14.01.2014 Side Splitting Social Media: How to use humour to best effect

Everybody loves to laugh.

Humour is a great tool which can be used to really stand out on social media. There have been some great examples of this, the most recent being a hilarious pun-filled exchange between supermarket Sainsbury and a customer. 

The pun battle between Sainsbury’s social media team and a customer has become an internet sensation and a viral success for the supermarket. The full fishy exchange can be seen here. 1
Sainsbury’s got it very right here, but some brands can get it disastrously wrong. And of course, humour isn’t right for every brand or organisation (think undertakers, some public sector bodies and many more).

But for many brands, using humour can be an excellent way to show your human face to customers and fans. Here are  our tips on how to use humour in your social media campaigns.

Keep it clean

If you are going to be funny, make sure you keep your jokes tasteful. People will appreciate the simplicity and will be more likely to share with other users. That was one reason the Sainsbury exchange worked so well.

Be a little bit edgy

If you are going to be controversial make sure it’s tongue in cheek. It’s easy to offend which can result in negative backlash, so by all means be edgy, but never too controversial. Stay away from sensitive subjects such as religion or world disasters. Ben and Jerry’s created a great tongue in cheek tweet about the legalisation of marijuana in Colorado. It was the perfect mix of slightly controversial and funny.

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Don’t take yourself too seriously

You may have a serious brand but social media is a place where you can let your hair down. Don’t take your self too seriously and your users will appreciate your efforts. One brand that is making a success of not taking itself too  seriously is Tesco mobile.

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Interact with your followers

Social media is a tool of interaction so if a user tweets you opening a comedy open goal, by all means use it as an opportunity to get a laugh. They will appreciate the personable touch and it can convey your brand personality. Charmin got this right when interacting with a comedian.

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Try and be reactive

Don’t be afraid to jump on the bandwagon, but when you do try and be original and creative. One of the funniest exchanges between brands happened recently when Tesco Mobile started a conversation, which Yorkshire Tea and Jaffa Cakes got involved with. It went viral and showed the brands in a hilarious new light.

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What funny exchanges on social media have really tickled you? Feel free to share with us!