Should You Talk About National Awareness Days on Social Media?

Posted by on Mar 23, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Should You Talk About National Awareness Days on Social Media?

It seems that a different national awareness day trends every day on social media.

Is it a good idea to join in the conversation, or will your followers see right through you?

______________________________________________________________________________________

A recent attendee of one of our social media training days emailed us with a question:

Is it a good idea to link in with “national awareness days” e.g. Volunteer Week, International Women’s Day and so on when it fits in with an overall strategy? What is the best way of making the most of these campaigns?

That’s a very good question!

We answered it via email, because ongoing support is a huge part of our social media training. But in writing that email, we realised that this must be quite a common question for businesses on social media. So we decided to share our thoughts here.

National Awareness Days and Social Media – Your Essential Guide

Long story short: It’s absolutely a good idea to link to these national awareness days, but only if doing so fits within your overall strategy.

The main thing is to ensure the awareness day you recognise fits with your values, and it’s the sort of thing that your organisation would talk about.

People on social media are sceptical of organisations “jumping on the bandwagon” when it comes to national awareness days. Look at these businesses who seriously missed the point when it came to International Women’s Day (WARNING: Strong language).

Unless you can produce something that’s authentic, and in which you’ve put genuine thought, your efforts may be viewed as a cynical ploy for attention and engagement.

Key tip: NEVER USE THESE AWARENESS DAYS AS AN EXCUSE TO SELL YOUR PRODUCTS OR SERVICES. 

This almost never works, and almost always backfires.

So what should you do instead?

Choose Your Awareness Days Very Carefully.

Not all awareness days are created equally. Few will argue that we don’t need an International Women’s Day. But then you have National Peanut Butter Day…

When deciding which days you want to champion on social media, go for quality rather than quantity. Some well-planned and thoughtful content about one cause will probably go down better than half-baked content about every conceivable day.

Think carefully about the causes you wish to champion, and those that might best be ignored. Also consider whether there’s any causes that you can’t ignore.

Need a hand finding awareness days? This site lists quite a few.

The Events section of Twitter Analytics may also reveal some causes you can champion:

National Awareness Days - Twitter Events

Make Sure You’re Championing Awareness Days for the Right Reasons.

Going back to the two causes raised in the initial question: If you work with volunteers, then it makes perfect sense to talk about Volunteer Week. Meanwhile, talking about something like International Women’s Day gives you an opportunity to talk about your values and to champion diversity and inclusivity.

But again: DON’T USE THESE EVENTS AS A MEANS OF SELLING STUFF.

If you can’t think of any relevant reasons as to why you might champion an event, then steer clear. Any posts you create could look baffling at best and cynical at worst.

As it happens, this post was written on World Sleep Day.

Some businesses on social media engaged with the core ideas behind this national awareness day:

National Awareness Days Social Media

Others…didn’t do that. This tweet is from a home removal company. It’s cynical, cringeworthy, and bound to backfire if anyone notices it:

National Awareness Days Social Media

Plan What You’re Going t0 Do as Early as Possible.

A simple “happy International Women’s Day” post might work, as it shows that you’re using your platform to champion something meaningful. But it might also look a little half-hearted, like you’re simply trying to do anything to remain relevant.

If you’re going to do anything meaningful, you’re going to have to take the time to plan and prepare.

For example, it must have taken the New York Public Library ages to compile this list of 365 books written by women:

National Awareness Days Social Media

But the result? Genuinely valuable content that engages with the themes of International Women’s Day – and that doesn’t try and sell you anything!

Pay Attention to the Sort of Content That Performs Best on Your Social Media Platforms.

Take Facebook as an example. Many of our case studies have demonstrated that the sort of content that works best on Facebook involves real people doing real things. Videos also tend to perform better than images.

So think about the sort of unique content you could create for each awareness day, based on the resources you have available, and the time you have to prepare.

For International Women’s Day, you could invite some of the women in your organisation to record videos in which they discuss what the day means to them. This would give you a number of videos to work with, which you could share throughout the day. If you invite your followers to share their stories at the same time, you may even see some good engagement.

It’s a simple idea, and it’s likely that hundreds of other businesses will be doing exactly the same. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’ve created something valuable, thoughtful, and meaningful. You’re not cynically latching onto something important in order to sell things. Instead, you’ve created something that reflects your values as a business while inviting others to discuss and share those values.

Obviously, this sort of content would take a while to produce. This is why it’s important to plan in advance, so that you’ll have time to make something worthwhile.

Get A Signal Boost.

This won’t work for all content, for all awareness days, or for all businesses. But it’s certainly something you can consider.

Ask as many people in your organisation as possible to share and comment on any content you produce. This will help you boost your reach, build up momentum, and encourage further engagements.

Stay On Top of Things.

Be prepared to respond to any comments you receive. Those who engage with your posts should feel like they’re taking part in a conversation, rather than shouting into a void.

Replying to comments may also further convince your followers that you genuinely believe in what you’re talking about, and that you’re not just latching onto something for attention.

Measure, Measure, Measure!

After the day in question, take a look at all available insights and analytics to see how your posts performed. What worked? What didn’t? Could you have done better?

All this will help you to hone your approach ready for the next awareness event.

National Awareness Days on Social Media – Key Things to Remember.

People are wary of businesses’ motives when it comes to social media and awareness days, so it’s not a good idea to use these days to promote your offerings.

Instead, your priority should be to engage with the true meaning of these causes as a way of communicating your values.

Thoughtful, well-planned and well-produced content will always work better than something half-hearted.

Encourage engagement, but be prepared to respond.

So in short, your strategy for national awareness days on social media should align with your wider strategy: You’re not here to sell. You’re here to engage, to communicate, and to tell your story.

Have You Got Any Questions About Social Media?

Ask the experts! Get in touch and we’ll do our best to help you.

Want the latest social media news, updates and trends to look out for? Then submit your email address below to receive our social media round-up!

 





Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.