Are you looking for a way to help your brand stand out from the crowd? Sometimes, the best thing you can do is relax and get real with your customers.
A lot of brands use their social media accounts to offer discounts or sales. Others tell stories that tug on their follower’s heartstrings. Some send out an occasional inspiring message to the world — but the posts that grab people’s attention are the ones that entertain.
Don’t believe it? Consider this:
There’s a tremendous amount of value in humor as a tool for entertainment — not just because it inspires a chuckle or two. Humor, done with just the right amount of sass, can actually crack the cynical armor most consumers are wearing these days when they’re interacting with various brands.
Humor disarms. There’s been a crisis of trust developing for a while now between brands and consumers, but it’s hard to feel distrustful when you’re laughing along with someone.
Why Does Humor Help Build Consumer Trust?
Only about 34% of consumers say that they trust the brands they use — and 53% say they can spot it when a brand is somewhat less-than-truthful (a term called “trust-washing.) Yet, 81% of consumers say that trust is a huge part of their choice to purchase from a brand. That statistic alone gives brands powerful insight into an opportunity that can easily go to waste.
If you can get a laugh from a consumer, you accomplish two things. You relax the consumer and you create a memorable instance that — quite frequently — people want to share. Physiologically and psychologically, the mere act of laughing, chuckling, or grinning allows a moment of self-awareness, an unspoken vulnerability, an instance of intimacy, and (ultimately) a little bit of trust to creep in.
There’s a reason that tweets and memes from brands like Wendy’s and Netflix have managed to go viral from time to time. They’re funny but not cruel, snarky without being overly sharp. Wendy’s and Netflix has learned to poke just the right amount of fun at competitors and pop culture outrages. Bud Light recently figured out how to do the same when it picked up on the viral joke knowns as the “Area 51 Raid” by offering free beer to any aliens who made it off the compound.
How Do You Unlock Your Brand’s Humor?
Before your brand can effectively use humor in its posts, you have to get to know your brand’s voice. Ask yourself this: “If this brand were a person, who would he or she be?” Once you know the answer, you’ll have the key to unlocking your brand’s particular sense of humor.
You also have to be willing to take risks. A good quip comes back fast — it doesn’t go through five layers of approval and vetting before it gets posted. That means trusting your social media team to make decisions about what to post without a huge amount of oversight.
Remember what we were talking about earlier about humor and vulnerability? Embrace it. You have to let go a little and let that sassy, cheeky, funny sideshow the real you behind your brand.