Bringing Humor and Personality to Your Twitter Feed
When it comes to social media platforms, Twitter is the hot spot where dissatisfied customers group to howl off complaints, questions, and comments. It’s a customer service hub, a digital bulletin board, and now an entertainment epicenter.
Unlike other social media platforms, Twitter doesn’t boast high-quality images, engaging video, or the ability to view and post “stories.” Many see this online blue bird’s nest of chatter as just a stream of words and updates. It wasn’t until last year that Twitter doubled its character limit from 140 to 280, so its users could start to create longer forms of content.
While being constantly active on Twitter as a brand is a must, posts should be thoughtfully crafted. A few years ago, a tweet that included an image, had hashtag-rich copy, and was tagged with the necessary handles was considered genius. But now, the most high-profile tweets aren’t complex or professional, they are simple and funny.
Brands have been developing their own unique voice for their Twitter accounts. They are hitting send on tweets that don’t necessarily announce a new product or update, but are quippy, humorous, and entertaining. The tweets gaining the most impressions on Twitter aren’t the ones peppered with hashtags and searchable key terms, but rather the ones that just make people laugh.
Twitter is no longer just a news platform, it’s an entertainment tool. Users are logging on not just to “favorite” tweets from friends and popular celebrities, but also to see content from restaurant chains, retailers, and other consumer brands. Many brands have shifted from maintaining a pristine and professional social media presence to feeding the masses humor, sass, drama (e.g. Wendy’s Twitter, @wendys), and engaging content that doesn’t just ramble off an announcement. The en vogue approach to not only maintain your current following, but also to cultivate a bigger audience, is hooking users on humor.
guy: can I get a milkshake with 2 straws?
girl: that’s so romantic.
guy, chugging milkshake with makeshift straw tusks: were you thaying thomething?
— Denny’s (@DennysDiner) January 14, 2018
To name a few exemplary comedic Twitter accounts, take a look at Wendy’s, Denny’s, Old Spice, and MoonPie. Notice anything that they’re doing that your company isn’t?
While you don’t need to hire a comedian to write your tweets (sorry guys, I have a day job), you do need to channel your brand’s personality and dare to be bold. Let these tips help you tailor your tweets.
PERSONALITY > PROFESSIONALISM
Up until a couple of months ago, Drake’s Cakes were not a part of my snack/dessert repertoire. Yet ever since the baked goods company amped up its Twitter account and I started following @drakes, thoughts of Ring Dings and Coffee Cakes have been dancing in my head. The @drakes Twitter account, written through the witty voice of Webster, the company’s duck mascot, is absolutely hilarious.
ladies please stop dm’ing me sorry for the confusion but i am in an exclusive relationship with ring dings
— webster (@drakes) February 27, 2018
While some may find this tweet to be lacking punctuation or grammatical perfection, think about it. It got retweeted and favorited, causing it to pop up in the feed of other users, who may or may not follow @drakes. Twitter users probably clicked on the account, recognized the brand, and whether or not they interacted with the tweet or account any further, the name Drakes Cakes, particularly Ring Dings, has now subconsciously been implanted into their head. The next time they come in contact with the brand at the supermarket, they are likely to recognize and associate it with the funny Twitter account, which could ultimately lead to a purchase. Enough face time with the brand on social media could eventually turn users into loyal customers.
LIMIT PRODUCT PROMOTION CONTENT
To further help you cook up some quippy tweets, your goal with Twitter shouldn’t be to sell your product directly to users, but to sell your personality (aka your brand). Make sure your feed mixes in non-business-related tweets. Users will follow your account simply because they like what you’re saying.
Can you imagine making a movie I can’t even make popcorn
— MoonPie (@MoonPie) March 5, 2018
What does the MoonPie brand have to do with popcorn? Absolutely nothing. But its account is framed in the voice of a struggling millennial trying to navigate life one day at a time.
While this tweet is not professionally written or punctuated properly, it shows users that the folks behind @MoonPie have a sense of humor. Not every tweet needs to directly promote MoonPies, but instead sell the brand’s personality. It’s very relatable for members of the target audience, otherwise known as the smartphone-savvy millennials trying to “adult.”
Brands have to remember that their customer base may not identify with a businesslike tweet. Tweets like MoonPie’s break down the barrier between company and consumer. From reading this tweet, I already want a MoonPie because I can tell that the people behind the brand have a quirky charisma, and that’s the type of brand I want to support.
CURATE TIMELY TWEETS
After you’ve pieced together your social media personality, you’re going to need some material to tweet about. Besides evergreen, brand-centric tweets, look at what’s trending on Twitter from time to time and see if that sparks any ideas on what to tweet. Is it a holiday? Is there a big awards show on that might be relevant to your target audience? Is it a lesser-known holiday that is typically only celebrated on social media, such as #NationalCatDay? Twitter users are much more likely to interact with a tweet if it’s timely and uses a hashtag that’s trending and searchable.
For example, the Mr. Clean brand, @RealMrClean, took to Twitter on #SuperBowl Sunday and wrote
Commercial breaks = bathroom breaks. Prepare for today’s bathroom blitz with help from the undisputed Champion of Clean. Shop online and save at https://t.co/A5riSwxVpD #BathroomBlitz #SuperBowlLII #CurlRoute pic.twitter.com/Mw9UgI3d0K
— Mr. Clean (@RealMrClean) February 4, 2018
The account also tweeted Super Bowl-themed tweets in the days leading up to the big game. The brand did a good job mixing humor with high-value hashtags. Users on Twitter just searching #SuperBowl were more likely to stumble upon these tweets.
ENGAGE, ENGAGE, ENGAGE
Aside from crafting engaging tweets, interact with your followers. Be on top of your “mentions” and engage with your followers, non-followers, or anyone who uses your company’s handle or product names in a tweet.
PRO TIP: when a user tags your company’s handle, it will appear in your Twitter Mentions, but keywords won’t. Be sure to search words relevant to your brand, such as product names, in the search bar. Also, don’t be afraid to search what users are saying about competitors.
@PopTarts replied to one user’s question in a funny way and gained thousands of eyes on their account. Not too shabby.
A steady paycheck https://t.co/uCJHvreD88
— Pop-Tarts (@PopTartsUS) February 21, 2018
But besides replying to users, think of other ways to spice up your Twitter feed. Creating polls is a good way to do this. While you can use a poll to ask a customer service question, even making a poll just for fun is a great way to engage users. Voting is anonymous and users can’t see which answer is in the lead unless they vote.
Lastly, consider hosting a Twitter party or chat. Just set up a time and choose a specific searchable hashtag for users to tune in and join the fun.
If you’re a toy company, consider a joint Twitter party team up with a media platform, such as the Toy Insider, to put your brand in front of a larger audience. Use this as an opportunity to place your brand’s name in front of users’ faces and answer any questions they have. This is when you actually get to engage with your fans! Use GIFs and emoijis, and interact with your partygoers in fun ways. Get to know them—it all goes a long way.
KEEP YOUR FEED CONSISTENT
If your Twitter presently handles customer service, consider making a separate account just for fun. That way you can keep a consistent voice on your feed that doesn’t seesaw between appeasing customers and making them laugh. Customer service complaints can also be answered through direct messages to ensure a private conversation.
At the end of the day, remember: You are what you tweet. A 10-word sentence your company posts on Twitter reflects your company’s image.
Do you want users to laugh? Do you want users to interact with the tweet? Do you want your Twitter to have a reputation? How you tweet can affect how you sell.
For my final words of wisdom, I’ll leave you with this inspirational tweet.
Nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself, you believe magic exists, and you can use that magic to lower your expectations.
— Old Spice (@OldSpice) January 27, 2018
Actually, oops. I’m so sorry. Please disregard everything after the first comma. I misread this tweet. This is sassy. Funny, but sassy. Let this stand as a reminder to be sarcastically inspirational on your Twitter— or whatever you want to be—as long as it has some color.
I really went over my 280 character limit. #UntilNextTime