There was a time when just being in social media was a risk for companies. I’m glad we’re (mostly) done with those days, but now we’re into a new era … the era of experimentation.
Oooh, I like this era! This is when people really start getting creative. And the more risks brands take, the more we learn what works and (unfortunately) what totally backfires.
What you’ll find in this post are the social media ideas that many brands wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole; except, of course, for some special few who said, “Meh, screw it.” And boy do we love those people! Take a look at some risky social media moves that flout convention, and the brands that are pulling it off, anyway.
10 Risky Social Media Moves Real Brands Aren’t Afraid to Make
1) Loosening Up Enough to Make a Joke in B2B Marketing
Businesspeople don’t smile. They carry briefcases and march around with a withering stare of the utmost seriousness. Except the people at IMPACT Branding. Take a look at their latest Facebook timeline cover photo (which they update pretty frequently, check back often):
If you missed the honey badger meme, maybe you’ll enjoy a little something from the How I Met Your Mother genre:
Or if The Office is more your speed, they’ve had a little fun with Dwight “Bears, Beets, Battlestar Gallactica” Schrute, too:
Point is, everyone likes to laugh. Loosen up! As long as your jokes aren’t in poor taste — you know this by creating buyer personas in which you get to know your audience’s sense of humor — your readers will appreciate that you’ve infused a little levity into their day. Fact.
2) Loosening Up Enough to Make a Joke in Your “Boring” Industry
“It’s easy for them to be funny,” you say, “they work in branding and design!” You don’t have to work in a hip industry to be funny in social media. Take a look at General Electric’s Pinterest account if you want proof that “boring” industries can take a risk on humor, too. Here’s one of their latest pinboards:
This isn’t great just because it gets people chuckling … it actually expands GE’s audience by thinking about their industry in terms more people can understand. So no, maybe their engineers don’t love this (or maybe they do, because it’s hilarious), but they already have an audience of engineers. You’re not going to grow your reach if you don’t think outside the box!
3) Opening the Feedback Floodgates
Some brands are too scared to get into social media because it gives people a place to air their grievances. We get that. We don’t agree with it, but after hearing the refrain so much, we “get” it. Then there are the brands that take it one step further, and actually proactively open the feedback floodgates. Take a look at how UncommonGoods does it on its Facebook page, for example: