How and When to Use Humor in Your Business

In this day and age, with any number of social media platforms and online properties for your business, you’ve likely heard that you should “show some personality”. That’s true!

Unfortunately, it’s maybe not the whole truth.

As with clients in-person, there are probably some jokes you shouldn’t make – or post – in a business setting. I’m going to assume that you are wise enough not to post sexist, racist or religious jokes on your social media platforms. But there are a few more guidelines I would recommend following.

How to Use Humor in Business

5 Types of Jokes Never to Make on Social Media on Behalf of your Business

1. Busy vs. Crazy Your business should be busy – it’s good that people like you so much they’re keeping you running. However, it doesn’t instill confidence for you to regularly post about how crazy you are. “This week has been crazy, I can’t keep my head screwed on straight!” is a sentiment that when repeated often enough, starts to make people think you do not have things together.

2. Knocking the Competition Don’t like your competition? Keep it to yourself or keep it professional. “We go the extra mile” is a professional statement that people can respond to. On the other hand, “We do a better job than those lazy knuckleheads” is a joke that may not land well…and can potentially have legal implications.

3. Politics Your business page is unlikely to be a good place to post political jokes. Ever.

4. Mocking Clients If one of your clients was a jerk, a slob, a poor parent or all of the above, it’s still not a good move to go online and mock them. Most he-said, she-said arguments between business and client go poorly for everyone involved. Feel free to mutter under your breath and turn down their patronage in the future, but don’t make jokes about them online.

5. Name Calling I know, I know. Jokes about idiots feel so good. But there are some fine lines and nuance when it comes to the names we use in jokes. For instance, “Bozo” is a largely unused name that bears little weight in today’s society. Moron is a word that has some teeth. If you’re posting a meme about how most people are morons that keep you down, it may be more appropriate to post your personal profile than your business page. Due to the fine lines and nuance, and largely subjective nature of these types of jokes, we’d recommend leaving name calling off your business page altogether.

Humor is a good thing. It brings people together and can help us relate to one another. But it’s important to remember that humor is subjective. Just because you find something funny does not mean your customers will. Keep that in mind before you hit “post”.



  1. The Week in Social #184 | Union Metrics - […] Kristin Zaslavsky discusses the five kinds of jokes never to make on behalf of your business in How and…

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