I hope you had a chance to review my colleague Caitlin’s post on how to use social media effectively, and match your message to the platform.

With all of the social “noise” it can be pretty hard to be heard over the other tweets, posts, statuses and shares.

A few weeks ago I attended a Marketo User Group presentation on social media marketing. The entire time I kept thinking about an event I missed out on. I received a couple of Facebook invites for something called the “Internet Cat Video Festival.” I thought it was joke or some sort of online YouTube channel.

This year’s edition was an unaffiliated fundraiser for the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The event was wildly successful and attracted thousands of attendees who bonded over cat videos. Admit it, you watch cat videos, too; typically alone at home in front of your computer. This time it was social, combining carnival games, food stands and musical performances. Sounds pretty fun (and silly). Sometimes fun and silly is the right approach, and can help you engage your audience.

If you are a fan of Marketo on Facebook, you might have seen the following post:

http://screencast.com/t/zb0MPJssq

Baby godfather + lead-related slogan = 300+ shares. That is pretty good for a “silly” post.

Take a look at their blog post for more details on how they use social.

Many of us focus our content around being informative and educational. Engaging your audience socially should be a mix of approaches: informational, educational, humorous and more, as well as utilizing multiple channels.

Social media is one area where “personality” pays off, and your brand’s social personality should also match your brand’s image.

IBM capitalizes on its “nerdy” and innovative image by focusing its Facebook posts on interesting customer deployments. And pitches for items in the company store like:

http://www.shopibmcollection.com/images/ibmconsumer/prodimages/200179564.jpg

Intel created a branded version of Angry Birds to promote “Intel Inside.”

So how can you make your content more “fun”, yet effective?

Tips for B2B Social Success:

  1. Become a content creator: keep your blog, YouTube channel, Facebook and Google+ pages updated with fresh content you create, tailored to each medium.
  2. Share content from trusted 3rd parties that is of interest to your audience more frequently than you share your own company-created content.
  3. Keep an eye on multimedia for social content: memes, videos, infographics and podcasts are great starting points.
  4. Experiment with “fun” and relevant content. A few ideas: a coloring book, MadLibs, dramatic video series (webisodes), online games, bracketology, or customized memes.
  5. Stay topical with current events. Do you have an angle on a news story or event that relates to your product or business? Share away with your own unique spin, but be careful with your tone; a “lessons learned” post is better than a harsh critique.