How to use awareness days to boost your marketing
You might have noticed on social media and in the press that it's Something Day or Week almost every day? Whether it's Dry January, Black Friday or Take Your Pet to Work Day, there's always an 'awareness day' with a hashtag trying to grab attention.
You might have even tried to use one of these hashtags to give your own social media a boost? I've put together a few ideas to help you use awareness days more successfully.
First things first.
What are 'awareness days'?
For decades we've used key dates and festivals such as Guy Fawkes Day, Christmas Day and Easter in our marketing. Awareness days are usually set up by charities or organisations to raise awareness of their cause or issue. Some are just for fun (Talk Like A Pirate Day is a good example!). Some are quite niche, others mainstream. Some are just one day, others last a week or a month. They usually have a hashtag, which you'll often notice trending on the appropriate day.
How can you find out about awareness days/weeks/months?
There are several good awareness day listings and diaries such as DaysofTheYear.com, There is a day for that, and Awareness Days but you do have to be a bit careful - some of the dates listed may be for other countries, particularly the USA.
How can you use awareness days in your marketing?
One of the key benefits of using awareness days is that they are published well in advance so you have time to come up with ideas and can plan social media posts in advance.
Another advantage is that there is usually a main hashtag associated with the awareness day so you might be able to ride on a trending hashtag and get some new followers.
A lot of awareness day posts are really boring. They could even alienate your existing followers. So think carefully about how you use them.
I often see social media posts that start 'apparently today is World Irrelevant Awareness Day' + hashtag + something that's not very relevant to the business. Telling people it's an awareness day isn't very interesting, especially if everyone else is doing the same.
Some also start to rely on awareness days for their posts, which can also become very 'samey'
Look for awareness days that are directly relevant to your business - choose them carefully. When you create a post around them, use whatever hashtag is most relevant, but don't feel you need to explain it's 'thingy wotsit day today'. Just create a post that's relevant to the topic. You may find some dates that aren't directly relevant to your business but you can angle them to talk about a different aspect of your life or the services you offer.
Use strong, relevant visual images - these will grab more attention than just saying what day it is.
Make sure you show some kind of relevance and context for your business. For example, if you want to use World Sleep Day, talk about why your mattresses are particularly good or the science behind the assertion that a walk in your area can aid deeper sleep.
Humour or doing something unusual can help your posts stand out from the crowd. If you need to create a graphic, try a free tool like Canva.com
if you really want to stand out, use the awareness day as your trigger or inspiration for a post but don't post it on the actual day. I don't mean you should just delay by a couple of days - then it will look like you've just got the date wrong. I regularly look through the awareness day lists to get inspiration for posts later, or to use them as triggers for blogs or other marketing tools.
I find it useful to print off a few months of month-on-a-page calendars, plot out key dates and awareness dates and then to plan some posts in advance. If over-used awareness days can become a bit trite but when used sparingly they're great for stimulating new marketing angles and social media posts.