Social media serves is a tool for not only updating your status, or posting picture of your lunch. Nonprofits of all kinds are using it to disseminate information about their cause and help marginalized groups that need more awareness get the attention of the masses.
LGBT organizations, for example, are using channels like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to bring greater awareness to their causes and create global communities. This reach has worked to support and promote LGBT issues and rights in countries that are tolerant, and intolerant, of their rights.
Here are some LGBT organizations that have made a difference in social media and how they did it.
It Gets Better Project
Started in 2010, the “It Gets Better Project” was one of the first social media campaigns to successfully reach out to teenagers. The campaign was prompted by the suicides of Justin Aaberg and Billy Lucas, two teenage boys bullied for being gay. Sexual health columnist Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller went to YouTube and posted a video where Savage articulated his own struggles, including how he overcame his own experiences with bullying and intolerance. The video spread and other members of the community went to the social media platform to speak about their own experiences and how it “got better” as an adult. Within three years, the project accumulated over 50,000 testimonies, including those from celebrities and politicians and continues to grow to this day.
Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign works to achieve equality for LGBT Americans and has over 1.5 million members and supporters worldwide. The foundation has many programs directed at people in the community of all ages and walks of life, from children and families to a health and aging program. THe Human Rights Campaign is active on social media but their most successful campaign has been tied to their “equality” logo. In 2013, as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments from two marriage equality cases, HRC shared a red version of its logo and asked supporters on Twitter and Facebook to change their profile photos to show support. The campaign went viral, with help from celebrities like Beyonce and George Takei to draw attention to the campaign. Facebook saw a 120 percent increase in profile photo updates as a result of this campaign.
Students Moving America and Jonny Drubel of E!’s #RichKids of Beverly Hills launched a social media campaign that aimed to celebrate ‘coming out’ in the LGBT community. The hashtag #ComingOutMatters became a social media movement where gay individuals were encouraged to share and spread their coming out stories through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, where they were later gathered on the #ComingOutMatters website. Users can browse the stories of people coming out to family and friends, or share their own coming out experiences. The goal was to launch awareness effort to educate and support communities with LGBT specific issues, and the movement is continuing to gain support and recognition today.
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