5 Tips for Using Humor in Your Social Media Activities

social media how toCan you remember something funny? Humor can go a long way with social media.

Are you considering using humor with your social media activities? If so, this article reveals some tips to get you on the right track.

Why humor?

It’s no surprise that using humor in advertising is an effective way to connect with your audience and humanize your brand or company, but what about using it for social media?

Adding humor to your social media strategy can be a great way to get people’s attention.

If you appeal to your audience emotionally, you’ll have a much better chance that they will further engage with your brand or product. Doing so will help your customers remember you, share your content and have a better understanding of what you stand for.

Finally, an emotional appeal differentiates you from the millions of other companies out there bombarding their social channels with nothing but self-promotion.

If you’re not “humorizing” your brand, product or business, then you might be missing out on a ton of unseen potential.

Here are 5 tips to help you get started:

#1: Ask yourself WWJD?

(What Would Jerry Do?)

Jerry Seinfeld has a simple formula for comedy. He takes everyday situations and asks himself, “What’s funny about this?” Apply this type of thinking to your brand, product or company.

A perfect example of this is Otterbox, a manufacturer of protective gear for handheld devices. Check out how they take a seemingly boring product and make it funny as hell.

#2: Keep it clean

Steer clear of controversial topics and jokes in bad taste. A good example is earlier this year, fashion designer Kenneth Cole tried to be funny but instead won the award for most insensitive tweet of the year.

kenneth cole

The offending tweet was eventually removed entirely from Cole's feed, and a statement about the incident was posted on his Facebook fan page.

#3: Wittiness is terribly underrated

Twitter and Facebook updates can go a long way with the right quip. Use your wittiness to compete against big budgets. Here are three perfect examples of how the wit is mightier than the ad dollar.

Here’s a tweet from “Rebel Red,” part of the www.MiddleSisterWines.com.

rebel red

Their philosophy: Smile! It won't mess up your hair.

A witty take on a popular quote for a Facebook update from Cups and Cakes Bakery.

cups and cakes

Join them on Saturdays for Cupcake Super Happy Hour!

And a brilliantly funny Facebook update from Boccalone: Tasty Salted Pig Parts.

boccalone

Known for their authentic Italian sandwiches.

#4: Just because your company is serious doesn’t mean all marketing has to be

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Poke fun at yourself by doing a parody of your company or your industry. HubSpot wears their marketing mullet loud and proud—mixing the business up front with the party in the back. Check out how they spoofed social media with Foursquare Cops.

And in this video parody, IBM had some fun with Art of the Sale.

#5: The best humor comes naturally

Experiment by recording video interviews with quirky customers and employees. Again I reference Otterbox as they apply this principle very well. Check out:

Being Funny Is a Risk

Some people might not appreciate your company’s brand of humor. Business owners need to observe their target audience to make sure humor fits.

Being funny may not work for healthcare, financial services or any highly regulated industry.

The target market must always be considered. Running tests and focus groups to gather feedback is always a great idea. Try using an online survey to test your attempt at humor against an internal audience before you send it out. Comedy is subjective so don’t expect to please everyone.

Using humor in social media levels the playing field between big-budget creative ad agencies and a clever marketer. Try having fun with your social messaging. You’ll know it’s working when your customers enthusiastically reply, “That’s gold, Jerry!”

What do you think? If you’re using humor with your social media, let us know how it’s working for you. Leave your comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Jason Miller

Jason Miller is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Linkedin leading the content and social strategy for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. Previously he was the Sr. Social Media Strategy at Marketo. Other posts by »




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