By Caitlin Brennan

May 24th, 2017

Social media pages do not rise and fall on the strength of sales and information alone. For fans to follow and remain followers, brands need to incorporate an added value, such as humor, to humanize the brand. Aside from providing relevant content and customer service, humor can keep your audience coming back. We previously wrote about the value of using humor on Twitter, now we’re going to show you more examples of how you can write funny tweets by looking at examples of tweets inspired by common comedy tropes.

1. Self-deprecation
Why so serious? Brands that can joke about themselves show a self-awareness that can help deliver corporate messages with a wink and a nod instead of an earnest but dry pitch. Denny’s is a heavy hitter when it comes to hunger and humor. They’re irreverent, current and as fluffy as their pancakes. In this tweet Denny’s makes it clear that they know the score, that they’re not only in on the joke, but that they are fine being the joke.

Self-deprecation is usually a safe way to experiment with humor as long as you use common sense and have a history of making jokes on Twitter. Granted, you’d think common sense would have dissuaded Domino’s pizza from publicly trashing its own product. Good thing Domino’s scoffed at common sense – due to their frank campaign highlighting their shortcomings the brand has seen a complete turn, from financial faltering to now being worth $9 billion. 

2. Capitalize on a viral opportunity
It’s a tale as old as social media: brand tries to create viral content and fails miserably. Usually, the failure is simply due to fan disinterest, but swimsuit company Sunny Co. put a whole new spin on things. They held a giveaway offer which promised a free red suit to anyone who reposted their Instagram post. Unfortunately, the company couldn’t keep up with the demand and quickly got in over their heads. It turns out there are a lot of people with Instagram accounts who would do nearly anything for free stuff.

Sunny’s loss was another funny brand’s gain. In this tweet, Jimmy John’s took a stab at joining the hysteria. If you have decent Photoshop skills and a product that would look great in a swimsuit try this strategy out.

3. Caption humor
The thrill of competition and the joy of laughing combined to form a powerful strategy for an engaging tweet. In this example, Product Hunt challenges fans to caption a curious cabinet of military might with the famous Zuck at the helm. 

A caption contest can be a good entrée to humor for brands that have yet to experiment with jokes. Select an interesting picture of one of your products and ask your fans to provide a caption. You can offer a small reward like a discount for your product and give your winner a wider audience to showcase their humor.

4. Puns
What does everyone on the Internet love more than cute animals? Cute animals and puns! Yes, puns are eye rolling, but come one…this tweet from Kate Spade is pretty cute.

If you want to give this strategy a whirl ask your grandfather for his favorite pun. I’m sure he’s got a lot…

Here’s another one…oh McDonald’s you sure are cheeky! (See what I did there…?) 

5. Recurring theme
You know when you’re watching a show and they keep making the same joke à la “phrasing” or “that’s what she said”? Recurring gags offer an alert audience entrance into the club of those in on the joke.

In anticipation for the “launch” of their new Zinger chicken sandwich, KFC adopted a space theme and began churning out galactic guffaws. The campaign is set to take a celestial crescendo which will culminate in a Zinger chicken sandwich being launched into space because why not? If you’re afraid of aliens or lack the funds to propel your products into the heavens, fear not, you can still create a campaign that includes recurring jokes.

In the end, not everyone is funny. After all, to humanize your brand with humor, you literally have to have a human who has a good sense of humor. Take into account every opportunity that is out there on social media. Some are golden opportunities to put your brand’s spin on things; others have nothing do with the brand – they’re just good jokes with a good pun.

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