Should you be funny?

The Internet has become one of the biggest (and most popular) sources for humour – especially on social media. Users are constantly searching for the latest memes on Instagram, silly articles on Facebook and popular laugh out loud hashtags on Twitter.

Humour can be an extremely effective way to build a connection with your followers. It can help add a human element to your brand by appealing to your audience’s emotions. That said, if it isn’t done correctly and tastefully, you run the risk of tarnishing your company name.

Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider when incorporating humour in your company’s social media.

#1. DO incorporate pop culture phrases

This keeps content fun, relatable, and most importantly, current. When your audience can recognize and relate to your content there’s a much better chance of them liking and sharing your posts.

For example, Taco bell has mastered how to use the good morning text phenomenon to their advantage on social.

#2. DO reference current events and trending hashtags

When used correctly, incorporating a trending hashtag in your social media posts is an effective way to increase reach and engagement.

Denny’s gained a lot of positive attention when they used the trending #CollegeIn5Words hashtag to promote their brand. The tweet received a high number of likes, retweets and responses, all in which were praising the company for being relatable and humorous at the same time.

#3. DO apologize if you’ve made a mistake – and be sincere

There’s a thin line between being funny and being offensive on social media. In the case that your post does more harm than good, apologize! Nobody is perfect: making an effort to sincerely apologize for your mistake will help show that your brand is real.

Fashion designer Kenneth Cole tried to take a humorous spin on Cairo, and ended up offending many followers. To mitigate the issue, they sent out a sincere apology correcting the mistake.

#1. DON’T offend your audience

The customer is always right—especially on a public platform like social media. As a rule of thumb, don’t be a jerk when responding to customer messages and inquiries. Other followers take notice of what you say, and sending the wrong message out into the world-wide web could result in a crisis sooner than you think.

#2. DON’T use a hashtag if you are uncertain about the context

If you are unsure of the context of a hashtag, do some research before sending it out. There’s nothing worse than misusing a trending hashtag.

The #WhyIStayed hashtag was meant to discuss domestic abuse. DiGiorno Pizza learned this the hard way after their audience caused an uproar.


#3. DON’T press send without getting a second opinion from your team

If you feel a social media post might be a bit risky, always ask for a second opinion to avoid a negative or embarrassing outcome.

Is it possible the whole Total Beauty team didn’t know that this was Whoopi Goldberg and not Oprah Winfrey?

Probably not.

While humour is subjective and it can be nearly impossible to form a joke that pleases everyone, it’s important to be subjective and tasteful when incorporating it into your brand’s social media strategy.

Atlas Communications is a Toronto social media marketing company specializing in social media branding, lead-generation, and results-driven campaigns for companies of all sizes. Contact our agency today for all of your social media marketing needs!




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