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Glimpses of a Social Media Holi

Social media has changed the way we live our life. It follows that it has an impact on our culture and traditions. India and the world celebrate the festival of Holi today. Business and corporate involvement in Holi was earlier limited to a greeting or message via newspapers. However, with the wide reach and potential of social media, brands have an opportunity to connect with specific communities by creating special events and contests around these festivals.

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Celebrated toward the end of March, Holi, the festival of colors, heralds Spring and usually signaled the arrival of summer (vacation) for us kids. With finals looming, this was one holiday where we could be totally boisterous, get drenched in color and water, play all day and slack off studies – or at least try to! Holi also means great food – the Puran Poli of Maharashtra, various sweetmeats, the hard sugary candy or ‘gathi‘ or the Bhang or cannabis laced Thandai of the northern regions. Indian cinema has also given Holi cult status, and Holi scenes are sure to pave the way for box office success.

How are corporate brands and businesses using social media to celebrate or connect with their fans on Holi?

Espousing a cause

Nowadays, it is trendy to take up some cause at the time of festivals. At the time of the Ganesh festival, it was ‘no music’ after 11 PM. For Diwali, it was ‘no fireworks’ to save the environment. This Holi, it is all about saving water. Mr. Big B Bachchan tweeted this to his over 4 million followers, and some of them are sure to agree. Our housing community has already announced a ‘No Water’ policy for Holi.

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The beauty of social media comes in here. Opposing opinions are already posted on Twitter, and there is a raging discussion around whether such ‘days’ mean anything.

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Prefer to be more subtle? Schneider Electric has chosen the color green to celebrate Holi. Their simple but striking message says it all.

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The Times of India has chosen a special Facebook cover page for Holi. This page not only greets its visitors for Holi, but also highlights the historic celebration of Holi by Brindavan widows, who were allowed to publicly celebrate Holi beyond the confines of their ashram for the first time.

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Connecting with Communities on Holi

Coca Cola is sticking to its colors, but have carried on their tradition of connecting with the local demographic.

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McDonald’s India conducted a contest for the best Facebook cover photo for Holi. Hundreds of Likes and shares later, the winning entry is splashed across their Facebook page.

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Holi Around the World

People from all over the world, whether they live in Seattle, USA or Uttar Pradesh, India are sending in photos via Twitter and Instagram. Check the #HoliWSJ hashtag to find out more, and look at some real portraits of Holi celebrations from around the world.

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The HoliOne festival in Germany will be The place for people to come together and have fun. HoliOne is based on the Indian festival of colors, and their Facebook page already has almost 20,000 Likes. Tickets are between 22 to 29 Euros. Color, food and drink costs more and will be available at the venues.

Talk about taking something popular and globalizing it!

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Holi Hai! ( Hey, its Holi!)

Since times past, Holi has been popular because it adds color to life and brings a wide variety of people together regardless of age, religion, economic status or other differences. In a way, social media does the same every day of our lives.

How are you celebrating Holi this year? And did you use social media to wish your friends and family around the world a Happy Holi? I just did!

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