Francis Scott Key, Social Media Marketing Guru of 1814

March 3 marks the day that President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional act making “The Star-Spangled Banner” the official national anthem of the United States, but that might not have happened if Francis Scott Key hadn’t practiced certain social media marketing principles that helped increase the song’s popularity.

Francis Scott Key’s Social Media Tips…

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Following the attack on Baltimore, Francis Scott Key immediately began to write the words to his poem on the back of a letter he had kept in his pocket.  The poem was then printed in both Baltimore Patriot and The American within days of the battle.

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Historic Timeline of “The Star-Spangled Banner” Likes and Shares

  • Francis Scott Key writes poem
  • Key shares poem with his brother-in-law Judge J. H. Nicholson
  • Nicholson takes the poem to a printer and circulates copies around Baltimore
  • Newspapers Baltimore Patriot and The American reprinted the poem within days of the battle.
  • Shortly after that, newspapers as far away as Georgia and New Hampshire reprinted the poem.
  • Thomas Carr of the Carr Music Store in Baltimore published the words and music together under the title “The Star Spangled Banner”, and the song’s popularity increased.
  • The song gains popularity throughout the 19th century and bands play it during public events
  • “The Star-Spangled Banner” is recognized for official use by the U.S. Navy
  • “The Star-Spangled Banner” is made the official national anthem by a congressional resolution

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Studies show that posts that include multimedia like photos or video outperform plain text posts.  Francis Scott Key started with just a poem called “Defence of Fort M’Henry”.  It wasn’t until he set the poem to the tune of a popular British called “To Anacreon in Heaven”, that it became a well-known American patriotic song.

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Francis Scott Key wrote the poem, but he used music from an English composer named John Stafford Smith, and relied on the help of his brother-in-law Judge J. H. Nicholson to help set the poem to the music.