June is Pride Month, which offers companies an opportunity to celebrate, show support and raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ rights on their social media channels.

Businesses of all kinds and sizes can get involved, raise awareness and give back for Pride Month regardless of their budget or reach.

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

Celebrating Pride and showing your support for the LGBTQIA+ community is not a trend— and it shouldn’t be treated as such. If you’re simply posting rainbow branded imagery or tweeting to “get in” on the important conversations happening this month, you’re likely being disrespectful. Make sure your company can really walk the walk.

Here’s how to create and implement an impactful and genuine Pride Month social media campaign at your company.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Pride Month social media planning

Before you dive head-first into planning your corporate Pride initiatives, it’s important to get a wide range of employees involved in the planning process. Put together a committee of employee volunteers to serve as a sounding board and to provide their input as your plans begin to take shape.

Don’t: Exploit social initiatives and conversations as a means to reach business goals.

Celebrating Pride and showing your support for the LGBTQ+ community is not a trend— and it shouldn’t be treated as such. If you’re just posting rainbow branded imagery or posting about it to “get in” on the important conversations happening this month, you can alienate your employees and your clients/recruits and many others.

Do: Ask yourself why you’re supporting this initiative and have a clear purpose.

Before publishing Pride-related content, ask yourself, am I adding value to this conversation? What am I hoping to gain from inserting myself into this conversation? What are my motivations? Do I want my company to seem like a safe space or ally? Or is my company actually a safe space and ally?

Remember, Pride Month is not about your business goals.

Do: Support LGBTQ+ initiatives year round.

If you don’t already take steps to support the LGBTQ+ community year-round, take the opportunity to discuss doing so with management and staff during Pride. June is only one month out of the year, a month where it’s arguably the “most acceptable” to show support for the LGBTQ+ community. To be a true ally, it’s important to show this level of support year round.

Do: Educate yourself and those around you on the origins and history of Pride Month.

Pride Month has a rich, political history that companies often fail to understand and recognize as they participate in Pride Month. 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.

Not only is Pride a time to recognize the progress that’s been made since the Stonewall Riots, but it’s just as important to acknowledge how far we still must go as a society. A successful Pride campaign should have education and awareness at its core.

Do: Make education and awareness the core of your campaign.

Ideas for content for your Pride Campaign can include educating your followers on the meaning behind the Pride flag, using posts to tell the history of the Pride flag, and what Pride means to your employees and run their answers in Q&A posts.

Another idea is to create posts to help followers better understand Pride Month, and provide resources to help people better educate themselves on the cause and support those of the LGBTQIA+ community. Create a campaign that is rooted in improving awareness and education amongst your community.

Do: Let inclusivity be at the core of your campaign.

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.

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. It’s less about what you need to do for Pride today and instead, how are you supporting LGBTQIA+ folks year-round?

Do: Put your money (and time) where your mouth is.

Instead of treating Pride like a marketing campaign, put your efforts toward an activity that will positively impact the LGBTQ+ community. While monetary donations can be helpful, volunteering at community events or spending time with LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations can be more impactful for your employees.

Think about hosting or taking part in LGBTQIA+ events, or donating to local charities doing work in your community to support LGBTQIA+ initiatives.

Do: Use the right hashtags to be discovered

  • #lgbtqia
  • #lgbtqpride
  • #lgbtqhumanrights
  • #equality
  • #pridemonth
  • #loveislove
  • #pride