Social Media’s Secret Weapon — or not as the case may be.
I recently came across the following question on LinkedIn:
“Is Having a Kick-Ass Sense of Humor Essential in a Social Media Manager?”
It was the first time I had seen “a sense of humor’ listed as a job requirement. How would you test for that anyway? Ask candidates to complete the following sentence…
“A Minister, a Penguin and a CFO walk into a tweet-up…”
A lot of Social Media content relies on humor, so it was no surprise that the answer to the query was a resounding YES! As a content strategy, humor in the right hands, has a lot going for it:
- It gets attention
- It gets the message across
- It’s sharable
- It’s memorable
It should also come with a warning label. Nothing falls flatter than a joke that doesn’t work — plus there’s the added bonus of possibly offending someone who doesn’t quite get it. Assuming you have a workable sense of humor, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.
Be Yourself — Authenticity is the key to a successful branding, it’s also the bedrock of humor. All good comedy comes from personal experiences and insights. This “Ring of Truth” won’t appeal to everybody, but it will connect with customers and prospects who share your beliefs.
Know Your Audience — The first rule of being a successful business is also the first rule of comedy. Speak their language, share their concerns, know what subjects to avoid, generally make ’em feel that you’re one of them.
Be Consistent—Never lose site of the fact that you are promoting your company and not auditioning for a gig on the Tonight Show. Like a pair of rainbow suspenders, your jokes need to support your brand.
Timing is everything — Stay current. If you’re looking to capitalize on something funny in the news, or a new social fad, act fast before the public’s attention moves on. Once it becomes old news you’ll be writing a history lesson.
Get to the Point— Attention spans are getting shorter, so make it quick. Jokes are basically little tasty nugget of information/insights/observations.
Words with a “K” are Funny — Not sure how useful this one is, but it’s a comedic rule of thumb made famous by Neil Simon in the Sunshine Boys. (Will pause while you Google.)
BONUS TIPS FOR THE “LAUGH CHALLENGED”
For Pete’s Sake, Get Help — If not comfortable doing this yourself, there are plenty of would-be, wanna-be, used-to-be humor writer’s out there. You can also “curate” (comedians have been “curating” from each other for years) humorous bits from other sources as long as you credit them, they also support your brand, and they are not originally from a competing company.
A Picture’s Worth… — Humorous photos, graphics, illustrations—visuals of all kind are a good, and fairly safe way to inject some yuks into your posts material.
Finally — Don’t take yourself too seriously — Just because your company is serious doesn’t mean all your marketing has to be.