A digital take on International Women’s Day 2016

International Women’s Day generates huge activity online every year. Yesterday, on the #IWD2016 hashtag there were more than 1 million tweets worldwide. Individuals were thanking women in their lives. Celebrities used the hashtag to celebrate ‘strong, independent women’. Politicians speak about what needs to happen next. The volume of traffic on these hashtags shows that the online community is listening. And so the opportunities for companies to take part in the conversation and demonstrate their commitment to equalities issues are endless.

So what did companies do?

Eat’s approach mixed online with offline. Using an old fashioned gesture of gifting, the coffee shop chain showed appreciation to female customers by giving them free hot drinks yesterday. This generated social media activity from pleased customers sharing pictures on Twitter, which Eat replied to and retweeted, starting a new conversation online.

Innocent used their employees to showcase that they value equal opportunities. They included their employees in a tweet to mock a well-known controversial marketing decision now retweeted more than 1.6 thousand times.

Western Union focused on one specific case study. They marked International Women’s Day by announcing their financial support to train a woman to become one of South Africa’s first female pilots. The video that promotes her success has had more than 550,000 views on YouTube.

It is expected that the media will run op-eds from women leaders on International Women’s Day to offer and celebrate their insight. The Scotsman took it one step further completing rebranding as the Scotswoman for one day. It was a complete overhaul: from the header on their website, to their name on Twitter, to the print edition. The Scotsman backed up their meaningful content with a strong visual statement.

There was a trend for tech companies to launch campaigns concerning women in the industry.

  • Indiegogo launched an initiative to mentor female entrepreneurs.
  • BT, Ericsson, O2 and Vodafone joined forces to promote STEM careers to girls at school.
  • By partnering with organisations like Girls Talk London and Girls in Tech the companies ensure their campaigns are credible and effective.
  • Digital tactics, through infographics and blog writing amplify the initiatives.

The breadth of online activity during yesterday’s International Women’s Day signals a real effort across industries to mark an occasion and influence change. We wait to see the progress achieved over the next year.

Written By

Anya O'Shea