UN Women sees major social spike after Emma Watson speech

UN Women saw an 82% increase in Twitter followers, a 305% uptick in Facebook likes, and 3,500% jump in Instagram followers in the 24 hours following actress Emma Watson's speech in support of the HeForShe campaign.

NEW YORK: UN Women saw an 82% increase in Twitter followers, a 305% uptick in Facebook likes, and 3,500% jump in Instagram followers in the 24 hours following actress Emma Watson’s speech in support of the HeForShe campaign.  

The HeForShe initiative challenges men to support gender equality, and so far, nearly 80,000 men have taken the #HeForShe pledge since Saturday, closing in on the UN organization’s initial goal of 100,000 signatures and one step closer to one billion.

Ogilvy Public Relations is handling social media for the #HeForShe pledge, as well as acting as a senior advisor to UN Women and working with the organization’s executive director, said Jennifer Risi, MD of Ogilvy Media Influence and head of North American media relations at the agency.

On Saturday, Ogilvy also handled earned media around the campaign’s launch event at the UN headquarters in New York.

UN Women took the unconventional route of recruiting men to support gender equality in the HeForShe campaign, generating support from celebrities and political figures along the way, explained Risi.

"The power of the celebrity is still huge," said Risi, who added that all social media growth has been organic, with no promoted tweets or posts.

She added that the organization’s success was a culmination of "right place, right time," with the UN General Assembly also meeting in New York on Saturday. Big screen star Leonardo DiCaprio addressed the UN on climate change on Tuesday as "a concerned citizen."

An Associated Press story ran ahead of the HeForShe event over the weekend, followed by posts to Facebook and Twitter by the UN and sponsors, such as JP Morgan Chase, said Risi. There was also a live webcast broadcasting during the event.  

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was the first to sign the pledge, she added. Moving forward, UN Women will look at how it can make awareness "even more substantive."

Watson’s speech on Saturday generated conversation on Twitter that has propelled into the week as more celebrities lend their voices to the cause. Other celebrities, such as movie and TV star Kiefer Sutherland, also attended the event.

Emma Watson’s speech has garnered more than 2.6 million views on YouTube since Sunday.

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