#LoveWins: How the Same-Sex Marriage Decision Spread Through Social

Not long after the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages were recognized nationwide, social and mobile apps spread the news (and the pride).

Not long after the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages were recognized nationwide, social and mobile apps spread the news (and the pride).

Facebook offered users a rainbow filter on their profile picture — and more than 26 million people worldwide (as of Monday morning) did so using the site’s image-editing tool. Celebrities and public figures — such as actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and former California governor/Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger — used the rainbow filter to show support for LGBTQ people.

The pictures received more than 500 million likes and comments (a total of more than 565 million interactions), as of Monday morning. The filter tool was built by two interns in a hackathon earlier this month.

Naturally, this led to people wondering if Facebook has ulterior motives for offering the rainbow filter tool. A Facebook spokesperson responded in Mashable to data-tracking claims:

This was not an experiment or test, but rather something that enables people to show their support of the LGBTQ community on Facebook. We aren’t going to use this as a way to target ads and the point of this tool is not to get information about people.

On Twitter the day of the SCOTUS decision, the site added colorful emoji to the hashtags #Pride (rainbow flag) and #LoveWins (rainbow heart).

Twitter users loved this capability. According to Talkwalker, within the first hour of the Supreme Court’s decision:

  • the #lovewins hashtag received 284,730 mentions, and 60,727 unique tweets
  • the #SCOTUSMarriage hashtag saw 88,872 mentions, and 20,375 unique tweets
  • the #MarriageEquality hashtag saw 63,968 mentions, 63,968 unique tweets

Among the tweets tracked by Talkwalker, 59.4 percent came from women, 40.6 percent came from men. Across all social channels, there were 191,000 mentions of “gay marriage” and “gaymarriage” within the first hour of the ruling.

Unmetric, which measures brand engagement on social media, told SocialTimes that the most engaging brands around this topic were Ben & Jerry’s, Target, Honey Maid, Visa and American Airlines — as based on the company’s Engagement Score of 0-1000.

While some tweets and Facebook posts had striking imagery, most of the successful ones were short and sweet — and text-based.

Ben & Jerry’s

Ben and Jerrys - 2 BenandJerrys - 1Target

Target - 1Honey Maid

Honey Maid - 1Visa (engagement score on this post was 1,000)

American Airlines

American Air - 1Lux Narayan, CEO of Unmetric, discussed with SocialTimes the brands’ efforts on the day of the same-sex marriage decision:

As is often the case with major news like last week’s SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality, brands were quick to leverage the event on social media. While brands across various sectors all took a different creative approach to their tweets, there are universal lessons that all marketers can glean from this data about what works best — from the type of content, to the number of posts, to the timing of posts.
Readers: Were you one of the 26 million-plus to change your profile picture on Facebook?