We’ve all seen it: the joke that goes too far. Maybe we’ve even crossed the line a couple of times or more. Not only is it extremely awkward to witness, but bad jokes can be hurtful and offensive to your audience.
The key is finding a balance that is both humorous and appropriate for your message and followers. It is a matter of knowing your target audience and supplying them with humor that connects with them.
The World is Not Ending
If you do happen to release something on your brand’s social media that misses the mark and oversteps its bounds, the best thing to do is face it head on. If you truly understand your mistake, there’s no shame in admitting to it. Part of being human is being really, really, really stupid sometimes (or most times). No one is perfect and when we recognize that, we can look back at our wrongs and learn to grow from them. Don’t be discouraged if you feel you’ve screwed your company over -- though it feels like the end of the world, a lot of businesses have made similar or worse mistakes.
The only way through it is to be open and honest. Have a conversation with your audience. Ask them what you can do better as a company so you can avoid any potential future offenses. Show them you genuinely care about their well-being.
Education is Key
Knowing what your audience finds funny takes research. Offending your target audience is a symptom of not understanding them. Take time to learn and listen. Notice I didn’t just say “audience” either. The truth is that some people won’t relate to your brand at all and will actively try to find things wrong with you. The really awesome thing is that they don’t matter to your business. Unless you want to win these people over, don’t feel pressured or obligated to make everyone happy.
You are the inventor of your ideal community. Take hold of that and listen to your people!
Join the Conversation
Do you have a set plan for addressing certain behaviors with your social media that don’t go over well with your audience? If not, maybe it’s time to think of one!