Archives for posts with tag: fun

There’s a restaurant in Louisville, Ky, called Lynn’s Paradise Cafe. Its food is good, its wait staff friendly, but its reputation outshines many other equally good restaurants in town. Bobby Flay has stopped to film a Food Network Challenge there, celebrities in town for Derby are sure to book a table, and every weekend without fail there’s a line out the door. Why? Because Lynn’s Paradise Cafe knows how to have fun. There’s a gift shop in the waiting area with ridiculous, unique gifts, there’s a large stand up of a fork and spoon in the parking lot you can stick your head into and get your picture taken and there are toys on the table for you to play with, yes, even the adults, as you wait for your bourbon-infused pancakes. From the moment you pull up to the moment you leave you are in an environment that is fun.

Your social presence should be the same. People aren’t on Facebook to be serious, they want to have fun. A recent study says 49% of people follow brands because they want fun engaging content and only 16% follow brands because they want information on the brand. Makes sense to me. So how do you have fun with your fans? Let’s take a few lessons from Lynn’s:

1. Create something for them to do. Much like trying on quirky hats in the gift shop or playing with rubber dinosaurs at the table, you should give your fans something to do on social. Maybe it’s as simple as throwing out a few trivia questions or having them think of words that rhyme with your brand name. It doesn’t have to be rocket science, but it should be something light, fun and easy for them to participate in.

2. Stretch their imagination. The colorful decor and tree made of teabags in the middle of the restaurant make you feel like you are in another world when you’re dining at Lynn’s. While visuals are sometimes limited on social, there’s no reason your fans can’t help you dream up a new world for your brand – suggest new flavors, suggest new ways to serve or use your product.

3. Project fun. Even if you are having a bad day, it’s hard to be miserable at Lynn’s. There’s just something about being surrounded by an atmosphere of fun that makes you want to be fun too. Have fun with your social voice, post fun content, think of fun promotions online. If BlendTec can make a blender fun, so can you with your business. When people are having fun, they are happy. When they are happy they are associating positive thoughts with your brand, company, organization. Good leads to good leads to more good.

At the end of the day Joe Schmo up the street may have better pancakes, but he doesn’t make me smile. Guess where I’m going for breakfast, despite the long wait?

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I admit it. I check my horoscope every day via a horoscope app. It’s silly but it has become part of my daily routine. There must be others out there checking because the app is always heavily advertised on.

Today I noticed an ad from Geico telling me the fun little  lizard could help give advice on romance, family, life. The ad led to a mobile site where you could spin a wheel of advice, and as you clicked there were subtle mentions about Geico and how they could save you money. Pretty smart ad placement considering people who check horoscopes are seeking advice of some sorts. Chalk one up for Geico. If you navigate further into the app it also allows you to download ringtones that tie back to their commercials. Super smart, considering I probably won’t return to the app anytime soon, but now I have a piece of Geico that I’ll carry with me on my phone.

I have to tell you that I wouldn’t normally interact with an insurance company unless I needed insurance, but Geico has made it fun, has targeted me at a good moment with a relevant topic and has given me a reason to give them a permanent space on my phone. They also incorporated Facebook Connect so I can see how many other people have liked the little lizard’s advice.

Which got me thinking about how they are represented on Facebook. If you visit Geico on Facebook you’ll see they have pages for all their characters – the caveman, the gecko and even that creepy little wad of cash with googly eyes. And people eat it up. They actually go out of their way to visit the page and write things like – “u are the most adorable on the planet. Keep up the great work and stay cute and handsome” or “yer company just wrote me the BEST insurance policy ever! thanks little buddy!”

As adults we have given up stuffed animals, early morning cartoons and so often opportunities to be imaginative. So when little talking lizards are thrown in our path and we get to have a chance to play, to be silly, to laugh we tend to latch on to them.  We even take the time to seek them out on Facebook and tell them how cute they look. How can you infuse a little fun into your business and your social efforts? If an insurance company can do it and sustain it for years, I’m thinking anyone can.