Social media is a very serious tool. For many of us, it enables us to earn a living by bringing in new business, expanding our knowledge base or helping us be more awesome in general. You should always approach your strategy for social media in a way that’s purposeful, thoughtful and designed to be all-around successful.
But that doesn’t mean you have to be a humorless bore on social media. Remember, this is supposed to be fun! This is the medium that brought us lolcats, after all. People go online, in large part, to be entertained. Don’t be afraid to do that.
Don’t believe it’s your business’ role to be entertaining? Don’t think you have a fun product? Au contraire. One of the greatest success stories in social media marketing is Old Spice’s hilarious, on-the-fly video campaign featuring charismatic pitchman Isaiah Mustafa talking about all things manly. The videos were cheaply made, tongue in cheek and a success in terms of boosting sales and brand recognition. And that was a social media campaign about deodorant. The deodorant your dad probably wore.
Still not buying it? Okay. Let’s look at some more recent examples. There’s nothing fun about laundry detergent; people don’t really like to talk about how they wash their clothes. In fact, it’s so boring that satire site The Onion wrote a parody, suggesting Tide Detergent had created an awesome viral video featuring puppets and Bret Michaels. Tide could have just ignored this, or it could have gotten all litigious and pissy. Instead, they got awesome and produced the video. It’s hysterical, featuring a Bret Michael lookalike, an army of sock puppets and an indie rock jingle . They turned a jab into an asset and wound up making detergent relevant and fun. Imagine that.
Finally, you have the fine folks at Samsung Canada. Anyone who’s managed a Facebook page knows you get the occasional crank fan who posts absurd things on your fan page. In this case, a gentleman sent a request for a free phone and attached a drawing of a dragon to sweeten the deal. The page manager responded with a polite refusal for the free phone but with his own picture of a kangaroo riding a unicycle. It took him five minutes to throw together in MS Paint and earned the company front-page status on Reddit and a lot of good will.
All of these companies managed to be entertaining while being true to their brand, providing excellent customer service and promoting their products. And isn’t that what social media marketing is all about? So go ahead. Dare to be stupid, silly and funny. Your customers will love you for it.