When you think of running a business, what are the most desirable qualities to make it successful?
Revolutionary or impressive products? A well-planned marketing plan? Perhaps a powerful online presence?
Rarely would you think of “being yourself” or better yet, “humor.”
However, being yourself (to an extent) is one of the most valuable tools you can harness to earn the trust of your audience. I don’t mean using curse words or being angry; use tasteful humor and and jokes when appropriate. If you are sensible and clever with your strategy, it will effectively boost your employee retention, customer care, and branding of your business. Just don’t try it with accounting. No jokes there.
So what’s the secret for doing humor right? First and foremost; you can never fake it. Your audience will immediately see right through it and you will fail. You need to get your brain working and think of something that will make people LOL (that’s laugh out loud for the older folk).
Follow the steps below to unleash the power of the funny, unless you’re not a funny person. In which case, stick to being true to yourself!
Prepare for the lash back
When you put out, you have to remember the consequences. It is a good idea to be cheeky but do not cross the line into offensive humor. It gives of a bad vibe and is detrimental to business. You can tip-toe around the boundaries depending on your audience but keep it clean. Some successful businesses are bold in their humor, because they know their audience likes dirty jokes and college-humor. Although it doesn’t work for everyone, it may be the exact tool you need to exponentially build your trust.
Be witty in your conversations
Being your hilarious self is not only useful for advertising. You can also seize opportunities in one-on-one conversations. A prime example is when a customer complained to Morrisons (a British supermarket chain) about unevenly sliced bread. David Walker was not happy and neither was his wife, who was apparently shrieking about it. The picture is below, isn’t it an outrage?
Jay, a staff member at Morrisons took the complaint and replied perfectly.
“Hi David, I hope the shrieking’s stopped now and that the house is peaceful again.
“The wonky loaf won’t be any good for your sandwiches but would make a very attractive organic doorstop!
“Can you PM me your address please and we’ll sort something out for you! – Jay”
They surprised David with two fresh loaves of bread, hand baked, cut, and delivered straight to his door. As of June, David’s post had garnered over 7,000 shares and 17,000 likes. Jay’s handling of the situation gave readers a chuckle and caused a surge in store recognition.
Keep up to date with your humor
The last thing you want to do is be the lame-dad at a party telling old jokes that no one thinks are funny. Some comedy is timeless but there are plenty of pop-culture icons to take advantage of. To name a few, there’s Doge, Grumpy Cat, Overly-Attached-Girlfriend, and Screaming Goat. If used properly with the right wording, it will be a hit, like this airplane safety video by delta.
Invite your audience to join in
If you’re reaching out to your customers with humor, have them join in! Encourage people to be happy, fun, and silly and you will generate a positive aura around yourself and your brand. For example, ask your audience to share some pictures or a story related to your brand. Wix did a Facebook photo challenge, asking fans to send them a picture of how their children would dress them for work. The results were amusing to say the least, as you can see from the picture below.
Make fun of yourself
The best thing about making fun of yourself is that you’re not offending anybody. You know you’re talented and awesome so go ahead and make yourself the butt of the joke. Your weaknesses can be turned into a goldmine if marketed correctly, like Microsoft did with their Internet Explorer ad. They acknowledge their image as the most un-cool browser in the world and own that title, saying “The browser you loved to hate just got better.”
If you strive for and demand respect, it will be difficult to achieve. You have much to gain from going in the exact opposite direction. Take Old Spice for example. Nobody who buys Old Spice wants to be like the Old Spice guy. Instead, the advertisements stay fresh in your mind and even people that didn’t buy Old Spice shared the ads on social media, gaining even more exposure due to the hyper-macho image of their ads.
That’s it for now! Start adding humor to your posts and notice how many more people start commenting, liking, and sharing your posts and content online!
But remember! Be yourself!