It’s June and that means one thing – Happy Pride Month everyone! To celebrate, we’ve asked our Ventura analytics team to pull together some interesting insights into Pride and LGBTQ+ conversations online from the last 24 months to help you create educated campaigns that hit the right spot this month…
So, how was the data collected? The Ventura team are able to pull insights data using various social listening tools i.e. Brandwatch, Netbase, Pulsar etc. Social listening is a scrape of online conversation from multiple social media and web sources, all aggregated into a central database which can then be interrogated for insights. In practical terms, our team creates strings (using boolean logic) of relevant keywords, phrases and hashtags which a tool will pull together from all over the web. Processes are undertaken to ‘cleanse’ the data, removing any irrelevant mentions to provide a clean data set. Our analytics team then reviews the data, optimises the initial keyword string to ensure reliable and robust data has been collected, then once happy that the data is completely ‘clean’ – they can then start the process of analysing.
For this report, we’ve dived into overall mentions of relevant themes, content sources where conversations take place and hashtags surrounding topics related to Pride month. It’s worth bearing in mind that for this research we have not used a tool that has included Pride mentions published to Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, however mentions from Twitter, forums, news sources, articles and many more sources have been included (based on the tool that we used for this research).
Year On Year Mentions
Let’s start off with the basics. As you can see from the below graph, mention volumes are representative of population volumes in the regions analysed, ie. US net volume of mentions will always be higher than the UK as there are more people in America than Great Britain.
The below graph tells a conflicting story. Year on year mentions have decreased by 27.9% in the UK and 34.2% in the US, but overall Worldwide mentions have increased by 29.0%.
From a deeper dive into the conversations online it can be concluded that the dip in UK and US Pride mentions is due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This indicates that physical Pride events are a main driver of online mentions of LGBTQ+ themes in these regions. Research found that LGBTQ+ communities in both the UK and the US plan for and look forward to Pride parades, with some members of the community travelling to attend multiple events a year.
Unsurprisingly, a large number of online mentions come from social media. Pride event attendees share opinions, videos and pictures of celebrations, using hashtags to extend the reach of their posts (more on this later).
Over the 24 month period, of the platforms reviewed, the most mentions of Pride related keywords and themes were published to Twitter.
Key peaks in mentions from the 280-character-social-media-platform appear in June 2019 and June 2020, when Pride month takes place. Of the posts mentioning Pride in the two months with spikes, the tweets with the highest reach are from profiles belonging to famous brands (such as PlayStation and Nickleodeon) or high-profile members of the LGBTQ+ community, such as Ellen DeGeneres and Tyler Oakley.
Below are the top 10 hashtags used worldwide during Pride month last year (June 2020). #PrideMonth and #Pride were the most popular hashtags, with most members of the LGBTQ+ community using multiple hashtags per post to celebrate Pride online during the pandemic.
#BlackLivesMatter is a prolific hashtag which was used frequently throughout 2020 highlighting the death of George Floyd, promoting the awareness of racial injustice the world over. The posts with the highest reach including #BlackLivesMatter display members of the LGBTQ+ community expressing solidarity with those in ethnic communities, with one tweet reading “Black people fought for our rights and now we will fight for theirs. Don’t let them down.”
In June 2020 #Twibbon received over 42,000 mentions. Twibbon is a free online tool which was being used to add the relevant Pride flag frame to the profile pictures of those in the LGBTQ+ community. Twibbon prompted users to share their new frame, increasing #Twibbon mentions in this period.
The tenth most popular hashtag with over 33,000 mentions in June 2020 was #BlackTransLivesMatter. On June 27th, a Black Trans Rights protest in London gained a high amount of media coverage which included online articles from the likes of Sky News. Over in the US, the Trump Administration reversed health protections for transgender people, removing non-discrimination protections in terms of health care and health insurance. This drove a very high volume of negative sentiment on social media alongside the tragic death of Dominique Fells, a black transgender woman who was murdered in Philadelphia.
Despite the fact that as a result of the pandemic mentions of Pride have decreased in the UK and US, overall worldwide mentions of relevant themes have increased. As restrictions lapse in countries such as the UK, most Pride events are scheduled to take place in 2021 which should cause overall Pride mentions to rise again.
Twitter is the content source where most Pride mentions are published, including hashtags which extend the reach of posts. #PrideMonth and #Pride are timeless tags which were used year on year between 2019 and 2020, a trend which is not set to decline in 2021. Pride hashtags were also reactive to LGBTQ+ community news in the month of June 2020 with a rise in mentions of hashtags such as #BlackLivesMatter. Brands should expect reactive content to current events to be present during Pride 2021 as the worlds of social media and news blur into one.