The Social Media Impact of International Women's Day

If there every was a year to get socially involved, 2018 is it. So how did brands celebrate International Women's Day on Instagram? With a healthy dose of girl power.


Women and Girls rule my world. #internationalwomensday #womenforwomen #bellafreud

A post shared by Bella Freud (@bella_freud) on

March 8th marks an important date on the calendar: it's International Women's Day. It's a time for everyone to stop and reflect on how much we've all been impacted by the women in our lives. It's a holiday where females everywhere can unapologetically celebrate themselves. And more importantly, it's a day to highlight not only the strides that have been made for equality, but also the work that's left to be done to achieve it.

March 8th serves as both an affirmation of solidarity and an empowering rallying cry to motivate and mobilize. And when it comes to marketing, it's a way for businesses to display their values and to show their fans they know how to use social media for social justice. It's a hot topic these days, and consumers increasingly care about mindful brands that moonlight as mild activists on Instagram. While posting about national doughnut day is all fun and good, there are a ton of other issues being discussed by millions of opinionated and engaged users every single day.

Seeing as the patriarchy has been in the news quite a bit as of late, not joining the Insta conversation about the world's Women's Day would make a modern biz seem tone-deaf. What makes March 8th particularly special is that it may highlight a specific gender, but it actually affects everyone. Because, well, girls run the world (ask Bey).

For the occasion, a ton of really awesome brands claimed their stake as outspoken community leaders through many an authoritative International Women’s Day campaign. Buisnesses asserting that they've got a handle on social justice issues in media is so 2018, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

With that in mind, we thought it would be interesting to see how it all transpired on the 'Gram, and what kinds of initiatives were taken by some smart brands, as well as the impact they had.

Women's Day On Insta

This is an instance where a hashtag greatly matters. Everyone posting about Women's Day was using the celebration's hashtag to have their voices heard and contribute to the narrative, brands included. The Dash Hudson platform was able to scrape upwards of 101,501 posts published in one single day for the #InternationalWomensDay hashtag. In those 24 hours alone, those posts garnered a reach of over 2.6 billion. We can see the major spike below:
International women’s day 2018, #IWD, Social justice on Instagram, Role of social media in social justice, hashtag reach

The photo with the highest reach after Instagram's own post is the below shot of the most famous Kardashian. Her post reached a cool 32.7 million users and garnered a 2.23% engagement rate (likely still climbing!), in comparison to her 1.94% average.
International women’s day 2018, #IWD, Social justice on Instagram, Role of social media in social justice, kim kardashian

Now let's dive into how some businesses fared with International Women's Day on Instagram.

Roger Vivier

The french luxury accessories house tapped ten on-brand fashion influencers to spread the message of its #RVWomensDay campaign. The company was donating a portion of all profits made to a charity that supports the less fortunate, and used some of its muses to broadcast the message. The result made for beautiful images that Roger Vivier's social team can use, while also effectively announcing the label's efforts to contribute to a global solution. Bravo.

Some of these girls' posts were extremely high performing, which is exactly what RV was looking to leverage:
International women’s day 2018, #IWD, Social justice on Instagram, Role of social media in social justice, Roger Vivier, #RVwomensday International women’s day 2018, #IWD, Social justice on Instagram, Role of social media in social justice, Roger Vivier, #RVwomensday

Aritzia

Aritzia went big and bold with its announcement about the company's plan of action to support and empower women in honor of the celebratory day. Without any fluff or superfluousness, the social team posted a simple message laying out what the brand's intentions were, delivered in a tone of unity. This resonated deeply with its audience in spite of having zero aesthetic appeal—just a direct, to-the-point streamlined text visual, which absolutely crushed in performance.

Not only did the post get almost triple its regular amount of likes, but its caption had a strong call-to-action asking fans to comment with a story of empowerment for donations to be made in their name. Now if that doesn't make a company look good, I don't know what does.

The post garnered an crazy engagement rate of 3.09%, compared to its already high 1.37%. That's more than double. Here are the numbers:
International women’s day 2018, #IWD, Social justice on Instagram, Role of social media in social justice, aritzia

Net-A-Porter

For the occasion, the luxury e-tailer went as far as creating a capsule collection with five different designers to collect funds for a women's charity. It was first teased in a post featuring Zoe Saldana a few days before March 8th, and then fully announced on Women's Day with a clip of powerful and influential women donning the specially-designed tees.

That same day, Net-A-Porter also announced a special sneaker whose sales would benefit another charity helping women. It was a big day of selflessness for the business, and its audience now probably loves the shop even more knowing that it's trying to make a social impact. In fact, both the t-shirts and sneakers are almost completely sold out.



A Wrinkle in Time

Whatever Oprah touches turns immediately to gold, as we know. Her latest cinematic endeavor, children's tale A Wrinkle in Time, is currently at the peak of its hype, having just been released in theaters. But it's also taking to the 'Gram to spread its message of girl empowerment. The movie's strong female leads tell a story of tenacity and substance, versus the usual vulnerability. It's already resonating deeply with its audience, clocking an average Instagram engagement rate of 6.06%

What better occasion than International Women's Day to promote its message that girls are a force? The video post below did just that, and was also broadcast on television to ensure an even broader reach. It received an engagement rate of 5.05%—while that's lower than the account's average, it remains incredibly high, especially for a video, on which people tend to engage less because the main action is simply to view it.

Oprah never ceases to use her influence for the greater good, and this is another fantastic example of her big-hearted clout.

International women’s day 2018, #IWD, Social justice on Instagram, Role of social media in social justice, a wrinkle in time oprah

The account also posted a group of girls at organization Grils Inc, which did really well for a post that wasn't related to the movie. It seems like it has the support of its fans about doing great things for the next generation of girls.
International women’s day 2018, #IWD, Social justice on Instagram, Role of social media in social justice, a wrinkle in time oprah

It's becoming increasingly important for businesses to lead the conversation about important issues in society and show their support for causes that their consumers care about. This generation is concerned with things that the previous one glossed over, and with a platform as powerful as social media, not getting involved is a missed opportunity to connect with audiences.

The four brands above showed their followers that they are not only thoughtful, conscious, and aligned with their beliefs, but that they are also really great at seizing marketing opportunities around the causes they support. Are social justice issues in social media the new black? Perhaps.


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