Co-opting a “holiday”

Have you heard of Cow Appreciation Day? If you are a fan of the restaurant chain Chick-fil-A, you probably have. It is Chick-fil-A’s made up holiday designed to encourage people to eat more chicken (as opposed to beef, and thus, “cows”).

We certainly love a good cow in the College of Agricultural Sciences, so jumping on this “holiday’s” bandwagon was a no-brainer. For two years in a row, our college has celebrated Cow Appreciation Day with social media posts, videos, and, most importantly, cake in the Dean’s Office. And since Cow Appreciation day occurs in July, our celebration has often been joined by parents and prospective students touring campus. Who wouldn’t want to send their child to a school that has cake in the Dean’s Office?

Lesson: People Love Free Cake

In 2014, we posted two short fun videos that help put into context some statistics about cows:

In 2015, we even got a tweet from Chick-fil-A! Our Facebook post reached over 3,100 people, was liked 79 times, and shared 16 times. All this for the cost of a sheet cake.

Joining in the Cow Appreciation Day splendor was never about Chick-fil-A. As it turns out, there are many “National ___ Days” that any of us can appropriate for our units. One website that lists such days is the National Day Calendar.

The moral of this story is that this is a fun and easy way to engage with your social media audience. Create some fun or funny Facebook posts and live tweet your ongoing celebration of National Homemade Cookies Day (October 1), National Hugging Day (Jan. 21), or National Coconut Cream Pie Day (May 8). Most importantly, hand out some free cake – people love that.

So mark your calendars now – Cow Appreciation Day 2016 is July 8.