7 tips for creating impactful pride month social media posts

Khoros Staff

Pride Month is a time when people come together to celebrate, honor, and show support for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. Celebrated every year in June, it’s important to reflect on the lengths we’ve come and to recognize the work that remains to be done for the LGBTQ+ community. As individuals, we showcase our support of Pride in a variety of ways, but what about the role of enterprise brands in Pride Month?

In this article, we’ve included tips on creating impactful Pride Month social media posts, including examples of brands doing it right.

How your brand can truly support Pride Month and the LGBTQ+ community

Perhaps the most important question to ask yourself, as an enterprise brand, is not how to enter the Pride Month conversation but whether you’ve yet established any lasting and genuine relationship with the LGBTQ+ community — both within your company and beyond your walls.

If not, then your brand should first and foremost consider its responsibility to drive community outcomes every day of the year. If an advertiser is not a truly positive partner of the LGBTQ+ community, it simply has no business benefiting from it. If a brand cannot speak to how it plans to support and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community directly, it should not join trending social conversations or benefit from high engagement rates during Pride Month.

This distinction is crucially important between action and lip service, community and brand motivation.

By now, brands understand that speaking up about social causes benefits them. The Edelman Earned Brand Study found that “51% [of consumers] will be more loyal buyers of a brand that speaks up, compared with those that remain silent.” They also found that “48% will advocate for and defend a brand that speaks up.” Also, according to Cone Communications, “Millennials represent $2.45 trillion in spending power and are 60% more likely to engage with brands that discuss social causes.”

However, the fact that social advocacy can now benefit marketers and advertisers means it can be taken advantage of. A brand must first and continually act in support of LGBTQ+ rights: speaking up in a way that makes sense for your brand and creates an actual impact in the community is far more important than social media-based lip service.

The don’ts of Pride social media posts

Brands who randomly show up during Pride to temporarily flash and market their support for the LGBTQ+ community get called out for it on social media.

Twitter users continue to openly denounce opportunistic brands. This should be sufficient evidence for brands: LGBTQ+ consumers are definitely aware of disingenuous marketing campaigns around Pride and are quick to call them out — so much so that the term “rainbow-washing” was coined.

According to Urban Dictionary, rainbow-washing is “the act of using or adding rainbow colors and/or imagery to advertisements, apparel, accessories, landmarks, et cetera, in order to indicate progressive support for LGBTQ+ equality (and earn consumer credibility) with a minimum of effort or pragmatic result.”

Just as brands rush to market themselves as green or create pink versions of their product in “support” of breast cancer research (hence the terms “green-washing” and “pink-washing”), they also often incorporate a rainbow into their logo or product as a statement of allyship. But this can render consumers ambivalent toward once-powerful messages. Today’s LQBTQ+ consumers and their allies want brands to walk the walk to capitalize on Pride for their business.

In other words, it’s always important to create authentic content and practice what you preach.

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7 tips on creating impactful Pride Month social media posts

As we’ve seen, you can’t simply jump on a Pride Month advertising bandwagon and expect an amazing response, because there’s a major risk for backlash — and more importantly, it’s important for your company to practice what it preaches. So, if your brand is active in its support of the LGBTQ+ community and is ready to take a stand on social media, how can you make sure your Pride campaign lands well with your audience?

Here are some great strategies to help brands succeed in their Pride Month social media campaigns.

1. Educate your team and followers

Marketing is a tool that can be used to educate, advocate, and raise awareness. But often, it can miss the beat if your marketing team isn’t in tune with the community you’re targeting. So before you create Pride marketing campaigns and social posts, make sure your team is educated on the struggles the LGBTQ+ community faces so you can effectively advocate.

Pride Month is a great time to share this knowledge with your followers now. You can share the history of Pride or highlight internal stories of employees who are a part of this community and are comfortable sharing their experiences.

2. Share your company's DEI goals

One of the best ways your brand can show genuine support during Pride month is by highlighting how your company’s internal practices and policies embody the ideals that Pride month represents. If your company has specific diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives that support LGBTQ+ employees, Pride Month can be a time to highlight this.

For example, in 2015, Gap Inc. participated in GLAAD’s #GotYourBack campaign by sharing a video that featured 13 Gap Inc. employees who spoke about their different coming-out experiences. This participation shows that Gap Inc. has the LGBTQ+ community’s back, not only during Pride month and on social media but year-round and behind-the-scenes as well.

When you dive deeper into Gap Inc.’s diversity and inclusion efforts, you find that their brand has a strong commitment to equality and diversity in the workplace. They have an employee resource group called Gap Gay Employees, Allies, and Resources (GEAR). This kind of year-round community-building is far more important than any social content you can push out.

3. Align with who you are as a brand

One way to ensure genuine Pride Month activism through social media is to align your efforts with the services and products at the core of your brand’s identity. For example, if you’re not an apparel brand, think twice before creating and selling rainbow t-shirts.

In 2017, YouTube launched their #ProudToBe campaign, in which they elevated the coming out stories of many of their platform’s most popular queer creators. And how exactly did they elevate these stories, you ask? Video. What do we know YouTube for? Videos. It just makes sense. Popular streaming service Hulu also leveraged its strengths in 2020 to bring LGBTQ+-focused stories to the forefront:

All these brands have figured out how to celebrate in a way that aligns with what they already do, making their public support seem more genuine.

4. Show support year-round

Another key part of Pride month is realizing there’s still work to be done. So how can your brand create an even greater impact in the community? Keep in mind that there are other dates throughout the year to post about to continue to show your support as a brand:

  • March: Bisexual Health Awareness Month

  • March 31: International Transgender Day of Visibility

  • April 26: Lesbian Visibility Day

  • May 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

  • May 24: Pansexual and Panromantic Visibility Day

  • July 14: International Non-Binary People’s Day

  • September 23: Celebrate Bisexuality Day

  • October: LGBTQA+ History Month

5. Collaborate with LGBTQ+ content creators

Partnering with diverse creators can help your brand stand out on social media. As a brand, it’s important to represent people from all walks of life, and during Pride, it’s best practice to support LGBTQ+ community members is encouraging them to speak up and have creative control.

When BetterHelp launched PrideCounseling back in 2017, the online therapy company partnered up with Jammidodger — an LGBTQ+ creator and author who often posts videos on gender identity and other LGBTQ+ issues. The creator shared how the mental health care service personally helped him years ago when he struggled with gender dysmorphia. Hiring and collaborating LGBTQ+ creators can show your brand’s commitment to supporting this community not only during Pride but year-round.

6. Amplify LGBTQ+ organizations

Use your social media platform for good by pairing your social posts with meaningful action. You can show your support in several ways:

  • Share a nonprofit organization that supports the LGBTQ+ community on your social media to raise awareness

  • Publicly fundraise on socials during Pride for an LGBTQ+ organization

  • Donating as a brand to support the organization’s work

  • Supporting the brand in other ways such as having employees volunteer or do pro bono work

7. Live stream an event with LGBTQ+ speakers and activists

Brands can also plan a virtual event inviting an LGBTQ+ speaker or activist to come out and speak to your team during Pride Month. A way you can engage both employees and your following is by live-streaming the event so everyone can participate in the Pride Month activity. Of course, make sure to ask for permission from the speaker first.

You could even use the event as a way to fundraise for a nonprofit by asking each attendee to donate a certain amount to attend the live stream. All American Entertainment Speakers provides a list of LGBTQ+ speakers and activists in various U.S. states.

While there are many brands out there who participate in Pride successfully, these tips are key because they bring up three very important questions every brand should ask themselves:

  • What is my brand doing internally to support LGBTQ+ rights?

  • Does this campaign align with who we are and what we do as a brand?

  • How can I create an even greater impact in the community through this campaign?

Keeping these three questions in mind will help you to develop impactful yet genuine Pride Month social media posts. After all, it’s not about marketing your brand to a certain audience. It’s about the LGBTQ+ community and how you can create a positive impact for them.

5 Pride posts from brands that do it right

Brands that have established genuine relationships with the LGBTQ+ community can enhance their support through Pride Month corporate messages. Many Pride Monthcompany posts do a great job of this, and here are a few that really exemplify the right type of messaging.

1. Filigree Patisserie – A small business dedicated to giving back

Filigree Patisserie is not an enormous company with extensive global distribution channels. They make great sweets and have a mouth-watering Instagram account. But even if they’re not a mega-conglomerate, this doesn’t stop them from giving back to the LGBTQ+ community. In this Pride Month company post, they highlight their work with the community and their continued dedication to it:

2. Target – A Pride Month corporate message that comes from the right place

So many social media posts during Pride Month express a brand’s support for or commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, but not many go the extra mile to highlight the incredible stories that make that community so strong. That’s exactly what Target has done here, with an Instagram post that shares the story of Leah Johnson, a queer Black author:

3. Procter and Gamble – A company that supports the LGBTQ+ community during tough times

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected communities with many still experiencing difficult times years down the line. Back in 2021, the prospect of not being able to properly celebrate Pride was a real downer. That’s why Procter and Gamble created #CantCancelPride, a campaign that not only brings people together but also fundraises to support the community. They highlight that campaign in a beautiful way on their Instagram page:

4. Lucy & Yak – A clothing brand that gets it right year-round

Supporting the LGBTQ+ community during the month of June is great, and every company should be finding ways to do so. But the community doesn’t exist for only one month per year. That’s why some of the best posts about the LGBTQ+ community aren’t really Pride Month posts at all. Lucy & Yak, a clothing brand based in the UK, supports the trans community specifically by sticking to one sizing system (instead of a binary “men’s” and “women’s” sizing system). They also highlight some of their customers on their social media accounts, as in this Instagram post:

5. Adobe – A company leading by example

As we’ve seen, Pride Month isn’t the only time to support the community; for the best brands, it’s a year-round priority. Adobe, a computer software company, does just that. By launching a special series of Prime-themed episodes, Create Change, the company aimed to support, elevate, and celebrate underrepresented creators. 

They worked with GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ+ media advocacy organization, on the video series, sharing their commitment to the LGBTQ+ community in their Pride Month social post below:

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Seamlessly manage your brand’s presence on social media with Khoros

Celebrating Pride Month as a brand on social media takes more than one post – it requires continuous effort throughout the year. Easily stay on top of planning, scheduling, and publishing social media posts with Khoros Social Media Management software. 

Khoros brings your brand’s social media accounts, campaigns, and the people who manage them into one place for seamless collaboration. Monitor trends and what people are saying about your brand through tools like social listening to gain insight. To learn more about how Khoros can help your brand’s presence on social media, schedule a demo today.

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