Whether you’ve just joined this series of blog posts or you’ve been reading them each month since January, I think we can all safely say that none of us saw a lockdown on our horizon. Usually, I’ll give you a summary of the events expected to trend on social media throughout the following month, but obviously, many of these have been cancelled.
On the upside, however, some events have been ‘moved online’ and will still trend – I’ve added details of these below. It’s important to remember though that in this period of uncertainty, whilst the vast majority of the country is under restrictions, for the first time in internet history you will have a more captive audience than ever before. This means that even if business is slow, you can take this time to invest in your content and organically establish your brand and product range now you have the time to do so. Many people are aware that their favourite online retailers are temporarily closed and having issues shipping orders out in a timely fashion, and as a result, folk are spending a lot of time ‘window shopping’ for when things ‘return to normal’.
With this in mind, you need to take into consideration the current climate and really craft your content around your target market, your product range, and of course, a trending event if there’s one applicable to you. Ultimately, you need to ensure that you and your brand’s voice remain positive, and even if business is quiet or you can’t ship goods out at the moment, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to shut up shop. Continue to produce content for your social media profiles and give people a reason to purchase your products. Show off your product knowledge and your passion for what it is that you sell. Write blog posts about using your products, or where they’re sourced from, or why you’re different to your competitors and encourage potential customers to form a relationship with you and your brand. Because one day – hopefully soon – normal life will continue, and you will have collected new followers and potential new customers from all of your hard work.
If this is the first post of the series that you’ve read, then it’s worth reading this post beforehand which explains the kind of content you should be creating and how you can automate it, freeing up more of your daily time to concentrate on running your business. Also, if you’ve not set it up yet, you should convert your account and set up Instagram Shopping. This isn’t something you need to set up with your ecommerce provider, but rather something that you set up on Instagram. You will need to have a Facebook Page for your online shop which has a Shop tab and your products added to it before you begin, as Instagram refers to this Shop tab when it allows you to tag your products in posts. If you’ve not yet set up a Facebook Page, this Guide should help you.
The Event: Star Wars Day
Date: 4th May
What you could do for a Business post: If your online shop sells anything Star Wars related, this is the event for you to show off your Products in videos, images and Boomerangs, both before and during the day itself. There’s also plenty of inspiration to be found on the official website.
What you could do for a Personal post: If you’re a fan, you’ll no doubt have some Star Wars memorabilia handy for Instagram posts. Equally, if you have any photos of you dressed up as any of the characters from fancy dress parties past, then be brave and share those with your followers and encourage them to do the same. If not, make text images of quotes from the films, and just wish your followers a Happy Star Wars Day.
The Event: Early May Bank Holiday
Date: 8th May
What you could do for a Business post: Regardless of what your online shop sells, a bank holiday is a good reason for a sale, particularly if your products can be related to people relaxing or undertaking their indoor hobbies. Be sure to advertise your promotion a week or two in advance on social media to encourage anticipation.
What you could do for a Personal post: Ask your followers how they’re spending the bank holiday, and if you don’t have any plans, ask them for their recommendations. Whatever you do – and particularly if it stemmed from a follower’s suggestions – be sure to document it for your social media content.
The Event: National Vegetarian Week
Date: 11th-17th May
What you could do for a Business post: If your target customer demographic is vegetarians and those with healthy eating habits, you need to get involved with this event. If your online shop sells cooking accessories, kitchen gadgets or consumables which are part of a plant-based diet, then this is ideal for you. Visit the website nearer the time in order to see the resources and show your support on the day.
What you could do for a Personal post: There are lots of ideas on the website to give you some inspiration for social media content for this event, and trying new things on video is something highly encouraged, as reactions to the new food are what makes the content relatable, shareable, and a fantastic conversation starter amongst your followers.
The Event: World Cocktail Day
Date: 13th May
What you could do for a Business post: If your online shop sells anything related to cocktails – glasses, shakers, accessories and so on – you need to get involved with this event. Ultimately, your aim is to show off your products as cocktails are certainly aspirational and trend well as images.
What you could do for a Personal post: Can you mix a cocktail, or have you ever tried creating your own? Make videos and Boomerangs to share on social media of your mixology adventures, and list the ingredients to encourage followers to make their own or suggest different twists on classic recipes.
The Event: National Biscuit Day
Date: 14th May
What you could do for a Business post: This is more of a parody event on social media, but still something that’s very popular with the hashtags #nationalbiscuitday and #biscuitday on Twitter and Instagram. If you sell crockery, product images of cups, plates and saucers with biscuits as the accessory will do well here.
What you could do for a Personal post: Take a selfie of you eating your favourite kinds of biscuit, or create your own top ten of British biscuits. Open up a conversation with your followers about favourite biscuits and even biscuits that you used to love that you don’t see so often now, like Trio or Kitkats in a proper foil wrapper.
The Event: World Whisky Day
Date: 16th May
What you could do for a Business post: The official website has a wealth of resources and information regarding this event, which is run annually on the third Saturday of May. If your online shop sells whisky, whisky glasses or anything whisky-related, this is an ideal time for you to run promotions and post product images to take part in this event.
What you could do for a Personal post: If you drink whisky regularly, you could recommend some of your favourites to your followers. Alternatively, you could post about alternative uses for the tipple, such as cooking, cocktails and cleaning (yes, really), with a range of stock photos and text images on your social media.
The Event: World Goth Day
Date: 22nd May
What you could do for a Business post: Believe it or now, there is an official website for this event which is worth a look at if your online shop retails items that are aimed at the goth lifestyle – movie memorabilia, music, books, pictures and housewares with a gothic vibe to them will do well with this event. Again, if you have an Instagram account set up especially for your online shop, make sure you have activated Instagram shopping to show off your products whilst still including that #worldgothday hashtag.
What you could do for a Personal post: If you are of an age where you definitely had an awkward teenage phase of being a goth, then publish those old photos for your followers, letting them know what your influences were at the time. Alternatively, if you were lucky enough not to have done that, you could simply create a post using stock images and text to wish your followers a happy World Goth Day.
The Event: Spring Bank Holiday
Date: 25th May
What you could do for a Business post: Just like the earlier Bank Holiday this month, regardless of what your online shop sells, a bank holiday is a good reason for a sale, particularly if your products can be related to people spending time at home, such as doing DIY, gardening or hobbies. Be sure to advertise your promotion a week or two in advance on social media to encourage anticipation.
What you could do for a Personal post: Again, ask your followers how they’re spending the bank holiday, and if you don’t have any plans, ask them for their recommendations. Whatever you do – and particularly if it stemmed from a follower’s suggestions – be sure to document it for your social media content.
The Event: National Barbecue Week
Date: 25th-31st May
What you could do for a Business post: As a business, if your online shop sells barbeques and barbeque accessories, then it’s worth visiting the official website for this event if you want to be a sponsor. Alternatively, add hashtags for the event to posts of ‘in-use’ style pictures of your products. This would be especially effective if you also have a dedicated Instagram account for your online shop and Instagram Shopping has been activated. It’s still possible for people to have barbeques during the lockdown, as long as they only include members of their own household in their own garden.
What you could do for a Personal post: If you’re having a barbeque of your own this week, obviously, take lots of photos, videos and Boomerangs of your food, your friends and so on for your social media content. If you’re unlucky and the weather just isn’t good enough, you could ask your followers what the weather’s like in their part of the country and how their home barbeques are going. You could also post text images about your own essential barbeque staples or classic marinade recipes for those preparing their barbeque food in advance.
The Event: English Wine Week
Date: 25th-31st May
What you could do for a Business post: If your online shop retails wine, wine glasses, bottle openers and anything vaguely wine-related, this is the event for you. The official website should give you plenty of ideas regarding the kind of content you can create and promotions which would perform well according to your product range. There’s also a Twitter profile which would be worth following too.
What you could do for a Personal post: If you’re a wine lover, recommend your favourite English wines to your followers with suggestions for the best meals for it to be served with. Alternatively, do a spot of research and write up some facts about English wine, which can then be added to stock photos and text images and then shared with your followers.
Next month, we’ll be publishing a list of events that are due to run during June 2020 so you can plan ahead for that month too – be sure to subscribe to our blog so you get a notification of when the next month of our Social Media Calendar is published.