If it’s good enough for the CIA, it is good enough for you

Paul Boag

If the CIA can use humour on social media then so can your organisation, no matter how seriously they take themselves.

One of the favourite parts of my job is providing training and mentoring to our clients. That said, at times it can be frustrating, especially when talking about social media.

So many organisations are uncomfortable with the idea of social media. Marketing departments used to broadcast advertising feel out of control on social media. It terrifies them.

This results in social media streams consisting of announcements and press releases. In short most organisations attempt at social media is just downright boring.

Not that they would ever admit this is because of fear. Instead they argue that they are a serious organisation that needs to appear professional. Personal or humorous posts have no place in their brand identity.

To be blunt, this is complete rubbish. Social media demands a personal touch and sense of humour. I don’t care how serious an organisation you are.

Take for example the CIA. You cannot get a more serious and professional organisations than them. Yet when they posted their first tweet only a couple of weeks ago they demonstrated a superb understanding of social media. Their first post combined self-deprecating humour and stacks of their unique personality.

So no more excuses. If the CIA can include humour in their social media channels then so can you. And look at the result. At the time of writing their first tweet has been favourited over 175,000 times and re-tweeted over 290,000 times.

Take a moment to compare that to the FBI’s first tweet. It received one favourite and one retweet.

Enough said.