Taking Humor Seriously in Your Social Media Campaigns

by | Sep 22, 2011 | At Checkerboard, Integrated Marketing, Social Media | 1 comment

Bringing humor into your web content and social media platforms can be the perfect jolt of personality and fun to make you and your company memorable. How memorable was the Old Spice brand (aside from the tingly, spicy, strong-but-clean scent) before The Man Your Man Could Smell Like commercials went viral around TV and the Internet? Now Old Spice is a leader in social media campaigns and brand personality.

If you are thinking of bringing a lighthearted side into your campaigns or social media, here are some humor guidelines to get you started:

1. Humor is powerful

Humor evokes strong feelings of joy in both the giver and receiver. The feel-good enjoyment we get from receiving a funny email or a Flash-mob video makes us want to pass it on to spread the joy, which may be the key to spreading your campaign messaging.

2. Be careful what you pass on

Everyone knows the annoyance of receiving email or text forwards full of lukewarm humor. But the minute it’s truly funny, the annoyance disappears and we pass it on to our ring of friends. Make sure your idea is genuinely funny and not going to annoy your audience by testing it on a trial group if you can.

3. Humor translates well into short, sharable data

Short jokes and statements can easily go viral on Twitter, posted as a Facebook status, or copied and pasted onto any media platform. Humor is easily spread and transcends cultures, making it a must in your campaigns.

4. Laughter should be taken seriously

When using humor, it is important to pay attention to who you are involving. While it is acceptable to make you, your company or your business the butt of a joke, you should never involve a group, person, business or religion about which you understand little. Old Spice pokes fun at boyfriends and husbands everywhere by showing an idealized man doing manly things perfectly (and according to the creators—doing them all in one video take!) because it is a company that understands its audience.

5. Be authentic

It is more important to be authentic with your customers and brand than to turn into a comedian, so don’t give up your real messaging for the sake of humor. A simple pun, a play on words, or a funny hash tag are all great, easy ideas to get people smiling and involved with your brand.

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