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How to Plan a Pride Campaign on Social Media

Pride Month is a global celebration, one where many collective voices come together to support a wonderful cause every June and honor our LGBTQIA+ community.

For brands, it’s a chance to celebrate, show support and raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ rights on social media, but a successful Pride campaign is more than just adding a rainbow to your logo.

And while running a Pride campaign on social media shouldn’t just be for the mega-brands, a lot of small businesses aren’t sure where to start, or how to give back, if they don’t have a huge budget.

In this blog post, we want to encourage all businesses to get involved and give back by covering the deeper aspects of planning and managing a Pride campaign for your brand — and your wider social community — regardless of your budget!

Tips for Planning & Running a Successful Pride Campaign on Social Media

We’re sharing the top tips we’ve learned from members of the LGBTQIA+ community (both here at Later and beyond!), the brands and businesses on Instagram that we love, and the wider charities and organizations working year-round for the cause.

Here are our top tips for running a successful Pride campaign for your brand and community on social media:

Tip #1: A Successful Pride Campaign on Social Media Starts with Education

While Pride is most definitely a celebration, a successful Pride campaign should have education and awareness at its core.

It’s easy to forget (amongst the glorious glitter and rainbows!) that Pride Month is celebrated in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan — a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.

So as a brand, it’s important to take this time to not only celebrate Pride, but to also raise awareness and improve education on the Pride movement.

And that awareness starts within your company and can spread much further with the right kind of Pride content on social media.

For example, influencer @TyFrench has dedicated his Instagram feed to educating his audience this Pride Month on the meaning behind the Pride flag:

Over the course of two weeks, Ty created his very own rainbow on his Instagram feed, with each post telling the history of the Pride flag, and what Pride means to him:

Pride Campaign: Ty French Feed

@tyfrench

Similarly, social movement Love Has No Labels, is using their Instagram channel to promote acceptance and inclusion of all people across race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, and ability.

For Pride, @lovehasno_ has created dedicated Instagram feed posts to help followers better understand Pride Month, and provides resources to help people better educate themselves on the cause, and support those of the LGBTQIA+ community:

It’s important that at this early stage of planning your campaign that you and your team take the time to get clued up on Pride Month and start to conceptualize a campaign that is rooted in improving awareness and education amongst your community.

Instagram is also taking a strong stance on education and awareness this month with their #UntoldPride campaign.

With the goal to help their Instagram audience reflect, connect, and share what it means to be LGBTQIA+, the #UntoldPride campaign is collaborating with charities, creators, artists, athletes and many others from the LGBTQIA+ community.

In New York, Instagram partnered with @lgbt_history to dig into the rich LGBTQIA+ history of the city.

Keep your eyes peeled (in NYC and on Instagram!) for the 10 installations that Instagram curated to highlight the lesser-known historic pioneers, places, and movements that have paved the way for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Pride Campaign: Instagram UntoldPride

@Instagram

Tip #2: Ask Your LGBTQIA+ Staff to be Involved in the Campaign

Inclusivity starts from within your business, so it’s essential to have your Pride campaign be led by your LGBTQIA+ team members!

Regardless of whether they’re part of your marketing team or not, invite them to be involved — it’s a great opportunity to have real voices raising awareness for a cause that is close to their hearts.

Plus, their passion and understanding of the Pride movement will be a huge asset in the decision making process on how you decide to communicate with your social audience.

Check out how @marinelayer celebrated their LGBTQIA+ staff members this month:

Pride Campaign: Marine Layer

Don’t have any LGBTQIA+ staff members? Reach out to your friends, customers, or community members to get them involved!

Later has been celebrating Pride since we’ve launched, and throughout the years we’ve asked our LGBTQIA+ teammates for insight, input, and inspiration.

Whether that was crowdsourcing and brainstorming ideas, or being the face of our @latermedia’s Instagram Stories posts, we asked for help from our Later teammates every step of the way. (hi, Tyler (@tylorlukas) and Sam (@withwyrd), thank you!)

When we spoke to our friends, colleagues, and peers in the social media world, everyone had a similar feeling towards Pride campaigns — when they’re led by members of the community, you can really focus on the important Pride stories, and better understand what the movement means to them.

Wishing to remain anonymous, a friend and peer of Later told us that:

“The best content I’ve seen puts queer people within the company, or associated with the company (like vendors, partners, influencers, etc.), front and center and lets them say what matters to them.”

So it’s time to bring teams together for Pride and have your LGBTQIA+ colleagues take the reins for this important cause!  

Tip #3: Tell Stories From Your LGBTQIA+ Community

You have a powerful platform at your hands — your Instagram profile regardless of its size is a wonderful place to share your LGBTQIA+ community’s stories and journeys.

For example, outdoors and adventure company REI created a dedicated Pride campaign to help LGBTQIA+ adventurers, tell their stories.

Alisson Xavier (@alisson) was part of REI’s LGBTQ+ Adventurers campaign and shared his story on Instagram Stories:

Pride Campaign: Rei and @alisson

@alisson

When it comes to sharing stories and authenticity online, John Colucci, social media strategist in Seattle recommends:

“Be authentic in your approach to the #Pride content you choose.

Go beyond the Pride flag and center it around the word “pride” itself. I like hearing people’s stories of their Pride journey, so perhaps you have some co-workers or customers who want to share a quick testimony of what Pride means to them.”

This year, Verizon is taking a heartfelt and meaningful approach to celebrate Pride this year — their digital campaign features real stories of people coming out to their relatives and showing how difficult those conversations were:

As brands and business on social media, the more voices and stories we share, the more awareness we can build.

And these real-life stories last in the memories of our readership a lot longer than adding a rainbow emoji to a caption. So it’s time to go deeper and share more meaningful LGBTQIA+ community stories to show your support.

Tip #4: Always Aim to Give Back to Pride Charities and Organizations

Pride is a time to give back to the charities and organizations that are doing great work for LGBTQIA+ rights and awareness.

So if you are planning on creating and selling a product for Pride month, make sure you always dedicate a percentage of the proceeds to a charity that means something to you, and your LGBTQIA+ community.

For example, health and wellness company Dosist, is donating 25% of net proceeds during Pride month to local LA LGBTQ+ organizations.

Similarly, underwear brand MeUndies (a Later customer!) has been a long-time supporter for LGBTQIA+ rights — this year, MeUndies created its Pride collection in association with DJ and EDM producer GRiZ, an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community:

From every pair sold, $1 will be donated to Miley Cyrus’ non-profit Happy Hippie Foundation. 

Similarly, Polo Ralph Lauren made a fully unisex capsule to mark Pride Month, donating 100% of all sales of tees and 50% of everything else to the Stonewall Community Foundation.

If you don’t have a physical product, there are other ways to support the cause.

Think about hosting or taking part in LGBTQIA+ events, or donating to local charities doing work in your business’ home town.

You could also consider taking part or aid funding for charity events, especially for Pride, like sponsoring local LGBTQIA+ athletes in sporting events or offering free or discounted rates to non-profit charities doing good work for the LGBTQIA+ community.

If you are a non-profit charity, Later offers a 50% discount on an annual subscription for our paid plans! Get in touch with us here to find out more and join the Later family — we’d love to help you continue doing great charitable work!

Tip #5: Let Inclusivity be at the Core of Your Campaign

As a brand or business online, it’s our responsibility to make all people feel safe, seen and heard.

For that reason, inclusivity should be an active mission as part of your Pride campaign, and for your future marketing efforts too.

Aim to have better representation on social media for your community — that means including people of all marginalized or otherwise underrepresented voices.

Regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or other differences, if your marketing efforts focus on inclusivity, you’re on the right track to helping build a wider-community for your brand, business, and safe-space for your followers.

Check out how REI has aimed (and succeeded!) in giving a wonderful platform to all people this Pride month:

Pride Campaign: Rei LGBTQ+ Adventurers, In Their Own Words

REI LGBTQ+ Adventurers, In Their Own Words

Regardless of race, sexuality, gender, age, size or shape, REI has built a community of inclusive adventures via their social marketing.

But, this mission shouldn’t just be for Pride — use this month as a catalyst for the future.

Consumers want to see more inclusive marketing campaigns (in fact, inclusive campaigns are proven to be more effective in increasing sales and brand awareness).

And if you really want to reach, represent and support your diverse community, it’s time to make active shifts towards better inclusive marketing year round.

Bre Thomas, a freelance social media strategist, told Later that: “It’s less about what you need to do for Pride today and instead, how are you supporting LGBTQIA+ folks year round?

If you’re gonna talk the talk (by hosting a specific Pride Month campaign) you need to walk the walk and integrate and represent LGBTQIA+  people and their stories in all facets of your marketing from January to December.”

Take for example Fenty Beauty — what started out as Rihanna’s mission to deliver makeup for all women, her beauty brand has turned into its own movement and safe space for all people of color, race, sexuality, and age:

It’s a great example of how inclusivity should (and must be) the new norm with social marketing — everyone is actively, and continuously represented year round, not just for Pride.

Josh Machiz, Head of Client Engagement at Nasdaq, explains that “we [Nasdaq] have a responsibility to serve as an example and foster diversity and community throughout our platform.”

While not a social media campaign, the Nasdaq’s annual LGBT Leaders Conference is a continued demonstration of their commitment to equality and diversity in the workplace.

By hosting an incredible group of LGBTQIA+ corporate professionals, we help to lead the business community by example, showing that Nasdaq and our companies care about LGBTQIA+ people and are committed to creating inclusive workplaces where they can thrive and move up the corporate ladder.”

Another great social movement to promote inclusivity is @findthemonbumble — they have created a beautiful on-going campaign and Instagram feed that celebrates New York’s most inspiring residents:

Pride Campaign: Find Them On Bumble

@findthemonbumble

By showcasing the real people, real voices, and real missions of their Bumble community year round, the brand has created a wonderful platform for those that might otherwise have been under-represented online:

Tip #6: Collaborate with Influencers to Spread Awareness

Collaborating with Instagram influencers is a great way to reach new audiences and spread awareness for your Pride campaign.

Plus, when you work with an influencer that is part of the LGBTQIA+ community, you’re teaming up with someone who is a real voice for your mission. It all comes back to tip #1 and #3 — when you share real stories, you’re building a more inclusive, educational and safe-space platform for your followers!

Check out how H&M have teamed up with Laverne Cox to mark Pride 2019:

Actress and trans rights activist Cox acted as a wonderful and empowering spokesperson for the campaign, and highlighted the important #TransIsBeautiful movement to both her, and H&M’s wider social community:

Similarly, @brooksrunning is supporting their LGBTQIA+ community by teaming up with inclusive run clubs and collaborating with influencers, like @davecoast, to support their LGBTQIA+ followers, fans and athletes.

When you work with an influencer for your Pride campaign, you’re not only creating a greater opportunity to spread awareness, but you can also reach more people to raise funds for your chosen LGBTQIA+ charity. And that’s a double-win for the campaign!

Tip #7: Protect Your Audience from Offensive Language on Instagram

While you’ve been working hard on your campaign and sharing the celebrations during Pride, it’s important that you also safeguard your community.

Unfortunately, unsolicited hate can be posted on social media, and while reporting and deleting offensive comments that appear on your feed can help, it’s often at the risk of it already being read by your audience.

To help protect your audience from offensive comments, you can use the Instagram comment moderation tool to help you completely block bigotry terms or language.

Here’s how to do it:

  • From the Settings tab in your profile, click on Privacy.
  • From here, tap on Comments.
  • Under Filters, turn on “Hide Offensive Comments”

Pride Campaign: Hide Offensive Comments

You can also turn on “Manual Filter” where you can choose which “trigger words” or phrases that you wish to block.

While this will help you block offensive comments from appearing on your feed, we’d also suggest spending more time reviewing and regulating the comments on your Instagram posts during your Pride campaign.

4 Ways to Celebrate Pride on Instagram

Feeling inspired and ready to create some great content to celebrate Pride on Instagram? We bet you are!

Here are some of our favorite ways to show support and raise awareness for the cause:

Use Dedicated Pride Instagram Stories Templates for Your Content

If you want your Pride campaign content to stand out from the crowd, and the rest of your feed, think about using dedicated Pride Instagram Stories templates.

With a special design that celebrates Pride, you’ll quickly and easily be able to create content for your stories campaign.

Check out the pre-made Instagram Stories templates that apps like Unfold have created especially for Pride:

View this post on Instagram

Be proud of your story.

A post shared by Unfold (@unfold) on

Or you can create your own Pride-style posts for Instagram Stories using design apps like Over or Canva! Think about including elements like the charity you’re supporting’s logo, the Pride flag, and the rainbow text to help send out your message.

Use the #Pride Hashtag in your Captions

Hashtags are great for getting more eyes on your content — in fact, posts with hashtags get 12.6% more engagement than posts without so if you want to spread the word, it’s time to start using Pride-related hashtags.

Pride Campaign: Rainbow Hashtags

@trevorproject

Plus, Pride hashtags are going rainbow! Instagram has identified prominent and popular hashtags – such as #lgbtq, #bornperfect, #equalitymatters, #accelerateacceptance, or #pride2019 – that the LGBTQIA+ community uses to share and connect with each other.

Whether you use the hashtag in an Instagram story or feed post, the hashtag will be displayed in a rainbow gradient. Just another cute, colorful but meaningful way to show your support and share your message:

Pride Campaign: Rainbow Hashtags

@GLAAD

Here’s a handy infographic to help you when you’re next writing an Instagram caption for your Pride campaign: 

Later Infographic: Pride Month Rainbow Hashtags

Use the Donation Sticker to Raise Funds for your Favorite Charities

If you’re raising funds for an LGBTQIA+ charity this year, think about using Instagram’s Donation sticker to drive more awareness and raise critical funds.

Note: The Donation sticker is only available in the US. If you don’t have access, you can always provide a swipe-up link to a site where your followers can donate.

Create Instagram Stories GIFs for Pride

Did you know that you can create your own GIFs for Instagram Stories?

If you’re feeling creative this Pride month, it’s a great opportunity to design, create and share your Pride GIFs with your audience on Instagram Stories.

Plus, you can direct your followers to search for your GIFs and use them in their own Pride stories to share their support!

Check out how Bravo has designed and created these great Pride stickers to raise awareness and celebrate the event with their followers:

Pride Campaign: Bravo GIFS

Want to start creating your own GIFs? Everything you need to know is in this blog post!

There’s no doubt that creating and leading your own Pride campaign on Instagram is a worthwhile cause.

Hopefully, these tips have helped inspire and lead you to create something wonderful to celebrate and honor Pride month this year, and for many campaigns in the future!

This year, Later is raising awareness for The Trevor Project — a non-profit focused on suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQIA+ youth. If you would like to support their work, please follow the link below. Thank you!

Written By

Nikki Canning

Nikki is part of the marketing team at Later and has worked in digital media in London, Dublin, and Sydney. She loves strong coffee, cuddly puppies, and planning her next travel adventure. Follow along on Instagram @nikkitravelled.