Take Your Brand Too Seriously and Suffer the Consequences

We all know that online advertising, and especially social media, are getting more and more crowded every day.

Everyone you are hoping to reach through social media channels is constantly bombarded with special offers, notifications that they have won a contest, and general advertising. Social media marketing in 2007 was cutting-edge, hip, and an easy way to reach certain younger demographics. Social media marketing in 2013 is more like trying to get someone’s attention in Grand Central Station at 5pm on a Friday.

So how do you cut through the noise?

You could offer discounts, specials, and run contests to increase your following and collect likes and shares. This might work on occasion, but keep in mind that everyone’s news feed is full of “like this and be entered to win a car” so even this tactic doesn’t guarantee you a moment in the spotlight.

Consider humor as a great way to get someone’s attention.

Think about it: you are scrolling through your news feed skipping over pictures of other people’s kids, poorly informed political opinions, and viral videos you have already seen. Then you see something amusing . . . maybe it is directly related to the service or product that that brand provides, maybe it isn’t. But now you want to see all the updates from that brand in case they post something else that brightens your day.

Poking a little fun at your own brand, carefully of course, can be a great way to get people’s attention.

Of course this doesn’t work for every company. If you are a funeral home, or a charity that fights against human trafficking, or a hospital, this might not be a good idea. But most of us are just companies providing a service and what we want is to get people’s attention. If this means posting a funny (but clean) meme or quote every once in a while, it is a small price to pay for the exposure.



Oral-B had a 3,786% rise in their Facebook presence in March 2013 and they didn’t do it by posting about the dangers of cavities and how gross it is to not floss. They have contests that encourage their followers to send in funny pictures of themselves flossing and they post the occasional meme.

Hubspot has a vibrant presence on Pinterest that uses humor that is actually built around their product. Not only do their many memes and pictures grab your attention, but they are directly related to online marketing. Who thinks memes about banner ads are hilarious enough to share? People in marketing at companies around the world. Hubspot presents themselves as hip and friendly while also reaching marketers.


Brands that take themselves too seriously are doomed to either be ignored or mocked by the internet. The world where you can pretend that your brand is sacred is dead and gone. Keep it light, keep it entertaining, and the shares and likes you receive will keep your brand front-and-center when potential customers are looking to convert into clients.