Facebook is great: as a social butterfly. But it's not optimized for large-scale events. Going forward the Women's Day March needed an online tool particular to their needs; one that could mobilize millions of people and bridge the generation gap. 79% of millennials use Facebook and 75% of Generation Z's are on Instagram.
The largest march in US history happened because of women.
Realizing this, the organizers of this year's Women's March in L.A. encouraged 300,000 attendees to try new smartphone apps designed to help support advocacy campaigns.
SameSide is a social networking app that uses push notifications and calendar reminders to increase supporters. It also features location-based tech like HERE's Geocoding to find and organize databases of like-minded people. The new app allowed coordinators to motivate the crowd before the event and then transfer that energy into broader engagement via post-march meetings and fundraisers.
"There is a 'to-do' list after marching, The draw to Sameside is how people can plug in… to continue the movement via your phone is critical."
Acknowledging the increasing presence and influence of art in everyday life, L.A. leaders also wanted to incorporate visual art.
Enter in Mark AR: an app that uses augmented reality and persistent cloud layers to help users create virtual street art installations. Of its many features, Mark AR encourages participants (and the public alike) to engage with International Women's Day 365 days a year. In Los Angeles, the company worked with six international artists to create art at specific sites along the march route.
Using the app's mapping and point of interest tools, people joined in the campaign while exploring a more creative path via their smartphones. “Any movement encompasses art," says Guereca. “Social justice art, technology and the movement really melded for us. Even though it's technology, it's organic."
Getting to the heart of women's day protestors means gaining access to the palm of their hands.
What it boils down to is this: spreading the word to a millennial or younger audience is easier if you're using an app. While it might sound cliché, it's also never been more true: the personal is political, or social at the very least.
And no one knows that better than a generation born on social media.