What do freedom of information, biodiesel, corned beef and cabbage, and a world shortage of shoes have in common? The answer is that they all have awareness days dedicated to them this week.
You’ll no doubt have seen many of these theme days – some very important and some incredibly tenuous – cropping up on social media and the wider internet, and not a day goes by when there isn’t something to address or celebrate.
For example, today you can commemorate any of the following:
• Pi Day (a celebration of the number 3.14159265359, which is how many times longer than its diameter a circle’s circumference is)
• Fill Our Staplers Day (a twice-yearly occurrence on which office workers are encouraged to put the time aside to ensure their staplers are loaded with plenty of ammunition)
• National Potato Chip Day (or ‘crisps’, as we much more sensibly call them on this side of the Atlantic)
• The start of National Apprenticeship Week
However silly or serious these occasions are, they always get people talking. Some sites even offer to help you get one of your own started.
In many cases, nobody even knows the origin of these events, but you’ll often see them popping up on the left hand side of your Twitter screen among the day’s trending topics. For businesses using social media, it’s always worth looking out for these, as you can often relate them back to your business with a bit of creativity.
For example, you might think the only businesses that could make anything of National Potato Chip Day are ones that make or sell crisps, but that shows a lack of imagination. Consider how many other types of chip there are. Businesses involved in computing, carpentry, gambling or even dentistry might come across ‘chips’ of varying sorts on a day-to-day basis. Even something as simple as “we prefer this kind of chip #NationalPotatoChipDay” shows that you’re keeping on top of what Twitter is talking about and linking it back to your own services.
One of the more high-profile and important of these awareness days cropped up last Tuesday, when International Women’s Day was observed, highlighting such issues as the pay gap between men and women that exists in developed countries, as well as the lack of women’s rights in less developed ones. Many businesses, especially female-owned ones, had something to say about the day and Kim Kardashian chose to mark the occasion by tweeting a naked selfie, which was both relevant and appropriate.
The date also piqued the attention of comedian Richard Herring, who noted that a number of men were bitterly asking why there’s no International Men’s Day. In the classic style of a professional comedian with too much time on his hands, Herring spent more or less the whole day pointing out to them that there is, and it’s on November 19th, seemingly devoting so much effort to the cause that he was struggling to change his baby daughter’s nappies.
When theme and awareness days come round, you don’t have to go to quite the lengths Herring did to make his point, but it’s certainly worth bookmarking sites that list them, or even creating a database of the ones that offer you the most scope for engagement.