5 Creative Ways to Make Free Hugs Day Go Viral This Year

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The whole point of doing a free hugs day is to get the people around you to ask “What’s going on?” That question helps them become more engaged within your community. Just holding a Free Hugs sign is unique enough that even if a person passes by, their attitude will go from “meh” to “hmmm.” They might turn to the person next to them in line for lunch and say, “What the heck was that about?” Or they just may smile in your direction, even if they don’t go for the hug.

That tiny moment of connection is what matters. Those moments are the building blocks of a great community. So how do we maximize our efforts on Free Hugs Day (November 2nd!) to make the most connections?

1. Invest in a Snapchat geo-filter

Design a simple filter that announces #FreeHugs17 that covers the immediate area where you will be holding your event – campus, your office building, etc. That way, someone who can’t see you from their location will find out that something is going on nearby that’s worth investigating. Encourage your hugging team to use this filter too! Need an example? Check out what a student at TAMIU did last year.

2. Go beyond the sign

Yes, you’ll get access to our free hugs sign print-out when you sign up. But what about stickers, buttons, and t-shirts? Swag it up! Whether you buy from us or make your own Free Hugs gear, it will make you look more official and intentional during the event. Not to mention, if you have a shirt that says Free Hugs, you won’t need to hold a sign, so you can be super efficient at hugging!

3. Make it a friendly competition

Do you have a friend who is part of a different team than the one you’re on? Challenge them to see which team can get the most hugs throughout the day. Then, everyone will be 10x more likely to tell their friends to check out those funny people standing outside with signs, just to secure the win. Nothing like competition to spread the word quickly!

4. Break a world record

Want your Free Hugs Day to be one for the books? Try to get your name in the Guinness Book by attempting to break a hugging world record. Similar to #3 , the competition will create a lot more buzz and make your whole community want to rally around the cause.

5. Make up a chant

What’s more noticeable than three friends standing with signs that say FREE HUGS? Three friends standing with signs that say FREE HUGS who also happen to be singing a fun song. Duh. Personalize your chant to be catchy and noticeable. Try including your team/company/mascot name. Passersby will be drawn to the familiar aspect of the song while wondering what the whole message is about.

These are just five simple ideas to get you to take Free Hugs Day or #FreeHugs17 to the next level, whether you’re a hugging veteran or new to the cause. Remember, at the end of the day, the goal is to create more connections between people so that everyone feels more welcomed, connected, and engaged.

Don’t forget to pledge your hugs now!

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