Recently, Domino’s Australia’s Facebook account was ‘hacked’ and it was hilarious. Kev from finance took over, much to the delight of Domino’s Australia’s Facebook followers. The post was the most interacted with out of their competitor set so far this year, with more than 2600 shares and 13,000 comments, so safe to say it was a roaring success.
And it isn’t the only post that is winning Domino’s Australia fans – the dark blue circles on this Zavy map all represent posts from their account. The size of the circles indicates the level of engagement they have been receiving. In fact, seven out of the top 10 posts so far in 2022 from this competitor set are from Domino’s.
Clearly, they are crushing it. What’s their secret? Their top performing posts this year all have a generous dash of humour.
Being funny can pay off for brands, especially considering that humour is a key cultural code in New Zealand and Australia. Aussie and Kiwi audiences are a bunch of jokers, and love having a laugh. So, nail humour in your social media strategy and you could see awesome engagement. Get it wrong, and you could achieve the opposite.
Let’s look at how Domino’s Australia is winning over their competition with their hilarity, and what you can learn about using humour effectively in your social media content strategy.
Humour can drive a huge amount of engagement – likes, shares, and comments – if you get it right. Just think of the number of times you’ve been tagged in hilarious posts.
However, for brands to use humour in their social media strategy, it has to make sense for their brand overall – because social media marketing isn’t just about being cool, it’s about building your brand and increasing your ROI.
For Domino’s Australia, the “Kev” joke landed well because it’s not the only funny post they’ve made – they have also posted plenty about the controversial topics like pineapple on pizza, and even shouted out McDonalds for their snack wraps on #worldcomplimentday.
They are known for being irreverent on their social channels, and so this fit in perfectly with what their audience would expect from them.
Humour doesn’t have to come at the expense of any particular social group. Any humour you use should also be in good faith. It’s particularly important not to punch down or take this as an opportunity to ridicule anyone. Look at the Dave Chappelle controversy (in case you missed it, he made jokes targeted at the transgender community in his Netflix specials), and how that impacted Netflix’s brand. Making disparaging comments about a marginalised and vulnerable group in society for the sake of comedy can damage your brand (and it's just not a nice thing to do).
At Zavy we often see CSR social media posts doing the best and that’s because people like to see brands sticking up for what’s right, and not attacking people and playing into the darker sides of social media. That applies to any attempts at humour as well. If the jokes are neutral, like Domino’s Australia’s, they will be more of a success and better for your brand – because we can’t say this enough, your social media strategy is a core part of building your brand overall.
Even when Domino’s Australia are being provocative, they are really only poking fun at putting pineapple on pizza.
Trust has a huge part to play in jokey social media posts and it’s essential to understand the deeper nuances if you want to engage in pranks.
Distrust is now society's default emotion according to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2022. This has significant implications. You need to constantly consider that your followers come from a negative mindset in their approach to organisations, experiences, relationships, products. This means organisations fall faster and recover slower when it comes to trust.
This causes tension, especially in nations like New Zealand and Australia where humour is a core cultural code. A default emotion of distrust means humour is more of a delicate balance for brands, when considering pranks style jokes on social media. If you get it right, you will be connect with your audience and be loved. Get it wrong, and you could be seeing a significant drop in trust toward your brand.
People instinctively trust in authority, such as their bosses and news articles from media companies, as well as in brands with which they have established an emotional relationship. Remember that even if it seems obvious to you that what you’re posting is outrageous and untrue, people believe what they see and hear – at least in the first instance.
If you violate the fragile trust between your brand and your followers, you could face some fallout.
Domino’s Australia’s jokey “Kev” prank was see-through enough that people could engage in the joke without mistaking it for reality. The replies made it clear enough that it was all a big laugh.
However, if it had veered too close to a believable prank, it might have caused a lot of concern that the social media manager really was locked up somewhere. And, have damaged Dominos’ trust with their audience.
Overall, being funny is hard, especially on the internet where there's not a lot of room for nuance. For a social media manager to pull off being funny, while being on brand, shows real skill. We applaud you!
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