The Facebook status update had absolutely nothing to do with the client’s business, which is the manufacturing and distribution of seafood. In fact, the update clearly states that: “We love to talk about seafood, but sometimes a little fun is needed!”
And with that, the social media manager taught marketers and business owners a tasty lesson in how to successfully run a Facebook account.
The update showed a big picture full of tiny number “9’s”. Hidden somewhere in this numerical forest was a little number “8.” “Share this if you could find the number 8 within a minute,” said the text. The update also mentions that anyone wanting seafood recipes could go to a link for the company’s website.
Yes, the image had been making the rounds on Facebook, but in this case it provided a perfect excuse to get away from the seafood theme for a brief time. And it also gave the business a chance to find out just how active its Facebook fans could be.
How active? Try 28,000 shares. The post reached more than 1 million Facebook fans in a week’s time. 120,000 of those were reached in just one day. By anybody’s definition, that’s virality at its finest. That’s also a lot of new sets of eyes discovering the client’s brand and website address.
Businesses (and/or those who market for them) can occasionally use humor, games or off-message posts in social media marketing to help humanize their companies. The client’s Facebook page is normally chock full of healthy seafood recipes as well as the latest nutrition/health news. But inserting a game like the “9” page, or open-ended questions asking fans how they’ll be celebrating a particular holiday, can be a useful way every now and then to remind customers that there are real people on the other end of those status updates.
By the way, the next Facebook update acknowledged the higher traffic, thanked everybody for their attention…and then took advantage of the new eyeballs by steering them to a blog post about myths surrounding pregnancy and seafood.
Have you seen other ways that social media marketers have used humor, games or off-message posts to good effect? Please share them in our Comments section.
Great point! Facebook fans do not want to be bombarded with specials and ads. They want to be engaged and entertained. For the most part, it makes more sense to have the posts be industry related (i.e. a car dealer posting funny images of cars), but sometimes it's a good idea to break up the monotony and switch it up a bit.
It's OK to use this strategy every once in awhile, but it's important that the majority of posts remain on topic. They did it right though by acknowledging that "we love to talk about seafood". If it had just been posted without that intro, it may have seemed like it was a mistake since it's so far off topic.