anything that defies explanation can be re-contextualized as a Jedi trick. 

The rest of Force related posts that got engagement followed a fairly rigid formula. Accenture got 4,010 responses to an Instagram post showing an Accenture hat with Yoda ears with the explanation “the force is strong with this one” while Avid got 3,366 responses to an Instagram video showing Baby Yoda using The Force to edit on a soundboard. Meanwhile, Shake Shack got 3,179 responses to an Instagram photo of their fries levitating with the caption “The force is strong with this one.” with Buffalo Wild Wings receiving 3,052 responses to a Tweet about their wings explaining that “the sauce is strong with this one”.

#4. Promote The Merchandise 

When the first Star Wars movie came out, the only merchandise you could buy around the film were action figures, with Kenner only having to pay $100,000 for the toy making rights. The marketing empire around the franchise has scaled considerably since then. 

In a crowded field, Lego had the most successful merchandise related post on Star Wars Day, getting 151,928 responses on Instagram for photos of a set featuring The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda. Other merchandise focused posts that performed well included Build-A-Bear getting 4,536 responses to a post showing a Baby Yoda plushy in cap and gown as a suggested graduation gift, and Williams-Sonoma receiving 4,465 responses to an Instagram Gallery showing off their Star Wars collection, such as a Millennium Falcon waffle. Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble got 3,640 responses to an Instagram post sharing a pile of Star Wars related books. 

#5. Run A Contest 

Bribing the audience is a marketing strategy as old as Yoda. GameStop had 43,708 responses on an Instagram post offering a chance to win a Star War prize pack in exchange for leaving Likes and Comments.  

#6. Say You’re Making a Star Wars Meme Without Saying It 

Slim Jim got 51,037 responses to an Instagram post explaining that they’re not going to “force” a lame ass May Fourth meme because they’re “rebels”. For brands with a more irrelevant tone, there’s enough saturation around brand posts around Star Wars Day and other social media holidays that playfully announcing you won’t be participating is an effective way to stand out. 

#7. Curate Content From Others 

E! News got 32,631 responses to a Regram of Billie Lourd showing her infant son in a Princess Leia onesie watching his late grandmother in Star Wars. While you’re going to have to compensate the content creator if the repost isn’t being used in a news context, around holidays there are going to be unique takes that are poignant and emotional that can’t come from the voice of a brand. Sometimes amplifying the voices of others on your social channels makes more sense.   

Want more advice around planning holiday related campaigns? Either stream our webinar about Competitive Information to Plan Seasonal Campaigns or request a ListenFirst demo today

4 Facts You Need To Know About The Reddit Stock Market Surge

The following is a guest post by Miranda McWeeney, the SVP of Client Success at ListenFirst.

Back at the beginning of the week, when very few of us knew that “stonks” was internet slang for stocks, there was generally very little recognition of Reddit being a key market indicator around individual stocks. 

What a difference a week makes; Reddit users have been promoting a number of stocks, hoping to squeeze short sellers that have been betting against them and they’re succeeding. Their best-known bets to date are GameStop (GME), AMC (AMC) and BlackBerry (BB). The top targets have had their trading occasionally halted for volatility, but one question remains: will we see it coming next time?

Here are the 4 social media facts you need to know about Reddit and the Stock Market. 

Fact #1. There’s Been Long Term Interest By Reddit Users In The Stock Market 

It’s not like amatuer investerors flocking to Reddit for financial advice is something new, for instance, the influential subreddit of r/wallstreetbets has been around since January 2012. “Stock” is mentioned an average of 1.3M times on Reddit each quarter, with a steady rise in interest over the past year. 

Fact #2. It’s Been A Record-Breaking January 

Throughout January to date, the term “stock” has been used on Reddit at record-breaking levels. There have been 635K mentions to date with a steep climb in the final week of the month. 

Fact #3. There’s A High Correlation Between Brand Mentions And Rising Stock Price  

Early Reddit buzz about GameStop and BlackBerry was the catalyst for the user base taking a greater interest in the stock market in general. The volume of conversation on Reddit related to GameStop and Blackberry started to rise on 1/11/21 and has remained above each brand’s average through the close of the month. AMC saw the same trend beginning on 1/15/21. All brands show a relationship between the daily volume of Reddit mentions and their closing stock price. 

Fact #4. Social Listening On Reddit Can Help Identify The Next “GameStop”  

This event has raised the notion that Reddit mentions are potentially more intentful and/or high-value than a mention on another social media platform. On Twitter, for example, “stock” has been mentioned 5M times this year, while Reddit saw only 635K mentions, looking between January 1 -27, 2021. The general public was able to dominate the conversation on Reddit, seemingly quietly, and organize action. This was not an event where a high volume of social activity flew under the radar. It was an event where there was a continuous build in social activity for a select few brands, at a level that most would historically discredit as not notable. 

Also worth noting is the importance of using social listening to identify high upvoted posts on Reddit. For example, on January 13, a r/WallStreetBets post that received a high Reddit post score of 801 (meaning upvotes – downvotes), talking about how targeted hedge fund Melvin Capital was only half out of GameStop, and that the stock could continued to be squeezed for days. Amatuer investors were largely influenced by this post and saw it as a green light to become even more aggressive in buying GameStop. The stock price in GameStop jumped to $31.40 on January 13 from being $19.95 on January 12;  and continued to skyrock from there; as of January 28, closing at $193.60.

Reddit posts can go in far more depth than the character limited Twitter; meaning individual Reddit posts can have an outsized influence on moving the need around publicly traded companies. Along those same lines, after ensuring you’re tracking Reddit mentions in ListenFirst for all brands, topics and people of interest, it is recommended to focus your analysis on changes in volume over time, rather than the total volume itself. This will provide insight on when the general public is more/less interested, and when there may be a momentum shift worth digging into further. 

This doesn’t mean that brands have to spend hours surfing Reddit looking for breadcrumbs of an emerging trend. By integrating social listening with such external data as stock prices through an open API, these patterns can be identified and reacted to faster and more effectively. 

Want more insights how Reddit is driving audience behavior? Request a ListenFirst demo today!