According to the “Rule of 7”, a potential client or customer needs to interact with your brand at least seven times before they’ll be ready to buy your product or service.
You can have the most enticing offer in the world – but if we’ve never heard of you, you’ll struggle to get us to hand over any of our cold, hard cash.
A strong social media presence is key to increasing brand awareness – but if the first 6 times anyone hears from you, they’re not going to be receptive to any kind of sales messaging – you might start to wonder: what exactly are we meant to “say”?!
Placing comedy at the heart of your social media marketing strategy is win-win for two reasons. Firstly – it’s the quickest route to creating content that’s entertaining and engaging. And secondly – the techniques that comedy writers use to craft their jokes can also be a useful creative tool, even if you’re not trying to be funny.
A joke, after all, is just the product of two disparate ideas “clicking” together, in a way that all of a sudden makes sense, thanks to a hidden “truth” that’s been cleverly framed to bridge the gap.
Those hidden truths allow you to link your brand to anything – a news story, a relatable trope, a viral trend – opening up new possibilities for content creation across the board.
(Of course – as a social media marketing company powered by a hive-mind of comedy writers – we highly recommend erring on the side of “funny”. But you’d expect that from us!)
If you’re looking for inspiration for your next blog post, Instagram story, tweet, or even your next Tik Tok video – and you’re keen on using comedy to create brand awareness but not sure where to start, this article’s for you.
The best news? You can implement each and every one of these without needing to hire a full service digital marketing agency. You can DIY these tips to your heart’s content.
15 ways you can use comedy content to boost brand awareness on social media
1 – Tweet
Ok – so we’re starting off super simple here, but that’s with good reason. A tweet is the smallest unit of social content – and it’s also the perfect place to start learning how to make your brand funny.
We’ve put together an email mini-course called “How to write jokes that sell (in 280 characters or less)” – and if you’re thinking about trying to crack wise on Twitter, you should definitely grab a copy.
2a – Socialise
It’s called social media for a reason – yet most brands turn up, broadcast their message, and disappear again. Why not take some time to interact with your audience? Even better – if they’re following you, follow them back, and find funny (brand-relevant) ways to insert yourself into their conversation.
It can be a great way to practice using your newfound comedy chops without feeling overexposed.
2b – Make a Funny Twitter Banner
It’s not just your content itself that gives you the opportunity to show your sense of humour – the very nuts and bolts of your online presence can be part of the picture, too.
If you twitter banner is currently just a glossy promo pic, ditch it – and consider that space a slot for fun, funny brand awareness campaigns.
Switch out the boring brand recognition visuals, and switch in layers of comedy that you change on a regular basis.
3 – Customer Service
We’re so used to the social media feeds of big brands being bland and faceless, that all it takes is for one response to a customer’s complaint or question to be delivered with wit and warmth – and it’s front page news. So make a habit of it. Find fun, funny, entertaining ways to respond to your audience.
Even better – hire a social media management company who just happens to have a hive-mind of comedy writers in their back pocket to handle everything for you.
4 – Infographics
Got a whole load of facts and figures that your audience probably should care about, but only if you find an entertaining way to get their attention with them?
Turn them into an infographic – and for each key fact or figure, layer on a joke or a funny idea. Not only will your audience lap them up – they’ll almost certainly share them far and wide, too.
Search engines love original graphics, too – so if all your imagery comes from stock photo libraries, now’s the perfect time to invest in something special.
5 – Job Adverts
Every platform needs a slightly different social media strategy – and when it comes to LinkedIn, it can be tricky trying to work out how to adapt your brand message so that it fits in with the suit-and-tie vibe over there.
Why not follow Netflix’s brilliant content marketing example? To promote the release of their series The Witcher – they posted a job advert, on LinkedIn, advertising a position equivalent to the titular role. The advert linked back to an application that users could genuinely fill in, on the official Netflix jobs website.
No word on whether they’ve filled the role just yet, but they certainly managed to generate a high level of brand awareness on a platform where their usual memes and gifs really wouldn’t fly.
6 – funny freebies
Not every post that raises your brand’s profile on social has to be created by you. Why not send your most loyal customers some funny (punny) merch that will make for a great photo opportunity. Just make sure that it’s so hilarious they won’t be able to resist sharing a pic with the world.
Pro tip: to make sure they’re motivated to share, you need a joke that makes both them and your brand the heroes of the story. If it makes them laugh and it makes them say “OMG, that’s so me” – you’re pretty much guaranteed both traction and engagement.
And you don’t have to restrict yourself to physical gifts, either – an automatically generated funny photoshop would be a great alternative as a reward for an online-only referral program.
7 – make mistakes
This one’s part conspiracy theory, part marketing theory. You know how Starbucks never seems to be able to get anyone’s name right? Well it’s no coincidence that pictures of Starbucks cups with ridiculous names on do the rounds on social media each and every day.
Starbucks will insist they don’t do it on purpose – but even if that’s true, can you think of a fun, funny way to make a deliberate mistake on behalf of your small business that will be received with a hearty laugh and some good humour, but also shared, carrying your logo and awareness of your brand with it?
if not – you could always hire a social media agency who spend all day every day coming up with fun ideas like that. #JustSayin.
Side note: this is a great place to plug an awesome viral sketch written by, and starring, one of our regular writers.[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVaHvRLlHr0[/embedyt]
8 – Vlog
Pretty much every social network prioritises native video content – that means if you can turn your fun, funny ideas into a video, that video will get shown to more people than a text-based or image-based post ever would.
Of course – it’s not good enough just to “make a video”, you still need to make it entertaining. If you haven’t got a social media marketing agency like ours to lean on, then here’s another easy to follow pro tip.
Keep the videos short and sweet, and alternate between a fascinating fact (one that your audience would be really interested in even if you weren’t making it entertaining), and a witty observation or thought about that fact (again – an observation that will resonate with your ideal customer even if it doesn’t make them laugh).
Follow that structure and you’ll eliminate almost all of the risk that comes with comedy content – giving you a chance to slowly but surely, over time, get better at turning those witty observations that might raise a smile into genuine jokes that are guaranteed to get a belly laugh.
9 – Facebook Live Video
Once you’ve bossed number 8, give number 9 a go. If you go live on Facebook, even more of your followers get notified than would otherwise see each posted video. But because it’s “live” your audience will give you much more leeway when it comes to low production values, and a rough-and-ready style.
So long as you can get the “message” fun, funny and entertaining – with Facebook Lives you can deliver it more quickly, more easily, more cost effectively, and get it seen by a wider audience. Win win.
10 – Tik Tok Video
Everyone’s got different opinions about Tik Tok. Some herald it as the future, others see it as a flash in the pan. Some say “every brand needs to be here”, others say “anyone who invests their time there is wasting it”. Nevertheless – if it’s where your ideal customer spends their time, it’s worth seriously considering including Tik Tok in your social media marketing mix.
11 – Engage with (and / or sass) other brands
When you learn how to turn your brand message into comedy content, you soon realise there’s a way to co-opt pretty much any news story so that it becomes a joke that paints your brand as the hero. And that’s especially true of stories featuring other well-known brands
In the week that Elon Musk unveiled his new Cybertruck, with it’s “shatterproof windows” that embarrassingly shattered during the demo – Lego were quick to respond.
if you’re Coca Cola, you don’t have to stick to taking on Pepsi. If. you’re Wendy’s, you don’t have to restrict your sass to McDonalds.
A superb example of how to leverage a big news story, with a (funny) twist that ensures your brand becomes a part of the conversation.
12 – Social Media Contests
If you can’t afford our social media marketing services – why not get your audience, and their friends and family, to write the jokes for you?
Organising social media contests (caption competitions, finish this sentence challenges, pun-offs and the like) makes your fans and followers feel like they’re a part of your inner circle – while also, conveniently, forcing them to come up with the funnies for you.
Of course, it takes a bit of skill knowing which kinds of kick-off stimuli will give them enough material to work with (and lead to jokes that maintain your brand’s position as the hero of the story) – but with a bit of trial and error, you’ll quickly get a handle on what works and what doesn’t.
Be sure to include a witty hashtag that’s built around your brand name though – otherwise their responses might be entertaining and engaging, but you won’t be building brand awareness.
13 – Paid Ads (to hone your Brand’s sense of humour)
Sure – in an ideal world, we’d get all of the reach we need from organic social media, and we wouldn’t have to pay for anything. And yes – comedy content will help your message travel further under it’s own steam – but Paid Ads and PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising still have their place. Comedy can boost their effectiveness, but they also have place in helping you boost the effectiveness of your comedy – because with Paid Ads, you can A/B test.
By trying out different jokes, styles of joke, and even different punchlines to the same joke – on split-test audiences that you know won’t see the alternate versions – you can learn, at speed, what your ideal customer does (and doesn’t) find funny.
You can then use these learnings to inform the comedy in your organic content – safe in the knowledge that it’s pitching itself at exactly the right level.
14 – Remarketing and Retargeting
The other great thing about Paid Ads is that you can retarget, and retarget again. Most companies use this to build funnels – taking prospects from “unaware” to “ready to buy” one advert at a time.
seeing as our hive-mind of comedy writers just happens to contain a couple of prolific sitcom scribes – we’d love to find a client who’s willing to go one better.
Imagine a funnel that didn’t just walk your prospects along that customer journey – it also told them a story. A funny one. With all the twists and turns, all the laughs and lols, of a primetime sitcom.
People would start to seek out the Ads all by themselves. Be desperate to get caught up in the next stage of the funnel, so they can continue with the story. They’d be so busy being entertained, they wouldn’t even notice they were being sold to. And before you know it – they’ve bought the house.
(If you don’t work in real estate – just fix that last sentence, and replace “house” with whatever it is that you’re most keen to sell. You get the idea).
15 – (Don’t) start a Podcast
Everything that’s made the list so far is a way that you could (and should) use comedy to boost brand awareness on social media. This final entry is – instead – a cautionary word of warning.
Don’t – just don’t – start a podcast.
If you’re expecting a clever reason for this – you won’t find one. It’s honestly just that the world and his brother have one now – and I can’t fit any more into my listening schedule.
Go on someone else’s podcast, by all means, but don’t bother starting your own. And if you do, don’t tell me about it.
I’ve already got way too many backed up that I still haven’t gotten around to…