The Art of Using Humor to Impact and Influence

It’s not secret that any form of content containing some kind of emotion is beneficial to your brand, but if you can make your consumers laugh then you’ve got a great chance of being an unquestionably successful.

As we live in a very serious world, most brands needlessly ignore humor. Wait, but why? Humor provides us with a break from the seriousness surrounding us. Incorporating humor with your social media strategy is a fantastic way to grab your audience’s attention. Do you know someone that can resist a funny tweet, or a clever Facebook post?

Humor is an art and must be honed. While social media can be a fantastic tool to create a witty persona, there is an extremely thin line between comedy and tragedy, which is often dangerous for your brand to thread if used negligently. Here are some funny examples of brands that failed to make their consumers laugh.


Although known for their dicey tweets, IHOP crossed the line when they posted this sexist tweet to all of their followers.

Fans immediately responded to the inappropriate tweet by calling IHOP out for being misogynistic. Stray away from profoundly offensive messages, especially when linking your product or service to human body parts.

The Home Depot

That’s a great idea: don’t be racist!

Now, lets take a look at brands that successfully implemented humor across social media channels.

Old Spice

When thinking of brands that have a funny social media presence, Old Spice comes to mind. With ridiculous, yet original, content, the brand successfully created a comedy character that appears consistently over all of the brand’s media channels, including an Instagram video.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell’s social media accounts are no different. Witty one-liners and crafty photo updates sure make its audience chuckle.

So what makes these brands successful and funny?

While humor is subjective (please don’t expect it to please everyone), here are some keys to being funny and receiving a positive response from your consumers.

  1. Understand your target audience

The most important factor to being humorous is to understand your target audience and what would be funny to them. By doing so, your consumers will certainly remember you and freely share your content.

  1. Keep your overall image in mind

Don’t be funny just for the sake of being funny. You need to make sure the humor fits within the context of your brand; otherwise it just won’t make any sense.

  1. Be consistent

Your brand does not need to be funny across all your social media channels. But, don’t go around trying to make fun of politicians, especially when you’re in the food industry. Be smart in picking things to poke fun at.

  1. Be tasteful

Steer clear of controversial topics and jokes in bad taste. For example, a tweet from male fashion brand, Kenneth Cole, compared their new clothing collection to civil unrest in Cairo, Egypt. This is a complete no-no.

5. Keep it simple

The best humor comes naturally. You don’t need to have a standup routine just to get a laugh from your consumers. Keep your posts short and sweet.

Humor is undeniably a risky path to travel, but if done right, it could separate your brand from your competition, who solely blast their social media channels with product and business information.

You have an incredible power to influence, and even change, brand perception. So your content must do more than just educate consumers about your product; try having fun with your content. Entertain and captivate your audience, and then watch the number of your followers rise!

What’s your perspective on brands using humor on social media? If you’ve got some great examples (or fails), comment and share the links below!

Images sourced within.

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