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Published March 8th 2024

How Brands Can Make an Impact During Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month, a month-long celebration, offers brands a great chance to connect with the audience and show solidarity and support for important women’s rights causes.

Every March, social media is buzzing with conversations about gender equality, reproductive rights, and ending violence against women. March is also the month when many consumers and companies shine a spotlight on women’s achievements to amplify their voices.

On March 8, we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), which plays a significant role in the worldwide fight for women’s rights.

For brands, both IWD and Women’s History Month provide a unique opportunity to join and influence the conversation, bolster their online presence, and align with causes that matter to their audience.

As we step into Women’s History Month, what can we learn from online conversations about International Women’s Day.

Let’s look at the data.

Methodology: We used Brandwatch Consumer Research to track English-language online mentions relating to International Women’s Day across social media, forums, blogs, and review sites.

A look inside the IWD online conversations

This year’s International Women’s Day has the potential to beat the previous years in terms of how many people have already joined the conversation. 

While the conversation overall saw a decline in 2022 and 2023, the topic has already gathered 88% more mentions between December 1, 2022 and March 5, 2023 compared to the same period last year, with 389k and 47k mentions, respectively. Similarly, the number of individuals discussing the topic has also grown by 89%, from 47k to 276.3k.

A growing conversation is a good sign for brands looking to get involved and show their support.

Key themes and topics driving the IWD discussions this year

Using a topic cloud, we visualized the most popular words and phrases in conversations relating to International Women’s Day. 

The data revealed that many conversations contained uplifting mentions, including “change,” “equality,” “community,” “inspire,” “achievements,” “support,” and “power.” 

What topics triggered positivity in conversations?

Our sentiment analysis showed that positive online opinions often focused on these four key areas:

  • Highlighting the accomplishments and impact of women in different fields
  • Spotlighting various initiatives that address women's issues globally and locally
  • Celebratory mentions recognizing outstanding contributions of women in media, entertainment, and business
  • Gender equality and advocating for women's support and rights

These brands received higher volumes of engagement on social media for their posts in solidarity with IWD. 

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Hashtags framing the IWD online conversation

Hashtags are essential for joining a conversation online. They ensure that brands are part of the discussion and help maximize their reach on social.

We looked at the most popular hashtags mentioned in conversations relating to IWD and Women’s History Month.

The hashtag #InvestinWomen, chosen by the UN, gathered 5,696 mentions.

While tagging content with highly popular hashtags helps brands join the border conversation, adding a more niche or community-focused hashtags can increase brand visibility within specific audiences.

Using popular hashtags in combination with more targeted ones allows brands to do both: reach the wider audience while also stand out among targeted communities.

Using a Boolean query, we searched for other IWD-themed hashtags mentioned in conversations between December 1, 2023 and March 5, 2024. 

We spotted many niche hashtags with fewer mentions but perhaps a more targeted audience, like #womeninblockchain, #womenintech, and #womeninstem. Here are a few examples and the size of their conversations:

  • #womenempowerment — 2,736
  • #womenintech — 1493
  • #womeninstem — 946
  • #herstory — 845
  • #womensupportingwomen — 756
  • #womeninscience — 727
  • #womeninbusiness — 690
  • #womened — 669
  • #womeninblockchain — 641
  • #girlpower — 409
  • #proudbluewomen — 397
  • #yesshecan — 347
  • #realitybasedwomen24 — 331
  • #womandeminers — 327
  • #empowerher — 296

This is not an exhaustive list. Most sectors and industries have their own niche hashtags; think #womeninconstruction and #womeninmining. And many other hashtags are used to amplify women online, like #girlpreneur, #fempire, and #bosslady.

For more inspiration, you can head over to Instagram, tap #women or your specific keyword in the search bar, and explore the suggestions as well as the volume of posts associated with those hashtags. 

By using more targeted hashtags, brands can potentially position themselves in front of a more targeted audience, while also showing off the company’s values.

7 tips for brands to remember during Women’s History Month

1. Walk the talk

Consumers always pay close attention to what brands have to say. And more and more, consumers expect brands to back up their words with action.

In the past, we’ve written about brands rainbow-washing their social media posts during Pride Month, frequently inspiring consumer outrage online.

Today, it’s essential for companies to align their social media game with their mission. Brands should avoid talking about international awareness days if they can’t (metaphorically or actually) link back those posts to their company’s efforts and values.

2. Engage your audience with knowledge-sharing

This post from Navy Medicine is asking a trivia question about who the first woman was to work in Navy Medicine. A post like this is engaging because it encourages interaction from followers. As soon as you click on the post, you'll immediately see the poll results and the correct answer. 

3. Encourage user-generated content spotlighting women 

This X post by Xiaomi invites users to participate in a contest celebrating unique women in the #XiaomiCommunity. The post encourages the audience to share what makes these women special. This approach is effective because it engages the community, celebrates women's uniqueness, and offers an incentive to encourage participation.

On top of that, in this post, Xiaomi is asking their followers to use their branded hashtag, which could significantly enhance their brand visibility.

4. Empower women interested in self-development

This X post by Binance promotes their Women Academy Mentor Program, aiming to empower women interested in self-development. The post is effective because it leverages social media to reach their target audience and highlights the importance of female mentors in inspiring and guiding others. This helps create a supportive community of women in the cryptocurrency field.

5. Employ storytelling to tell a personal story

The post effectively showcases the positive impact of the Premier League Communities' Youth Panel program through Gloria's personal testimonial. This post also demonstrates the organization's commitment to fostering youth empowerment and social responsibility, especially in the context of International Women's Day and Women’s History Month.

6. Share a look back in history

The post highlights Jen Pawol's achievement as the first woman to umpire an MLB Spring Training game in over a decade and acknowledges the women who influenced her. This post is effective as it celebrates a significant milestone for women in sports, promotes diversity and inclusion, and aligns with the theme of Women's History Month.

7. Show gratitude, inspire appreciation

The post expresses gratitude to women who have contributed to baseball's development, broken barriers, and inspired others. This post works because it celebrates the achievements and contributions of women in baseball while promoting inclusivity and recognition of their impact.

Joining the conversation

Participating in international awareness days is a great way for brands to enhance their regular social media plan and connect their company's efforts to broader issues. It allows brands to engage in trending topics, connect authentically with their audience, and show their brand’s human side. 

International holidays also offer brands a chance to strengthen their employer branding by highlighting your company's values and ongoing initiatives, such as those related to empowering women. 

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