Humor Quotient – The Secret Sauce of Social Media

Vedanarayanan V
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Humor Quotient – The Secret Sauce of Social Media
Humor is the essence of life. It also forms the lifeblood of social media. A cursory glance across a list of top social media campaigns in India and worldwide shows an overwhelming majority of them having a strong humor element in their communications.

Intuitive, no-brainer?

Relevant Humor Quotient

There is a line in the sand which separates those campaigns which have “brand/ industry relevant humor quotient” and those which do not.

How do we define this?

A simple thumb rule for defining “relevant virality/ humor” would be to ask yourself the following question –

“Is it possible to narrate the storyline without mentioning the brand/ industry?”

If the answer to the above question is “No” then the humor/ virality is relevant, else not relevant.

Types of Humor

The humor in social media campaigns takes several shapes and forms, listing below some popular ones –

1. Trolling a competitor/ fellow brand

2. Tangential perspectives on user behavior

3. Tangential perspectives on industry phenomena

Here are some examples of each category –

Trolling - The Stayzilla – OYO Rooms – “OYO” Mama saga –



Humor Quotient – The Secret Sauce of Social Media

Perspectives on User Behavior - Zomato’s naughty dig on the line “I am great in bed”


Perspectives on larger news stories/ developments – Amul’s take on the re-opening of bars in Mumbai


How to you define Success?

The logical next question after launching such a campaign is to measure the response. But how do we go about quantifying the effectively of such campaigns which are not directly “selly”/ transactional but have longer term objectives in terms of moving the needle on brand awareness and recall.

One way to do it would be through measuring immediate social traction or earned media by looking at the volume of shares/ RTs and proportion of shares/ RTs to likes/ favorites respectively.

The fact that audiences are willing to share the collaterals on their own personal social property real estate would be a clear indicator of the strength & depth of the humor quotient in the communication.

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