The Rise of ‘Candid’ Social Media Content — Why Brands Use Humour to Connect

TikTok Marketing

Written by Abby Kawamata

With expertise in social media marketing, branding, and graphic design, Abby crafts compelling social narratives that drive engagement and boost brand recognition.

January 30, 2024

If you frequent social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly known as Twitter), you may have seen the seemingly unrehearsed — and incontrovertibly hilarious — conversations that occur between companies and their consumers, sometimes under the guise that an ‘intern’ has been given control of the page. 

Authentic Social Media Content

But I hate to break it to you — these interactions are anything but off-the-cuff. In reality, it’s all a deeply interwoven strategy developed to make you relate to these otherwise impersonal multibillion-dollar conglomerates. But how do they manage to make us care about their faceless brand identities? Well, it’s all about building a tone of voice, and often that voice involves humour.

Why does brand voice matter?

You may think that it’s enough to simply put your business up on social media, whip up a few paid ad campaigns, and voila — instant sales. We wish it was this simple!

Everything from your logo and colours to imagery and website design all work together to build your unique brand, and the way your brand communicates with customers will play a big part in how they perceive the product.

For example, a prestigious law firm might prefer to maintain their upright image and showcase their expertise through eloquent website copy filled with technical jargon.

A trendy clothing company trying to appeal to young adults, however, might keep their Instagram captions socially relevant with textspeak abbreviations and pop culture references.

But imagine if that serious law firm used slang and colloquialisms in their earnest mission statement. It might make you think twice about engaging their services, right?

When your brand tone fails to align with other elements of your strategy, the discrepancies can cause your consumer to doubt your brand, and doubt is the mortal enemy of sales!

An appropriately toned brand voice will be able to connect with your ideal customer and speak to their needs, meeting expectations and building trust. And for many brands, making a transition into humorous content is the only way they see this happening.

What makes humour so effective as a marketing tool?

When used in marketing, humour has the ability to improve audiences’ attention spans, increase engagement, and enhance mood. One recent study even found that 90% of viewers were more likely to remember an ad that made them laugh.[1] With results like these, it’s no wonder that brands leverage this psychological superpower every day!

But unfortunately for businesses, the majority of social media users do not want to be marketed to, full stop. In fact, studies show that nearly three-quarters of consumers feel overwhelmed and irritated by the constant barrage of ads they face in their daily lives.[2] The solution? Ads that don’t feel like advertising.

When brands act more ‘human’ — using popular trends and funny quips in their organic content — it leaves us with a vastly more positive impression than annoying traditional sales tactics.

These new “ads-in-disguise” utilise a universal part of human nature — humour — to build the all-important brand/customer relationship and drive sales.  

Developing your brand voice

But before you go crazy creating memes to slap all over your socials, remember that your brand voice will only cut through the noise if it’s cohesive with the rest of your touchpoints.

You’ll need to consider your ideal audience as well as your own goals for the business when deciding on how to position your content in the digital space. If you’re aiming for a serious and trustworthy persona, do you really want to be cracking jokes?

While humour can certainly be an effective tool to have in your arsenal, it isn’t the be-all and end-all of social media — though some accounts may try and make it appear otherwise. What’s more important is building trust with your customers, in whatever way works for your business.

And if you want our advice? Just be yourself! Social media was created to be social, after all.

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