The Women’s March took place on Saturday 21st January and it was one of the largest protests in US history and probably would have never happened without Facebook.
Recently Facebook has been a place for funny memes, fake news and a few horrific live-streaming incidents. However, the Women’s March and “sister marches” that took place around the US and globally wouldn’t have happened without the social media platform. As there were an estimated 3.7 million participants across the US.
The official Women’s March Facebook Page shows 234,000 attendees but there were various counts reporting more than half a million people at the march in Washington DC. Whilst third parties’ estimates put the DC protest at three times the size of the crowd attending the inauguration.
The march started off by a Hawaiian grandmother (Teresa Shook) who was disappointed by the November election. Teresa suggested to one of her Facebook groups that there should be a march and within 24 hours, thousands of people had expressed an interest. It rapidly spread and amplified and ultimately became the massive demonstration that took place on Saturday.
Through the art of social media, others started to show their support through other platforms and through different content: live streaming videos, photos, posts, check ins, sharing photos and status etc. This helped encourage more people to get involved as they were made aware of the cause; if they couldn’t get involved, they showed their support for the march through social media.
There were old and young people, females and males coming together as one for one cause.
A single person in Hawaii could make a suggestion on Facebook which then turned into a global event – potentially a new political movement. Nonetheless, this demonstrates how incredibly powerful social media can be as a marketing tool.