What to Say on Social Media for International Women’s Day 2020

- by Alyson Shane

Is your business ready to celebrate International Women's Day 2020?

Sunday, March 8 2020 is International Women's Day (or 'IWD'), an annual celebration of the important contributions women make to our businesses and communities, and to reflect on the work that's still needed to build towards a truly equal and equitable society.

As businesses, this is our opportunity to lend our voices to an important discussion. But that doesn't mean we should be happy with just ReTweeting someone else's post, or throwing up a generic "Happy IWD 2020" post and calling it a day.

It's more important than ever for businesses to find ways to tell stories about their brand, and leading the discussion with your own content articulates a strong point of view while also showcasing your brand's core values and purpose across your social media.

Luckily, it's easier than ever to tell thoughtful stories on social media. Here's how you can capitalize on storytelling for International Women's Day 2020:

1. Get Input From Women in Your Company

The first thing you need to do to prepare to celebrate IWD 2020 is to talk to the women in your business about the key challenges they feel need to be addressed to achieve equality in the workplace.

Whether that's not being talked-over by male colleagues, trying to succeed in male-dominated industries, or figuring out how to carve out a career path, the women you work with probably have strong feelings on these topics that you can draw from to create honest and appropriate content for the day.

Remember: "diversity" doesn't just apply to gender. Make a point to talk to women from diverse ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and across age groups to get as much information and insight as you can.

2. Increase Value by Being Specific

Anyone social media manager knows how easy it is to craft a post that says "Happy International Women's Day! We support diversity in the workplace" and consider the job done.

While this type of post may get you a few likes, but a generic post doesn't add to the larger conversation about equality, women's rights, or addressing diversity in the workplace.

A more generic post also suggests that you haven't taken the time to understand the event besides looking into which hashtag is being used this year.

Consider that International Women's Day has a history that dates back to the early 1900s, and has been highlighting women's rights and achievements since before diversity and inclusion became a priority in many companies. 

Considering how long it's been celebrated, it probably comes as no surprise that how we celebrate International Women's Day changes from year to year. This year the theme is "Each for Equal" - here's what their website says:

An equal world is an enabled world.
Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day.
We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements.
Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.
Let's all be #EachforEqual.

Your social media strategy should speak directly to how your business is working to create a more equal world for everyone.

That could mean hiring more women, creating a mentorship or peer-networking program, or participating in conferences that focus on women in business, like SHEday here in Manitoba. 

You should also consider using the 2020 hashtag #EachforEqual to show that you're speaking specifically to this year's event, as well as ongoing, more general hashtags like #IWD and #IWD2020 to make sure your posts are included in searches for similar kinds of content.

3. Be Creative With Your Creative

One of the keys to being successful this IWD is to do a little pre-planning to help save time (ad sanity) before March 8th.

For example, instead of posting a single image or post, develop a series of posts that can be added to your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram profiles (bonus points if you use Instagram Stories to share your International Women's Day stories!)

While planning your creative, remember that different social networks favour different kinds of content.

For example, while a post featuring short text with an image and a URL leading back to your website is perfect for Twitter, Instagram's layout requires a stronger visual strategy and doesn't let you link to URLs in the body of your posts. 

Once you've decided which social platforms to post to, take time to tailor your messages to each platform's requirements so they stand out and shine.

Walk the Walk

This year's theme for International Women's Day 2020 is "Each for Equal," and that doesn't just mean posting about quality for 24 hours and then ignoring these values until the same time next year.

Use International Women's Day as an opportunity to share how your business is addressing diversity issues in the workplace, and keep the conversation going - not just on social media, but around the board room table.

Take the time to listen to the women in your organization are saying, and use International Women's Day 2020 day as an opportunity to show that you're committed to a more balanced, equal future for everyone.

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**This post was originally published for International Women's Day 2019, and has been updated to include new and relevant info.**