We have recently celebrated International Women’s Day, and it seems that now, more than ever, people are using digital media platforms to #PressforProgress and instigate real world changes.
In recent years, we have been part of an emerging phenomenon – using online hashtags to direct and inform the debate on a host of social issues. The #IceBucketChallenge, #BlackLivesMatter, #LoveWins, or #MeToo movements are just a handful of the influential hashtags that have raised awareness for an array of issues and helped implement concrete changes.
Now, on International Women’s Day, we see a new hashtag come to the fore: #PressforProgress. The latest hashtag is a call-to-action for people around the world to start thinking and acting in a gender inclusive manner: it perfectly demonstrates the benefits of using social media platforms for bringing about positive change.
The hashtags and movements also demonstrate how social media is a brilliant platform for individuals, businesses and brands to share their views and support a cause. This distinctly modern platform enables people to move beyond their area of expertise, and to promote a cause they may otherwise have not been able to.
We have seen transport companies, digital and tech specialists and investment firms, to name but a few, celebrating their female colleagues. Regardless of the industry, by recognising the role that women play in the workforce and saluting the entrepreneurial spirit of women, businesses and brands worldwide can contribute to the movement. It’s an innovative way for businesses to show their solidarity, by simply tweeting, blogging or promoting a hashtag.
These crucial social media movements also bring to light another fact: the power of social media now seems to be endless. A digital world of imagery and hashtags is moving into the realms of reality, by informing the debate, changing the political mood and directly influencing social policies. Social media platforms and digital channels have the ability to start a movement, to inspire change and to alter attitudes.
While a hashtag may not fix such deeply entrenched societal problems, it’s an important platform for engaging, supporting and promoting a cause – and it’s a brilliant way for individuals, businesses and brands to endorse a movement.