Business in the Front… Party in the WHAT? The Dos and Don’ts of Being Funny on Your Business Page

Robin Williams. Kevin Hart. Amy Poehler. Lucille Ball.

If laughter is the best medicine, the abovementioned comedic greats are certified prescribers of it.

The good news is that unlike becoming a doctor, the road to successfully channeling humor on your business page is a lot simpler (and, cheaper)! People are more likely to turn into loyal followers if you make them laugh (or, smile).

So, why should my business use humor on its Facebook business page?

  • Well, when we laugh, endorphins that lower inhibitions and makes us feel more comfortable are produced in our brains.
  • If we feel more at ease, we’re far more likely to receive new information and messages positively.

If you use your page to demonstrate your business has the technical know-how, that’s great. But, being able to add smile-provoking humor will set you apart from your competitors’ stale Facebook pages (we’ve all seen them).

If you have several competitors, it may come down to a customer appreciating your competitor over you based on a factor as seemingly small as the personality (or lack thereof) your business displays. Facebook has over one billion active users- millions of these being business pages- an eighth of the world’s entire population!.

Unfortunately, a bad joke on a Facebook business page can be seen as a really bad joke.

However, missing the mark while attempting to be comedic on your business’s Facebook page will hurt your company- often severely.

Foul word-of-mouth is no laughing matter, nor is it the only problem that arises from even just one poorly placed comment meant to be funny (the road to hell is paved with the gravestones of reported Facebook posts).

  • Customers that feel offended or disrespected will abandon their loyalty for your brand and possibly campaign against you!
  • They’ll also potentially cause others to abandon or rally against you (or, worse, they’ll prevent others from even becoming potential customers).

Humor on your business page should be funny, not funny-looking.

Successfully orchestrated jokes, funny anecdotes, or hilarious content will pique interest and turn visitors and acquaintances into customers and friends. However, content meant to be funny may actually come across far differently to your audience. We put together this short list of the “Dos and Don’ts” of being funny on your business’s Facebook:

 

The “Dos”

1. DO utilize memes and humorous images.

Practically every industry has an opportunity to channel some humor in its social media page- humor executed in good taste and appearance, of course. Using memes- humorous images with comedic captions- is one of the easiest ways to channel humor.

Posting funny pictures- directly related to your industry or not- accomplishes two things: since humans are impressed with visual stimuli, a picture catches their attention far more easily than a chunk of text, and since humor is seen as a likable attribute, you further tighten the hold you have on their attention when you elicit a smile.

These pictures do not have to necessarily be evergreen content created by YOU- in fact, sharing works from your community (with the proper acknowledgments, of course) can also lead more visitors in your direction!

Ex. Wendy’s, Arby’s, Old Spice, Charmin, Netflix all lead meme-rich social media marketing campaigns.

2. DO utilize memes, humorous images, and jokes in healthy doses.

‘More’ is not necessarily ‘more’– you may be unfollowed by visitors when you post more than twice a day to your page- unless you’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback on an extended post frequency (4+ posts a day), it’s usually best to say more-with-less. Nothing is more frustrating than watching your creative, humorous posts fall flat on the ground to the sound of internet crickets.

Utilizing Facebook Business Manager Insights to determine what times and what types of posts also factor into determining a healthy amount/type of posts, but a general rule of thumb is to not drive people insane with inane amounts of content (most people will not appreciate their feeds flooded largely with business posts).

3. DO pay close, constant attention to industry trends, news, and sensitive subjects.

Although this may seem to be common sense, it’s not. There is a treacherously thin line between lightening the mood and being downright offensive, and a Facebook business page is by no means a certified tight rope walker.

Although the entire business should ideally be up to speed on current events and news, it is especially vital for the social media manager to be. Sometimes, being informed is as simple as ‘test-running’ a joke with your coworker or a close friend or gauging popular opinions of events from comments- both on and offline.

A good rule of thumb before making a joke or meme about a topic is to err on the side of conservative caution and avoid mentioning it altogether if there’s even a slither of doubt. Cleaning up a mess from a disastrous social media scenario is far more difficult than simply choosing another topic.

Ex. Amidst heated gun-control conversations, arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin insensitively asked people to “tag them” in pictures with of their guns.

The Don’ts

1. DON’T use humor that is even slightly more likely to upset (versus amuse) your audience.

It’s not worth it. It may be tempting to say, “Well, all PR is good PR”, but unfortunately, there are far more companies who have tragic tales from relying on that phrase than those that have success stories from doing so.

Ex. Chrysler famously posted “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f**king drive.” No professionalism + obviously mischanneled personal anger= bad idea. Or, Nivea’s “White is Purity” ad.

2. DON’T be afraid to poke fun at your brand BUT avoid ‘getting even’ with offended followers.

When you make a mistake, own it. Be the first person to laugh. It’s great for your business because it brings attention to an issue and displays accountability. Self-deprecation is further supported by the pratfall effect, which is the tendency for a person’s interpersonal appeal to increase after an individual makes a mistake (being more relatable is a must-have to avoid your brand coming off as coldly corporate and impersonal.

Businesses can show personality by also “beating others to the punch-“ for instance, a car dealership could say “We know car salesmen get bad raps, but hey. We’re dealers and we don’t even trust some of the dealers out there.”

However, avoid insulting, hurling expletives, using controversial slang, or “getting even”. While back-and-forth commenting between a business and customer is a great way to increase engagement, becoming defensive or dismissing complaints is never the way to go.

3. DON’T be uninformed as to the true meanings of popular phrases and hashtags.

If audience-analysis has shown an overwhelming fan base of baby-boomers, using popular, trendy phrases or words may backfire: even if something sounds innocent or straightforward, checking to confirm the validity of that assumption is vital to avoid wasting your audience’s time (and, your’s).

If you aren’t sure if something will be seen in the appropriate light or interpreted the way you intend, double check it with coworkers (or, search the web for all the definitions associated with it, as well as popular sentiments and opinions).

Mis-interpreting words and phrases will confuse, anger, offend, or hurt your audience, which has the potential to wreak massive havoc onto your company’s finances and image.

Ex. DiGiorno Pizza using the “#WhyIStayed” hashtag (in reference to domestic violence) to say, “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.”

 

Fusion Group USA

If your company is on social media platforms, such as Facebook, your business is sitting on a goldmine of potential customers.

When you enlist Fusion Group USA to help shape your social media presence, you’re enlisting experienced digital marketers that understand the analytic complexities of the digital world. You can read more about our social media management here or contact us today to set up a no-strings-attached consultation. What are you waiting for? Contact us today!

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