We will shortly share how that appalling piece of schoolboy humour nearly wrecked a beautiful working relationship, and by doing so we hope to demonstrate the thin line we tread when it comes to humour in business and in particular in social media.
We’re not saying there is no place for humour, because all work and no play could leave you one Chuckle short of a brother – or something like that – and it’s our firm belief that your social media feeds should not be totally bereft of humour.
But it must be the right kind of humour.
If your Twitter feed or Facebook timeline is one long stream of loud hailer announcements people will quickly get fed up with you and break their ties, so it's good to inject a smile or a laugh occasionally.
Our advice to clients is to create a great mixture of material that reflects your personality or the character of your business.
We don’t imagine that your whole working life is spent in ultra-serious mode, so why shouldn’t you use social media to convey your lighter side?
The key is to be natural. Don’t try to be something you’re not, because once others get to know you they will quickly see you as a fraud if your social media content does not reflect your true self.
Here’s our guide to humour in your social media streams.
Our final piece of advice regarding humour – and this probably goes beyond the social media aspect of things, is to not give your clients nicknames – even if they are only shared privately in your office.
Not only is it disrespectful, but one slip of the tongue on the phone or one unintentional ‘reply to all’ in an email and it could spell the end of a beautiful relationship.
We know someone whose main point of contact in another office was a woman called Annette.
The sales team started calling her Miss Curtain, until one fateful day when a supposedly private conversation was picked up by the other person.
A sincere apology and a very generous ‘no harm done’ response from the woman in question just about rescued the situation, but the relationship was never the same again.
So – yes, share a joke and make people smile, but do it in the right way and err on the side of caution.
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