5 Things To Consider When Planning A Pride Social Media Campaign

I’m not here to rehash recent mistakes made by some brands during their LGBTQ+ social and influencer initiatives. But their flubs clearly offer some insight on the steps brands should take to ensure their campaigns really make a difference and positively impact the lives of LGBTQ+ consumers.

The reality is that the social media ecosystem can be unforgiving, and with one misstep, an entire campaign can be negatively amplified. But let’s be fair here. The opposite is also true: If something is done correctly, the results can be extremely favorable.

That’s why the planning stage is crucial to make sure that your message aligns with a track record of support for the LGBTQ+ community. Consistency in messaging and actions alone will help you deal with any backlash or criticism you may receive.

Year-round commitment.  For starters, a few weeks prior to Pride Month is not the time to start thinking about how to kick off your initiatives to support the LGBTQ+ community. Ideally, you should be continuing your year-round commitment to LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion. It has been said many times, but if your initiatives are reduced to Pride Month, that’s the first thing you’re doing wrong.



Have you been a reliable ally? In this day and age, everyone can easily track what your brand has done in the past, especially on social media.

Long-term partnerships tend to work better. This brings me to my next point: if possible, consider long-term partnerships in favor of one-off influencer or spokesperson deals, especially if the partnership has not been thoroughly evaluated. Why? Because brands find more success with long-term partnerships where influencers become more familiar with the brand and can create more authentic content.

Look beyond celebrity endorsements. Don’t get me wrong, endorsements or collaborations with famous people are great, but they certainly aren’t the only option today. Consumers sometimes respond better to micro- and nano-influencers, even if they only have a few thousand followers. Many of these influencers are seen as authentic and relatable. They can also be highly respected in the LGBTQ+ community, just like any celebrity, and their communities tend to be very engaged.

Include LGBTQ+ voices in the decision-making process. Don’t just use the community as the face of your campaign. Having real representation in the planning stages can help you create an honest campaign that is free of biases or stereotypes -- and help you avoid easily preventable mistakes.

That representation will also allow you to include stories about real LGBTQ+ people and their experiences. Again, any indication of a fake or unrealistic representation could jeopardize your entire campaign.

Have a plan to respond -- and educate. If for any reason the response to your campaign is not exactly what you expected, have an immediate plan for counter it, in a way that's consistent with your brand’s values. Even well-intentioned campaigns with no missteps can receive negative criticism, particularly in today’s polarized environment.

Are you ready to double down on your commitment to the LGBTQ+ community? Because backtracking will certainly backfire. Use this criticism as a chance to start a conversation about important issues that other groups might not be familiar with.

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