Decoded: Juneteenth and Fourth of July
Fireworks bursting in the night sky.


As summer heats up, we’re already thinking about important evergreen content moments requiring advanced social content planning. In case you’re asked, “What are we posting for July 4th?” or, “Are we saying anything about Juneteenth on social?” Here’s the download.

First and foremost, time and your company’s commitment are critical considerations. If you don’t already have a strategic rollout of your external messaging covering your company’s Juneteenth ongoing social justice initiatives, you don’t need to talk about the holiday on your brand’s social media channels.

Juneteenth and July 4th are significant in American history, representing milestones in the nation’s journey toward freedom and equality. We must remember that they carry nuanced historical context and cultural sensitivities that brands must navigate intentionally in social media storytelling. Below are two ways to think about how you can plan for Juneteenth and July 4th this year and beyond.

  1. Authentic Brand Action: Engaging in either holiday requires a genuine connection to the day either through your company history, culture, policies, or CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives. If you are not ready to take brand action that emboldens or goes beyond the actions of the general public, there is a high risk of your marketing being seen as performative and insensitive.

  2. Community Advocacy: These holidays are not just tentpole moments on your editorial calendar. These are important moments for real people to gather in their community, their culture, and traditions. While there may be a relevant tie between your brand and these festivities, it’s business-critical to assess whether or not your marketing is centered on your brand or your consumer. If not centered on the lived experience of these communities, there is a high risk of your content not resonating and receiving criticism.

TLDR: Juneteenth requires a higher level of intention and commitment to social justice in messaging than July 4th. Unless there is an authentic (and ongoing) brand connection and action to Juneteenth, we’d recommend not leaning into the day and partnering with your internal DEIBA and multicultural marketing teams to form commitments and action plans for future CSR initiatives. July 4th is a less nuanced holiday in social media, however, branded July 4th content that doesn’t add value to your following will not drive meaningful engagement.

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Background on The Social Lights
The Social Lights® is a social-first agency headquartered in Minneapolis that partners with clients to grow their business through strategy development, creative production, media buying, and social media management. Current clients include General Mills, Ecolab, Cargill, Caribou Coffee, Kwik Trip, Polaris and Massage Envy. The Social Lights was founded in 2011 and is a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise. Learn more at The Social Lights.

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