Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, bringing with it the inevitable slew of cringe-worthy sonnets and bafflingly expensive dinners that come part and parcel with this mystifying occasion.

Of course, for brands, any holiday that gets customers to whip out their wallets is cause for celebration, which means you can expect your social timelines to be clogged with relentless sap of the ‘Roses are red’ variety anytime soon.

But is this unyielding need to jump on the bandwagon reinforcing relevance (as marketers presumably intend it to) or simply incurring eye-rolling frustration from customers unable to spot the at times tenuous link between product and occasion?

For brands that trade in nostalgia and schmaltz, Valentine’s Day is a no-brainer, and makes perfect sense within the bounds of their offering. You need flowers? Great, we’ve got ‘em. But for those whose services err on the less romantic side of the spectrum, attempts to curry favour via misguided poems and puns can incur not only indifference, but indeed wrath.

So before you blunder head first into the minefield of cringe-worthy content, here are a few key tips to bear in mind:

Be practical

Sure we all love a good meme or inspiring post that gives us a healthy helping of the warm and fuzzies. But ultimately, what your consumers are looking for is content that actually adds value to their lives. So rather than simply adding a soppy spin to your posts, think about ways in which your offering can actually make a practical difference. Perhaps you’ve got some outlandish date night ideas that cleverly incorporate your product, or some foolproof recipes for the hapless husband intent on impressing. Just remember that to post for the sake of it is ultimately disrespectful to your customers, so try to avoid it if at all possible.

Be relevant

If your brand and product ties in well with a holiday, it makes sense for you to be all over it like a bad rash. Chocolatiers and florists, feel free to come out and play on Valentine’s Day! But if you’re in the business of making concrete slabs or renting out cars, it’s best you steer clear of this one. Don’t force it. It doesn’t make you relevant. It doesn’t make you clever. In fact, all it demonstrates is that you have the ability to read a calendar and a distinct inability to understand your customers.

Be subversive

When everyone is saying the same thing, it’s very easy for your brand to get lost in the crowd. So don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit. By implementing a completely original approach to the tried and tested, you’ll ensure that your brand message stands out from the crowd. Sure, it might earn you a bit of hate mail (Valentine’s fans take this stuff VERY seriously), but by daring to be different, you’ll be far likelier to have people talking (and not in an exasperated, fed up fashion).