What does it mean to be an LBGTQ+ ally if you're in the SEO community? Sarah McDowell stops by to share her thoughts:
Why brands should not fake their support for the LBGTQ+ community
Why being an LBGTQ+ ally is just good marketing
Why sometimes it's the subtle things that matter most when supporting the LBGTQ+ community
Supporting LBGTQ+ Community as an SEO & Digital Marketer
Being an ally of the LBGTQ+ community is more than a Tweet a brand puts out in July each year. The truth is, at least as I see it, there should really be a certain genuine sensitivity. Perhaps it's really the small things more than the massive campaigns for "positioning" a brand in a certain way. While I don't feel comfortable speaking for the community (Sarah does quite an excellent job in the podcast recording), I can say as someone who grew up in the US and who is not part of the country's religious majority that it was both the small gestures by others that were the most endearing and most disturbing. Maybe that's really the lesson of it all, being aware of yourself and what signals and undercurrents you're really sending.
Don't Just Jump on the Bandwagon
The first thing that Sarah pointed out (as we recorded during Pride Month) was don't just jump on the bandwagon. It's obvious when brands don't really care and simply want some good PR. I'll go out on a limb here and say it's more important that you empower your own employees from the LBGTQ+ community that put out a "nice" tweet. As Sarah points out, even the simplest things like the questions you ask on an internal survey can have undertones that can make your own employees uncomfortable and beyond.
Still, and I can only speak from my personal experience, but when I see companies and organizations talk about stopping anti-semitism and I know it's just a PR or marketing thing - I see right through it. At the same time, I still think there's a benefit to it as it helps that conversation become part of the "social discourse." Also, who knows who will see and say to themselves, "You know what - that's a good point.".
The Marketing Case for Being an LBGTQ+ Ally
Leaving aside the altruistic and just human elements of being an LBGTQ+ ally - there is a pure marketing and business case to be made. Namely, it's almost a certainty that your audience is going to include members of the LBGTQ+ community.
If you're an SEO or a digital marketer - that's something to consider. We talk about targeting the audience properly all the time. Well, part of that is being sensitive to the fact that the LBGTQ+ community is part of your audience. How you position your content and the like in light of that reality is very important.
Again, the moral imperative is far weightier but still, there is a more mundane aspect to it all as well. But do it for the right reasons.