Celebrating Pride Month in the digital world: Many companies have gotten it wrong (some VERY wrong), and others have nailed it. If you want to acknowledge and celebrate Pride in your brand's online content this month, here are the biggest do's and don'ts to remember.
Do go beyond the bare minimum. Don't treat it like a box to be checked off.
If your only plans for the month are to change your brand's profile pics to rainbow logos, try to go deeper. Here are some ideas to spark your creativity:
- Brainstorm thoughtful, valuable content you could include in your social media content calendar for June.
- Write a few posts about historical or current LGBTQ+ trailblazers in your industry.
- Highlight LGBTQ+ employees and their contributions to your company.
- Partner with local LGBTQ-owned companies to showcase their products or services on your pages. Giving LGBTQ+ businesses some love on your social media is a great way to show real support for the community beyond just changing a logo.
- Donate to LGBTQ+ organizations and invite your followers to contribute. This is your company's opportunity to put their money where their mouth is. Actions speak louder than words, especially during Pride Month.
One great example comes from Abercrombie & Fitch, who kicked off Pride Month early by announcing their donation to The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ young people. They also worked with LGBTQ+ talent for this content and launched a fashionable pride collection in partnership with The Trevor Project.
Do think outside of the box. Don't be boring.
Pride is about expression. Have fun with your posts! Here are some more ideas to spark MORE creativity:
- Create and share a Pride Month playlist. Get your team or employees involved by asking for song recommendations and creating a Spotify playlist full of LGBTQ+ anthems. Check out our own example from the Random team!
- Compile and share a list of other LGBTQ+ media recommendations, like the books, shows, or movies your team is loving this month.
- Collaborate with LGBTQ+ digital influencers for top-notch Pride content.
Your audience will notice if you treat Pride Month content like a box to check off (Cool, we made a pretty post with a rainbow, we're done). Authenticity goes a long way, and you don't want to come across as only fulfilling an obligation and nothing more. Put some effort in, y'all. Let's make this month's social media content a true celebration of the LGBTQ+ community!
Do be mindful of your representation. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
An important part of creating Pride content on your brand's social media is being mindful of how you might be depicting LGBTQ+ individuals in your posts or ads.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you triple-check posts before hitting publish:
- If utilizing models for photos, is there adequate representation of different races, abilities, and genders?
- Could any of the imagery or copy be construed to uphold offensive stereotypes about the LGBTQ+ community?
If you're in doubt, this is when it can come in handy to consult a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) expert in your organization or collaborate with LGBTQ+ members of your team and community.
Do have a community management plan. Don't let any hate win.
Unfortunately, now more than ever, celebrating Pride online can come with some backlash. It's good to have a plan for responding to any hateful comments that might appear on your posts this month.
One strategy is to hide any and all derogatory comments. This strategy can work if your brand's values align more with creating a safe space for LGBTQ+ followers on your page.
Another strategy is to respond to hateful comments. This can take more time and resources, but it can be worth it if your brand is focused on starting conversations and educating people.
Check out more tips for community management during Pride Month here.
Do continue your efforts after June is over. Don't forget about inclusion year-round.
Many brands let themselves fall victim to this phenomenon. No, we're not saying brands need to keep a rainbow logo all year round. But diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts shouldn't be contained to one month per year.
Some ideas for you:
- Sprinkle Pride content throughout the year.
- Create connections with local LGBTQ+ organizations and individuals you can promote monthly.
The point here is to really take time to acknowledge, celebrate, and welcome people from all communities and identities that may be in your audience online.
More than ever, consumers are watching brands and expecting them to make clear stances on social causes. Brands and corporations have incredible power to influence and change the world for the better. That responsibility is one to be taken seriously.
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