This is a new, recurring feature here on the blog. Each week, I’ll ask someone I know via the Internet and/or (imagine this) personally a question at least tangentially related to the subject of humor and request that she/he respond in 50 words or less.
Or somewhere in the ballpark of 50 words. That’s why there’s an “-ish.” I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but this site isn’t exactly a bastion of rigidity.
My guest here in week two is Garrett Kuk, who is currently a web content specialist for the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. Prior to this position, he spent three years as an independent social media consultant, helping clients understand how digital content influences customer purchases and preferences. His professional reflections and materials are available at his Speakeasy Media blog, while more personal commentary is on Twitter (@garrettkuk).
Garrett and I also lived in the same dorm at Notre Dame, and yet he didn’t go screaming in the other direction when I asked him to do this.
Well, I guess he could’ve. It was over e-mail, so who knows? But the point is, he agreed to do it.
And so I asked him:
Is it OK for a company’s official Twitter to be funny, or does it need to be all business, all the time?
If a business or corporation wants to interact with customers transactionally, then “all business, all the time” is the way to go. For organizations who want to develop a sense of community around their product or service, then humor (or even discussing things that may be off-topic) is a good idea. Even if the “official” web presence (Twitter, Facebook, website) is serious, individual employees should be encouraged to be humorous, clever, funny, introspective—in short, themselves—so long as they’re not offensive or degrading to others.
More companies should employ the 80/20 Rule: strive to interact authentically and genuinely with individuals, and resist the urge to treat every status update like a sales transaction.
I feel like I should be paying him a consulting fee for this. Hopefully a hearty thank you will suffice.
Interested in being featured in “50 Words or Less(-ish) Fridays” or know someone who should be? Let me know.