The world of marketing communication has always been unfailingly polite, especially as it relates to the world of real estate development. After all. It’s serious stuff we’re doing – selling homes. But with new arrivals like Facebook and Twitter adding a seemingly more laid-back approach to our exchanges, it’s easy to get muddled about tone.
I’m always up for a good laugh, but is it appropriate to bring my clever quips and one-liners to the forefront of a marketing communications campaign? When is humour appropriate in real estate marketing communications campaigns? Is it even acceptable at all?
Traditionally, when it came to marketing communication pieces that were “permanent” ¬– a print ad, a brochure, a direct mail piece – unless your product or brand had a real connection to something that was humorous, you’d keep things fairly straightforward. Of course, it could be lighthearted, but the idea of crossing your fingers and hoping that you had created a real knee-slapper was usually a bit too risqué.
With the advent of social media and online mediums, the rules are more nuanced.
Social media, after all, is about being social and getting to know each other. So, it only makes sense to let down your guard a bit and have some fun. Less permanent, or at least less tangible mediums such as Facebook and Twitter allow us to be more personal in our messages and responses.
The thing to remember is that these mediums are still a form of publishing and advertising for your real estate project and your brand—don’t clutter your social media efforts with useless information, however amusing it may be.
So what’s the best approach?
When I’m on Twitter, I tweet what interests me and what I think might interest my clients. I will highlight posts I’ve read that I think are witty, but also those that I’ve also found worthwhile and helpful.
You can do the same thing when it comes to your real estate development. Don’t just yell at people about how great your project is and tell them to read your blog. Instead, highlight helpful home buying tips, talk about a funny situation that a member of your team found themselves in, and retweet images and stories that got you grinning.
In every instance, it’s not so much about being droll. Rather, it’s about being human. And that’s a very different approach to marketing communication that we are only just beginning to wrap our heads around.
Sometimes, when it comes to humour, the best rule of thumb applies to all marketing communication mediums: Leave it to the professionals. Something that you find absolutely side-splitting may fall flat with the masses. Let the professional writers at your MarCom firm decide what will be the best approach to attract your customers.
If you can make ’em LOL, go for it. Just keep it consistent with your brand.