It’s nearly 2019 already, and before I come out with the inevitable ‘where’s the year gone?’ speech, there is no better time than now to start planning the promotion of your online shop for the next year.
We’ve listed some of the most popular events that will be trending for January, allowing you to get involved using the social media set up to promote your own online shop. Your level of involvement with these events depends very much on the products you sell and your particular brand, but with some imagination and a little planning, there’s no reason at all that your posts can’t be as popular as those from the bigger companies out there.
Getting involved with social media events is a good way to break up solely ‘salesy’ posts in your feed and encourage your fans and followers to interact with your brand. It also means that your existing social media followers will become more aware of your brand and the people behind it – what they do, what they support and what they like.
How do I get involved with the events?
Essentially, to get involved on a minimal level, all you need to do is make a status about the event and tag the event in it. However, you have to bear in mind that lots of individual users, businesses, charities and similar will be doing the same thing – so you need to make sure that your content stands out from the rest.
What events you choose to get involved with depends on your brand and the products that you sell, although with a bit of imagination, you could get involved with most of the events and tailor the posts on your online shop’s social media accounts to suit your target demographic.
Ultimately, you will need to choose whether the post is ‘Business’ – related to your brand and your products or if the products that you sell can’t be related to the event, then you can make a ‘Personal’ post about yourself and the people behind your company. Done well, this is very authentic and if you can make it relatable too, it’s an excellent opportunity to gain new followers and on the back of that, new customers.
The majority of the events that trend on social media this year can be divided into three main camps:
Public Events – These are things that are ‘trending’ in the real world, that everyone, regardless of whether they use social media or not, will be aware of. Examples include royal weddings, sporting events such as the Tour De France, public bank holidays and days of celebration, like Christmas and Halloween.
Charity Events – These are events that trend whose sole purpose is get folks involved in supporting a charity by completing a specific action, such as Movember (where men are encouraged to grow moustaches to raise and awareness of men’s health whilst earning donations for the Movember Foundation). Other popular examples are Jeans for Genes and MacMillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. To get involved with these kinds of events, you can simply join in, make a donation or go one step further and collect on the charity’s behalf. Make sure however that you support charities that mean something to you personally, and if it relates to your customers too, all the better.
Fun Events – These events are silly events that are just for fun and exist mostly online only. Talk Like A Pirate Day and World Goth Day are good examples. Fun events are often concentrated on food and drink too – such as National Buffet Day and Ginuary – so it’s important that if your own products relate to these events that you take part. Fun events are useful if the products on your online shop are difficult to relate to other events, as you can still get involved using photos or videos of yourself – and your staff if you have any – but make sure your branding is visible in the content.
Listed below are events that will be trending on social media throughout January 2019. I’ve added in some suggestions for both ‘Business’ and ‘Personal’ style posts, which should get you thinking about how you can apply the theme of each event to your own brand and products. All dates were correct at the time of publication and if you refer to my last blog post too you could save yourself a lot of time by using the events to plan and create your content before scheduling it, leaving you to spend your January recovering from the festivities and concentrating on managing your online shop.
The Event: Dry January
Date: All of January
If you’re taking part in Dry January as one of your New Year’s Resolutions, all you need to do is not drink alcohol.
What you could do for a Business post: If your online shop retails goods which are all about health and wellness (such as personal training, essential oils, sportswear, trainers, crystals, etc.), this is an ideal online event for you to get involved with as you will be able to post about healthier alternatives to alcohol.
What you could do for a Personal post: For this, you could make a photo or a gif of empty bottles and cans being thrown into the recycling bin, or your family, friends and work colleagues signing up to join you in your Dry January mission. If you’re doing something in place of drinking – such as taking up running for example, illustrate this in your post too – you could even post regular updates if you’re successful in your mission which would give potential customers a good reason to return to your social media regularly.
The Event: Ginuary
Date: All of January
This is a relatively new social media event and simply consists of drinking different gins and gin cocktails in January, presumably with the leftover alcohol from Christmas.
What you could do for a Business post: If your online shop sells gin or anything which you could serve with gin (such as mixers or drink accessories like glass savers for example), now is a good time to make some Product posts and advertise offers.
What you could do for a Personal post: If you don’t sell alcohol, you could make it more personal by making cocktails and photograph these for your posts, detailing the process and the ingredients and detailing your success (or failure!). You could get really creative and theme these around your brand and have your friends or work colleagues taste test them for you.
The Event: Veganuary
Date: All of January
Veganuary consists of making a pledge not to eat meat, fish or dairy for the entire month of January. You can sign the pledge on the Veganuary website where you’ll also find a wealth of different recipes, starter kits and support (such as a list of restaurant chains who have a vegan menu).
What you could do for a Business post: If your online shop retails products which are all about health and wellbeing, this is an ideal event for you to get involved in, as you can make posts about your Products and any offers you have running. It’s also a good event for you to get involved with if you sell kitchen gadgets and utensils as veganism usually equals folks buying lots of difficult to prepare vegetables which is where your products would fit quite nicely.
What you could do for a Personal post: However, if your online shop sells items which can’t be related to Veganuary, you need to make a more personal post about yourself to get involved! For your social media, you could sign the pledge and make posts about the different vegan products you’ve tried and the different things you’ve eaten throughout the months. It doesn’t have to be exotic, Gordon Ramsay levels of cooking – remember beans on toast is still vegan! Again if you are successful in this mission, you could even post regular updates which would give potential customers a good reason to return to your social media regularly.
The Event: National Hangover Day
Date: 1st January
What you could do for a Business post: Again, this event is another excellent opportunity if your Products are all about health and wellbeing as you will no doubt be able to suggest some fantastic hangover cures and the Products to go with them.
What you could do for a Personal post: What is the best hangover cure you know? Suggest this to your followers and ask them what their go-to hangover cure is. From raw eggs and chilli sauce to salted peanuts, it’s a good opportunity to get involved and communicate with your followers.
The Event: New Year’s Day
Date: 1st January
What you could do for a Business post: If your online shop sells stationery this is ideal for you as your Products would be ideal for other stationery lovers doing the whole ‘New Year, new start’ type journaling. Any gym/sports/fitness related products work exceptionally well at this time of year too, so be sure to advertise your stock to take advantage of the ‘fresh start’ type posts that trend at the beginning of every year.
What you could do for a Personal post: You could also make a list of New Year’s Resolutions and if it’s suitable for public view, take a photo of them. Ask your followers if they have made any resolutions and what they are. This is another fantastic way to encourage interaction from your existing followers as well as gaining some new ones.
The Event: National Buffet Day
Date: 2nd January
What you could do for a Business post: If you retail products that are used in cooking, crockery or kitchen utensils, chances are that many of your products will fit this event well. Use some flatlay style images to depict the quality of your product range.
What you could do for a Personal post: Head a to your nearest buffet restaurant, or make your own buffet to use for your posts. If you’re just returning to work, make a buffet lunch for your staff to welcome them back after the holidays. Or take lots of photos of your buffet staples, because who doesn’t love a ‘hedgehog’ with pickled onion and cheese spikes?
The Event: National Personal Trainer Day
Date: 2nd January
What you could do for a Business post: If you sell gym equipment, clothing or similar Products, you can get involved with this event by suggestions presents for personal trainers.
What you could do for a Personal post: Not everyone has a personal trainer, but for those that do, take a photo of them to express your thanks and gratitude. Alternatively, if you’ve not got a personal trainer, but you do have ‘getting fit’ on your Resolutions list from January 1st, then take a photo of your ideal personal trainer and ask your followers if anyone can recommend a personal trainer locally for you.
The Event: National Science Fiction Day/National Sci-fi Day
Date: 2nd January
A relatively new social media event founded in America in 2012, this day celebrates all things sci-fi!
What you could do for a Business post: If your products are science fiction themed, then today is the day you need to post about the exciting product lines you have available, especially if it involves the classics like Star Trek and Doctor Who. Demonstrate your knowledge of the themes in the statuses so your followers realise that not only are you a stockist of their favourite sci-fi goods, but you’re a fountain of knowledge for them too.
What you could do for a Personal post: As not everyone will be back at work yet, why not binge on your favourite sci-fi movie or film and let your followers know what it is you’re watching. Of course, if you are a bit of a nerd, it doesn’t hurt to take photos surrounded by your collection of Dr Who collectables or dig out that photo from childhood of you on the Christmas you dressed up as Darth Vader.
The Event: The Festival of Sleep Day
Date: 3rd January
Another more recent social media event, the Festival of Sleep Day is a day created to deliberately get some shut-eye before your return to work.
What you could do for a Business post: If your products are related to sleeping, such as duvets, pillows, bedding, pyjamas and slippers for example – this will be your time to shine! Create updates for this day showcasing your finest lines to tempt your followers.
What you could do for a Personal post: Share photos of your slippers, your pyjamas and if it’s possible, the bed where you will be spending the next eight hours at least.
The Event: National Shortbread Day
Date: 6th January
What you could do for a Business post: If you sell cooking implements, recipe books (that just so happen to have shortbread recipes in them) or even better, actual shortbread, you need to make create some images that best depict your products today.
What you could do for a Personal post: Buy some shortbread, ideally from a local independent baker (#buylocal for bonus points!) and share it out amongst your staff with a cup of tea for a #team photo.
The Event: National Popcorn Day
Date: 19th January
What you could do for a Business post: If you sell decorative bowls and pans, this is a good day for you to create some product images to share online. Equally, if your shop sells DVDs or movie memorabilia – with a bit of imagination you could create some aspirational looks for Instagram.
What you could do for a Personal post: Make or buy popcorn and use it for a nice flatlay or serve it up as a treat for your staff. Run a poll amongst your followers to find out which is better – sweet or savoury.
The Event: Blue Monday
Date: 21st January
What you could do for a Business post: If you sell products that make people feel better – such as grooming or beauty lines, clothing and handbags for example – you should go with the angle that your products will make people feel better. You should also join this event if you products make life easier for folk, such as gadgets and tools that solve frustrating problems and useful productivity items.
What you could do for a Personal post: Apparently the most depressing day of the year, post today about things that make you and your brand happy to get involved with this event. You can run a poll here to find out what your followers would choose to do right now to cheer them up, and tailor the options around your target customers.
The Event: National Hug Day
Date: 21st January
What you could do for a Business post: Products which make hugs better – such as perfumes and aftershaves, big fluffy jumpers and cardigans, and luxury pet items (as they deliver hugs all year around!) do well on this day.
What you could do for a Personal post: Use Boomerang to make gifs of you hugging your staff, or your friends, or your pet to take part in this event.
The Event: National Pie Day
Date: 23rd January
What you could do for a Business post: If you sell cooking implements, baking trays, crockpots, recipe books or actual pies, then this is an ideal time for you to create some flatlays to show off your product lines and get people thinking about pies.
What you could do for a Personal post: After Fish & Chips – a staple for the British – especially the more Northern you go, is the humble pie. Get yourself a pie or two from a local independent baker (#buylocal), or be brave and cook your own – sweet or savoury matters not! As well as providing great content for photos, you can also ask your followers about their pie preferences – does anyone know the best place to buy a butter pie?
The Event: Sundance Film Festival
Date: 24th January – 3rd February
What you could do for a Business post: If you sell movie memorabilia and collectables, this is a good event for you to get involved in. Equally, if you sell products which can be related to cinema – such as luxury confectionery, you could create some nice flatlay photos and tag them to the event.
What you could do for a Personal post: If you or your target market are film buffs, then this is an excellent event to take part in. You could publish copies of any DVDs you have of previous winners’ films, or spend time finding out what is being submitted this year. This event is a good chance for you to increase interaction on your posts by discussing your thoughts on different films that have previously been screened at Sundance.
The Event: Burn’s Night
Date: 25th January
What you could do for a Business post: If you sell anything Scottish or Scottish Themed, this event would be good for you to join in. Also, if you sell cooking implements, recipe books and accessories, you would do well making posts about the traditional Burns’ Supper staples of haggis, neeps, tatties and bannocks.
What you could do for a Personal post: You could go the whole hog and purchase some haggis, or simply serve whisky and share your favourite Robert Burns poem. This is an ideal event if you sell whisky or anything that is Scottish themed, as you should be able to build on your followers by getting involved with this event.
The Event: National Storytelling Week
Date: 26th January – 2nd February
What you could do for a Business post: Fancy dress retailers can do well on this event, as many parents will be searching for outfits and accessories for their children to wear to school. Obviously, if you sell books, it would be worth making posts advertising your stock too – particularly the classics and ‘family’ books.
What you could do for a Personal post: Although it can be tempting if you have children to make posts about what your children are doing to celebrate this event at school, it would be more beneficial to use one of your own childhood photos of you reading a favourite book or a relative telling a story to you instead. Nostalgia is relatable to more people, especially if they recognise the book that you’re reading in the picture.
The Event: Australia Day
Date: 26th January
What you could do for a Business post: As most Australians get the day off for Australia day, if you ship your Products globally, it would be worth making posts featuring products that would make that time off a little more fun. From barbeques and accessories to Australian wine, create some photos of your products themed around this event.
What you could do for a Personal post: Find something that you love about Australia and photograph it – you can go for the usual generalisations here; shrimps on a barbie, hats with corks on them, koalas and so on, or if you’ve been lucky enough to visit the land Down Under, use your best holiday photos to join in with this trending event.
The Event: Big Garden Birdwatch
Date: 26th-29th January
What you could do for a Business post: Serious ‘twitchers’ are big business! If your online shop retails products that are used in birdwatching – binoculars, wellies, waterproof clothing, rucksacks, garden furniture, bird feeders, bird food and so on, now is your time to shine. Remind your followers in posts that you can supply items for this event if they’re taking part.
What you could do for a Personal post: You can register to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch on the RSPB’s website which involves counting and monitoring the activities of birds in your garden over a period of three days. You can take part in the Birdwatch, and if your products can be related to the activity – such as binoculars, pet food or similar – then be sure to photograph yourself taking part with your Products to hand.
The Event: International Chocolate Cake Day
Date: 27th January
What you could do for a Business post: If you sell cooking accessories, baking tins, recipe books, icing bags, luxury kitchenware, food dyes and so on, create some flatlays of your products or create Boomerangs of them being used. ‘Food porn’ images online at any time of year do well, as most people enjoy looking at pictures of well prepared and photographed meals, particularly desserts like cake.
What you could do for a Personal post: Make a cake or buy a cake and eat a cake! This is a good opportunity for you to create a staff photo whilst you all stop to eat cake, or alternatively, a flatlay or similar of a delicious slice of cake will do the job just as well.
Next month, we’ll be publishing a list of events that are due to run during February 2019 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.