Subverting the ‘relevance is king’ approach on social media

by Stratton Craig

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When we talk about content, we talk about relevance. Crafting an identifiable tone of voice and some truly engaging copy to resonate with your audience is vital to a content marketing strategy. That’s especially true on social media, where likes, favourites and shares are evidence of how much your audience agrees and identifies with what you’re posting.
Some rules are, however, invariably designed to be broken.
There are three Twitter accounts that very deliberately disrupt the typical idea of how brands in their respective industries are ‘supposed’ to sound. Arena Flowers (@ArenaFlowers), Betfair Poker (@Betfairpoker) and GCS Recruitment (@GCSRecruitment) all shake things up, and have gained thousands of followers as a result.
Arena Flowers is an online flower and gift delivery service. Their bouquets may be pretty and lovely – but their tweets are as sharp as the thorns on the roses they sell – witty, topical and highly entertaining. Images with text are a regular feature, including dubious ‘facts’ on special occasions and quotes from famous people that really need to be double-checked for accuracy.
Our favourite from Arena Flowers is one of the most random pieces of factual advice we’ve ever received: “Some owls can turn their heads 360 degrees. Others use a bayonet fitting. Always check the fitting & wattage when replacing your owl’s head.”
In contrast to florists, betting shops do have a bit more of a reputation for being humorous and a bit cheeky – when they’re not just asking who’s going to score the next goal or whether the next card played will be an Ace. Betfair Poker is one, yet it doesn’t go for the instant shock factor that’s seen Paddy Power get into some trouble recently. Their Twitter account does still make concessions to their industry with sporty jokes, which impressively are still funny to non-fans because they aren’t filled with sports terminology and theyare just plain weird.
Our favourite from Betfair Poker is this vaguely sporty fact that we’re not sure anyone would really believe: “BIRD FACT: Football and fashion icon David Beckham is actually 372 strategically plucked starlings.”
As for GCS Recruitment, you’d typically expect their Twitter feed to advertise new vacancies. Far from it, as their tweets are more often than not dedicated to groan-worthy puns, plays on language and some bizarre takes on everyday situations – which as copywriters we obviously love to see.
Our favourite from GCS Recruitment makes the usual ‘rules for life’ and motivational mantras feel a bit dull: “Tomorrow you are a beaver, gnawing triumph timber with the incisors of inspiration. Stem the river of doubt with your determination dam.”
Going ‘against the grain’ and sounding noticeably different from your competition can work in your favour, especially in such a crowded space as Twitter where every single character counts. These accounts have definitely managed to stand out and gain more followers by steadfastly refusing to follow the crowd.
Our own Twitter account focuses on what we do best – copywriting, content strategy and tone of voice – and we’re not afraid to use wit and a bit of written flair to raise a laugh or groan. Humour is a near universal way of encouraging empathy and emotional engagement, and the potential for retweets is high if you’re tweeting something genuinely relatable. That’s not to say that you always have to be funny, but if you can make those 140 characters (or fewer) click with your audience then you’re onto a winner, just like in these examples.
See what we’ve got to say by following @strattoncraig.

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