With a seemingly endless amount of brands weighing in on social media about Pride Month, there were a wide variety of different social media engagement strategies attempted this year, but which ones are actually connecting with audiences?
Taking advantage of ListenFirst’s differentiated social listening solution, we crunched some numbers and came away with quantifiable answers. Looking exclusively at the data range of June 1- June 24, 2019; here are the six key lessons Pride Month 2019 data taught us about social media brand engagement.
Lesson #1: Twitter Is The Ideal Platform For Unexpected Brands Showing Pride Support
Below are the brand Tweets mentioning Pride Month that generated the highest response rate. Tweet Responses = Retweets + Likes.
#1. Nickelodeon – 163,833 Responses (30,305 Retweets + 133,528 Likes)
#2. Xbox – 33,113 Responses (5,783 Retweets + 27,330 Likes)
#3. Dictionary.com – “27,377 Responses (10,584 Retweets + 16,793 Likes)
#4. Orange Is The New Black – 18,737 Responses (4,400 Retweets + 14,337 Likes)
#5. Funimation – 14,166 Responses ( 2,538 Retweets + 11,628 Likes)
Other than Orange Is the New Black, none of the other brands that generated the most Pride Month related responses on Twitter are brands traditionally associated with Pride. However the fact that they still did makes their message that much more powerful. Brands like Nickelodeon, Xbox, and Funimation that come forward with a message of equality for all will stand out because their voices are unexpected. Because of the succinctness of their message, Twitter, where brevity is prioritized, is an ideal platform for this type of support.
Lesson #2: Video Is The Best Channel For Immersive Storytelling
For brands that succeeded in sharing stories about individual or specific LGBTQ+ experiences, leveraging video was an absolute must. For instance, the top piece of video content for Absolut during Pride month was “Absolut Acceptance with GLAAD & Jessica Zyrie_0:30” about a transgender model and her father. It received 450K public video views on YouTube. Altogether, Absolut’s Acceptance campaign featuring such celebrities as EJ Johnson and Amanda Lepore received 1.3 million YouTube views during the same time period.
Additionally Urban Decay generated 514K interactions around their Sparkle Identity YouTube video. It featured Casil McArthur a male model talking about wearing makeup and how he identifies as a male princess. While the best performing content from Sephora on Twitter was a campaign video they made celebrating the transgender and non-binary community which generated 10.1K responses.
For content requiring more nuance and detail, video is the most effective way to tell those stories on social media.
Lesson #3: Changing Your Social Media Profile Picture Represents Something Larger
American Eagle got 30.7K responses around changing their Facebook profile picture to their logo with a Pride flag. The best performing social media content for Rosetta Stone was changing their Facebook profile picture to Pride Month colors, which generated 5,300 responses; with Gap receiving 2,740 responses on Facebook around changing their Profile Picture to a rainbow colored logo.
While changing a profile picture to incorporate a rainbow is a pretty simple gesture, it’s still effective because it signals to the audience how much your brand prioritizes Pride Month. Often it generates far more audience enthusiasm than a normal social media post saying the same thing would.
Lesson #4: Match Campaigns Stand Out On Social Media
A Starbucks Instagram post talking about how they were doing a donation match around Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation which is trying to improve LGBTQ youth’s access to mental health resources generated 153K responses. Additional posts about the fundraising match generated Starbucks another 6.8K responses on Facebook, and 2,564 Responses on Twitter.
With Equinox, they offered to donate $1, up until $20,000 to House Life Matters which works to improve wellness within the house ball community, for every social media post including either a #PoweredByPride hashtag or a ‘Life’s a Ball’ GIPHY sticker. The Instagram video announcing the initiative generated 10.8K responses between June 1-24, 2019 with an additional 10,325 responses or interactions when the video was posted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
If it’s a straight up donation match as with Starbucks or rewarding a third party charity for sharing a campaign hashtag like with Equinox; charitable giving generates goodwill and audience participation makes the association between the brand and the charity even more sticky.
Lesson #5: Sometimes It’s About The Cool Clothing And Accessories
Apparel with rainbow colors is usually pretty striking and sometimes brand posts take off on social media because the merchandise looks really cool.
For example, the best performing Michael Kors content on social media was an Instagram image showing a rainbow collection of Whitney handbags, which generated 86.7K responses. Meanwhile Under Armour’s top performing content on Instagram was an image that generated 203K responses showing off their special edition UA #Pride HOVR SLK shoes. While IKEA received 50.7K responses combined on Facebook and on Instagram showing off their Pride themed KVANTING Shopping bag.
Yes, it’s usually for a good cause. For instance the proceeds for the KVANTING bag are going to the Human Rights Campaign organization but the merchandise also has to deliver at a design level.
Lesson #6: The Right Influencer Can Lift A Brand’s Pride Campaign
A social media influencer and former Lady Gaga backup dancer, Mark Kanemura was arguably the breakout star around Pride Month in 2019. He had the best performing Tweet period around Pride, which generated 435,772 Responses, more than any person or brand around the topic.
He is already on the radar of brands and it’s paying off. For example, MeUndies’ best performing social media content was a Happy Pride video on Instagram which generated 8,719 responses, that starred Mark Kanemura dancing and modeling MeUndies underwear. He also shared a post on Instagram announcing bubly sparkling water was supporting the Stonewall Community Foundation that got 30,117 likes.
For brands looking for a social media influencer to amplify Pride related messaging, Mark Kanemura is a pretty good place to start.
While Pride Month is coming to a close, marketing to the LGBTQ+ community should be a year round commitment. With the right social analytics tool, brands can access the competitive insights necessary to understand what content is best connecting with the target audience, both in terms of owned channels and across the social media ecosystem in general.