My posts tend to be about the how-to side of social media technology. Today, I’m talking about technologies I want. (With some things to think about, of course.)

My best girlfriend and I communicate regularly via social networks and texts. We’re of the same mind, for the most part, and that typically means “veiled” sarcasm-attacks. If you didn’t know us, you’d think we hated each other. During one of these virtual conversations, we realized we use too many winky faces. My friend decided we needed to create a sarcasm font so that we’d always know when the other was joking.

It’s hard to get a sense of light-heartedness from a one-dimensional sentence (even harder when it’s not accompanied by a winky face). The people I’m connected to on Facebook are people who know me well enough to know that when I post, “So thankful for all of this snow we’re getting in April,” I don’t actually mean it (pretty mild, but you get the idea).

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), your brand cannot say the same. Chances are your audience (followers, friends, peeps, etc.) can’t always tell the difference, and what goes for one person doesn’t fly with the next.

I’ve talked a bit about tone in the past (here), but let’s dive a little further. Using tongue-in-cheek humor has bombed before—we’ve mentioned here on DuetsBlog the Kenneth Cole tweets, and there was a fiasco a few years back during the San Diego fires when one local restaurant tried to use it as a way to get consumers to quench their thirst with a cold drink (yikes). Again—it’s hard to convey sarcasm when all you have is words—no facial expressions, laughter or body language. And if your brand isn’t about humor, how do you incorporate it without coming across as serious?

Here are some things to think about:

  • Does your brand encompass humor or sarcasm, and if so, does your entire audience know that?
  • If your brand is deviating from the typical serious content, how are you letting your audience know you’re kidding?
  • Are you joking about something that your audience might find offensive (like the recent Casey Anthony verdict, the death of a celebrity or some kind of innuendo that might be misinterpreted)?
  • Does the humor that you’re incorporating have a purpose?

Be cognizant that your audience might not interpret sarcasm the way you do. If you use humor of any kind, make sure that it’s a part of your brand, not a gimmick.

Readers: in what ways do you incorporate humor or sarcasm into your brand, OR, why do you keep it out of your brand’s messaging?


So…who’s going to produce a sarcasm font for us? (Kidding…maybe.)