On the 8th March every year, the world comes together in celebrating and commemorating the movement for women’s rights. With the continuing dominance and development of the digital world, along with the rise in popularity and usage of social media in recent years, International Women's Day tapped into our emotions, leveraging the digital landscape to create an active, global community.
IWD highlights what the power of creating an online community can do for a brand. By putting your audience and consumer at the heart of what you do, they immediately become more engaged and interested in what you have to say.
Across the globe, social media was used as a platform in which big brands were able to share and show support, leading to the media, major tabloids and magazines picking up the stories to heighten and reinforce its importance. Along with global influencers, the official International Women’s Day campaign has created a huge presence across all social media channels. Their following on both Facebook and Twitter is over 100k and the hashtag #internationalwomensday has over 4.5 million posts on Instagram, instantly proving an active, online community.
The movement also offers insight into the growing trend of User Generated Content and how it works. Along with big brands, through social media acting as a central hub, the movement gained traction rapidly and spurred others on, in solidarity, to getting involved through interaction online. With the hashtag #internationalwomensday, people were able to give their opinion or tell their story, contributing to a collection of personal, accessible and emotion-felt content worldwide.
2017 saw a rise in companies incorporating user generated content into their campaigns and proved its success.
Spotify’s user generated content campaign at the end of 2017 ‘2018 Goals’ is a great example. With strong data, Spotify gave a glimpse into the weird and wonderful lives of its users, with billboards displaying ‘Be as loving as the person who put 48 Ed Sheeran song on their ‘I Love Gingers’ playlist.’
Prior to this, the ‘2017 Wrapped’ campaign allowed Spotify users to delve into their own music stats from the past year, showing your own likes and preferences in order to create super personal content that resonated with each and every user individually.
Why it works:
And brands joined the community too ...
British Airways were another big brand celebrating IWD. On the 6th March the airline operated an all-female flight from London Heathrow to Glasgow. All 61 employees involved in the flight, from baggage handlers to the pilots, were female. Part of the stunt was to encourage and inspire the next generation of female pilots into a currently male-dominated role.
In honour of 2018’s IWD and showing its sisterly solidarity, a McDonald's in California (for the first time in the brand’s history) flipped its famous golden arches to form a W. Adding to this, they also changed their logo across all of their digital channels, again raising awareness online. With the Global Chief Diversity officer stating;
So today we say thank you and celebrate the achievements of many and tomorrow we continue our collective journey to gender equality and diversity.
This gives a great example, similarly to BA, of a brand showing both support and solidarity towards their consumers and employees.
Along with brands pulling PR stunts whilst showing great support, influencers too, took to social media for IWD.
As of late, there has been a lot of talk around influencers and their position within the digital climate. In the world of marketing, more and more brands are looking to implement them into their strategies due to both their reach and power towards a desired audience.
With social media as their stage, many figures have played a key part in raising awareness for IWD globally. Online influencers such as In The Frow (who has a whopping 825k instagram followers), along with this celebrities such as Rihanna, David Beckham and Kim Kardashian (who have a combined following of over 211 million people) took to posting on their social media accounts - joining the community by hashtagging #internationalwomensday.
Rihanna’s Instagram story from 8th March highlights how influencer’s and celebrities are projecting IWD beyond just the the day itself, showing how the message isn’t confined to a single day but rather should be acknowledged and appreciated continually. From a marketing perspective, this is great evidence of how, alongside a strong strategy, influencers and brands together are able to reach out and resonate with an engaged audience to deliver a message well beyond a single campaign.
Even Twitter has got in on the event, automatically adding the female sign emoji to all #internationalwomensday tweets!
By drawing visual attention to this hashtag, Twitter unites the IWD community even further, providing consistency throughout the wide array of tweets on the socially important day, and even after the event!
2018’s International Women's Day has highlighted once again the power and opportunity our digital world presents for your brand or movement by creating an online community where followers and influential figures and even companies, from around the world can fluidly connect in solidarity, sharing their thoughts and feelings on the same topic.
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