Don't bite the hand that Tweets you

Don't bite the hand that Tweets you
SHARE
THIS



Facebook recently broke the one billion member mark; Lady Gaga tweets to over 30 million ‘little monsters’ daily; the word ‘Lolz’ has finally emerged from online obscurity to be formally recognised in the Oxford Dictionary.

No matter how you look at it (or through which Instagram filter), the scale of the social media world is overwhelming – it has infiltrated every aspect of our lives, from how we talk (barely), to how we drive (dangerously) and of course how we share (obsessively).

Having documented, diarised and displayed nearly every aspect of our lives via social media platforms, the inevitable has occurred. We have examined ourselves and our lives so closely that we have been forced to see the funny side (as well as every meal eaten by everyone, ever).

Self-deprecation and parody of our social media behaviours – most glaringly, our twitchy thumbs – is now driving almost as many memes as Rick Rolling and LOLCats combined. That’s unheard of. We have grown to love making fun of ourselves for our social media habits – the good, the bad and the ugly (two words: duck face).

It comes as no surprise then that we are seeing brands, keen to stay on-trend, begin to jump on the bandwagon to point out some of the more ridiculous aspects of our networking narcissism. DDB’s recent #FirstWorldProblems campaign for not-for-profit organisation WaterIsLife is a good example.

When done right, this can be a great way for brands to up their cred with consumers. It proves how hip and in-touch with both their audience and the platform they are. In the best case scenario, it pitches them as ‘just one of the gang’ – which is all well and good as long as they remember one very important thing: they’re not.

This certainly doesn’t mean brands can’t play in this space, it just means they need to err on the side of caution when joining in on a consumer conversation to poke fun at the very people they depend on to support their brand.

Think of the last time a friend was bemoaning how ridiculous/frustrating/selfish their partner was – it’s fine for you to listen, even throw in the occasional enthusiastic nod of agreement, but join in to point out how stupid they look when they dance? Not okay.   

The same rules apply here – it’s fine for consumers to make fun of themselves but for brands planning to take a seat in the peanut gallery, here are three quick guidelines to live by:

Step 1: Find an existing social media behaviour with scale – do not DIY.

Your audience has to be aware of the behaviour before they can appreciate your punch line, so choose something with considerable scale. Trying to introduce or manufacture your own social media ‘in-joke’ will generate nothing but awkward social silence.

Step 2: If you’re going to say something, make it good.

Keep in mind there are millions of people looking at the same content you are and making jokes about it every day, so be sure you have an original angle or at least the content and copy to compete. Don’t work hard to get their attention if you have nothing worthwhile for them to see, do or get involved in.

Step 3: Understand the context and work with it.

If you don’t understand the context, tone or underlying meaning of the behaviour you are trying to satirise, steer clear – using it incorrectly or out of context will cost you all credibility. Like your mum calling your friends ‘girlfriend’; awkward for all involved.

When it comes to the social media space, ultimately brands should consider themselves a guest at a party. Try to fit in and make friends – be funny, charming and by all means bring gifts. Guests that storm in and take over the DJ decks are rarely invited back.   

Tess Murphy is strategy executive at Carat Melbourne

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Bangkok Thailand - August 31 2017 Facebook App on iPhone with computer laptop background closeup male hand hold social network on smart device concept.
  • Media
  • Opinion

Young Australians Will Abandon Facebook If It Doesn’t Do More To Combat Hate Speech

In this guest post, founders of The Daily Aus Sam Koslowski and Zara Seidler discuss why in order to stay in the game and keep its user, social media giant Facebook needs to do more to combat hate speech… For young Australians, Facebook is on the decline. Unless the platform better responds to its user’s […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Baskin-Robbins Australia Awarded For Stranger Things Campaign
  • Media

Baskin-Robbins Australia Awarded For Stranger Things Campaign

A brave move has paid dividends for Baskin-Robbins Australia who recently announced they won the award for Best Digital Initiative at last week’s QSR Media Awards. Baskin-Robbins Australia’s Master Licensee, Palm Oasis Ventures took a risk in launching a digital winter campaign targeting a new millennial and Gen Z demographic when it partnered with Netflix to launch season 3 of the streaming giant’s most popular show, the sci-fi horror series, Stranger Things.

TikTok Turns On Trump (Again)
  • Media

TikTok Turns On Trump (Again)

TikTok has turned on Trump once again. As yet, no one brave enough to speculate it's the work of the Chinese government.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA JULY 1, 2018: Entrance to Adobe San Francisco office location in historic Baker and Hamilton warehouse
  • Media

Convert Digital Awarded Adobe’s Magento Gold Status

Leading eCommerce website development agency, Convert Digital, has achieved the coveted Magento Gold Status from Adobe. This accomplishment has been reached following the agency’s continuing work with the Magento 2 platform - platform that is incredibly robust and offers unrivalled flexibility and scalability.

Influencers Raise $95k For Starlight Children’s Foundation In Do-Good Campaign Via Born Bred Talent
  • Campaigns

Influencers Raise $95k For Starlight Children’s Foundation In Do-Good Campaign Via Born Bred Talent

Influencer marketing agency Born Bred Talent has partnered with the Starlight Children’s Foundation to mobilise their talent roster and support the Stream Raiser campaign, contributing over $95k in donations thanks to virtual fundraising efforts.  With a combined reach of 6.2 million across Instagram, TikTok and Twitch, 9 Australian influencers contributed 76% of the $124k raised […]

UNICEF Set To Launch ClickforCovid Relief Gaming Stream
  • Advertising

UNICEF Set To Launch ClickforCovid Relief Gaming Stream

In 2020, the ‘new wave’ of youth consumers have inspired the world with their activism and fundraising, so eGEN is proud to have partnered with UNICEF, Loserfruit and friends to help gamers fight COVID and help the world’s most vulnerable children. The world’s most famous strawberry will be joined by her Click crew for a […]

Silverbullet Achieves Adobe Audience Manager Specialisation
  • Media

Silverbullet Achieves Adobe Audience Manager Specialisation

Silverbullet Data Services Group (Silverbullet), has become one of only four businesses globally to achieve Adobe Specialisation in EMEA for Adobe Audience Manager. Adobe Specialised Partners are acknowledged as the most skilled technical practitioners throughout the global partner ecosystem. Specialisations are earned after organisations achieve a level of certified expertise in an Adobe solution and […]

Businesswoman hand connecting jigsaw puzzle, Business solutions, success and strategy concept
  • Technology

General Mills Partners With Zyper To Build Virtual Superfan Communities

Food company General Mills has partnered with Zyper, a marketing platform that connects brands with their superfans, to build virtual fan communities for General Mills’ brands. As part of the agreement, General Mills will use Zyper’s software to initially identify the Betty Crocker and Fibre One brands’ top one per cent of fans on social […]

Facebook Pledges $500,000 To Group Admins Across Australia
  • Technology

Facebook Pledges $500,000 To Group Admins Across Australia

Facebook is continuing its Facebook Australia Groups Impact Fund, today announcing $500,000 in funding for the program. The grant was originally designated for bushfire recovery groups, however, has now been extended to local communities across the country who might be facing hardship. Facebook said it is on the lookout for groups that have a positive […]