April Fools on the Internet can be a little scary. Companies post articles or status updates — and you’re not sure, are they true or not? One post I read said that Facebook would begin showing who was viewing your profile.
Hey! It sounded legit to me, so I retweeted it. Opps. April Fool! D’oh!
This morning I got around to reading stuff in my inbox and came across the newsletter from Community Boating in Boston. The first article talked about how the organization needed volunteers to help paint the boat hulls pink. Well, they had already installed pink flotation devices on the masts, so why not pink hulls? I groaned a bit — did I really want to sail on pink boats? — and moved on to the next article.
To deter Canadian Geese, CBI would begin showing them photos of their arch nemesis, the Dodo Bird. And that’s when I looked at the newsletter date — ok, got it, April Fool!
But here’s the thing. I was totally digging the CBI newsletter — and the wonderful copy — because it was so different. No, let me rephrase that. I was totally digging the copy because it was delightful and fun. I made me laugh out loud.
For several years now Canada geese have found our two islands to be a relaxing home away from home, a pleasing respite from the stresses and strains of urban living. Unfortunately Canada geese also like to party. Under the cloak of darkness they wander over to our docks, and engage in bacchanalian reveries, leaving their calling cards everywhere for CBI to clean-up in the morning.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful, I thought, if B2B companies could inject this kind of light-hearted levity into their marketing content on a regular basis?
I’m not saying you need to do this every day or that all of your content should be informal or filled with slapstick humor. But, you could, on a regular basis, have some fun, or at the very minimum, be a little less formal. Some examples:
ClearView Consulting — In addition to traditional head shots, ClearView Consulting Company posted a relaxed shot of its team (taken after they had all met for dinner). I like how the men aren’t wearing ties and that they’re all touching. Most important, they look natural and relaxed. Contrast this photo with a canned stock photo (boring!).
Ragan’s PR Daily — My new favorite Facebook page, PR Daily posts the standard content you’d find on a PR-related site (re: lots of copywriting tips) coupled with some really great images that make me laugh out loud. The site could stick with being formal and “corporate-y.” Instead, they show the lighter side of working in PR and marketing. Love it.
Infusionsoft — The company recently moved into new world headquarters and posted photos of its new building on its Facebook page. One of those photos was of one of the gleaming new bathrooms. When someone commented on it, an employee wrote something about the fact that everyone at Infusionsoft had to share two bathrooms in the old building (instant thought — ewwwwww) and how excited they were at having multiple bathrooms.
TMI? Maybe. But it also made you relate to the company a little more. (I used to work at a company where 20 people all had to share one bathroom — not pleasant!)
What I’m really saying is this: People do business with people they trust. Help people get to know you a little more by showing the human side of your company. Whether you’re a “mom and pop” or a mid-sized business, don’t be afraid to show your fun side — and not just on April Fools Day. (You can see more of my personal side at my Facebook page.)
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?