Once again it’s time for the wearing of the green. Last year, 133 million Americans celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by spending 4.7 billion dollars on everything green from cabbage to derby hats. While this number pales in comparison to what is spent on Christmas or Valentine’s Day, for a non-gift giving holiday it merits recognition.
This year cities, towns and event organizers are hoping social media marketing will increase revenues over 2013. Social media and Internet sites from Facebook to Pinterest are helping revelers find what they need to honor the patron Saint of Ireland.
Over 25 cities nationwide have major events planned for St. Patrick’s Day, for cities like Scranton and Buffalo this holiday generates welcomed revenue for local businesses. Over 100 parades occur nationwide and Facebook and Twitter began to get the word out early, because everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Savannah Georgia attracts 1.2 million visitors for its annual Saint Patrick’s Day festivities.
Over one third of Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday where 8 out of 10 celebrants will wear green. Enter @St. Patrick’s Day, a Twitter page ready to help fashionistas find everything from “Kiss me I’m Irish” pins to green boas, boots and shirts. Social media is also helping revelers find dinner dance notices and St. Patrick’s Day events.
And don’t forget, social media can help you find the best specials on traditional Irish fare including corned beef and cabbage, boiled potatoes and Irish soda bread. In a world where social media is becoming the hippest marketing tool, here’s to hoping it will help many event organizers find a pot of gold today.Dennis Cornwall, Graduate Student M.A. in Emerging Media Loyola University Maryland