May 23, 2013

One logo’s revolutionary social media Impact

From a branding perspective, the HRC’s social media initiative linked to its logo speaks volumes about the importance of brand awareness — for any company.

From a branding perspective, the HRC’s social media initiative linked to its logo speaks volumes about the importance of brand awareness — for any company.

On Tuesday, March 26, social media experienced a huge surge from Facebook page owners across the globe. In reaction to the Supreme Court’s discussion of DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act) and California’s Proposition 8, which recognizes only opposite-sex marriages, The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) asked its followers to change their Facebook profile pictures to a red equal sign, to signify love.

This simple request caused a massive spike in user profile picture changes, as an estimated 2.7 million Facebook users responded to the HRC’s appeal. (Did you, or any of your friends?) It amounted to a 120% increase in Facebook profile picture changes from the week before, with many people even developing their own creative version of the symbol. 

The widespread adoption of the logo reflects nationwide acceptance of equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans and for same-sex marriage. In the first 24 hours after its release, HRC’s logo was reposted 10,000 times and attracted 10 million page views. The group also gained 200,000 new Facebook fans and 10,000 new Twitter followers.

This level of activity indicates the rapid growth of national support for gay marriage and equal rights, along with the need for diversity and inclusion within our workplaces. From a branding perspective, the HRC’s social media initiative linked to its logo speaks volumes about the importance of brand awareness — for any company.

There’s power in using social media to drive change, but, as an added benefit, the HRC’s campaign helped the group enhance awareness of its brand and further aided its cause.

The logo instantly became something more: it became the symbol of a cause. Its adoption and reposting meant people were paying attention to the same-sex marriage issue and felt empowered to make a choice. This simple little logo built awareness of marriage equality the moment all of our friends — including people we had no idea had an opinion on gay marriage — changed their profile pictures to a little pink equals sign on a red background.

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