The nights are drawing in, there's a chill in the air, leaves cover the ground, start growing strange and wonderful moustaches.

Growing a "mo" for Movember has become an autumnal tradition for many British men. And it's not in vain: Movember is a charity movement that started back in 2003 in Australia to support men's health—prostate and testicular cancer, as well as mental health and suicide prevention.

So how can you set up your business online to get customers excited about the cause? Here are some tips, and a look at how one barbershop is going about it.

When to start

Naturally, with a month-long event, Movember needs to get potential mo-growers excited in the preceding weeks, ready to grow their finest moustaches from November 1st. Planning ahead is key. Tools like Google Trends or the Google Keyword Planner can help you gauge interest online. You can see when the buzz starts, peaks and begins to fade away.

Use this to help you plan paid online advertising or time your posting schedule on social media for maximum engagement. If this isn't your first time getting involved, look back to last year in your analytics—via Google Analytics or other social-media analytics—for clues about what worked and what didn't.

Capture the online trends

This is a great year to get involved in Movember. Besides being a great cause, 2015 was the first year that men's grooming searches outpaced women's grooming searches.

Capturing this trend, Doug Bewley and his business partner Damian Noyce opened Middle Row Barbers in East Grinstead, West Sussex, just under a year ago. They had the idea of providing a comfortable, smart shop that men would be happy to spend some time in waiting for their haircut. The leather armchairs, free drinks and cool decor all add to the atmosphere.

Bewley saw the men's health cause as a natural fit for his new business, so the shop has planned a number of events and promotions in advance. Customers will be encouraged to get involved with free moustache trims in November, and Middle Row Barbers will set up a team page on the Movember website. Mo-growers will be able to track the progress of their upper lips on a Wall of Fame in the shop and can tag photos of their prize creations on the barbers' Facebook or Twitter page. At the end of the month, moustachioed hopefuls will be able to upload selfies to the Facebook page to compete for a number of prizes including Best Growth and Best Styled.

Some of the prizes on offer for Middle Row's Movember competition.

Running promotions

Middle Row Barbers customers are used to the regular competitions and offers Middle Row posts on Facebook, promoted using custom graphics created with free online tools like Canva. This helps the posts to stand out and look more professional in keeping with the shop's brand image.

Bewley says social media is "the obvious place to get the word out about Movember for a small business like ours and everyone is excited to show off their new moustaches and support the cause by sharing photos and gathering sponsors."

Building a community

Having fun with customers and generating a lot of buzz online is bound to be positive for Middle Row Barbers. Getting customers to interact with the Barbers' posts on Facebook will mean that they start to reach more people through comments, likes and shares from friends and family on the moustache pics. This creates some online word-of-mouth and is sure to send more customers through the doors in the following weeks.

More reach and engagement on Facebook or Twitter combined with paid post boosts is also likely to increase page followers. This means that the next offer or competition that the business shares will go out to more people and continue to build the business online.

Supporting a worthy cause like Movember is a great way to foster a sense of community with your customers and spread the message for men's health. If you do it right, you can grow your following and engagement online, which should translate into more sales. So, start growing that moustache.

This post is for educational purposes only. Google / The Digital Garage does not endorse any 3rd party brands mentioned.

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