Social media has transformed the way brands interact with their audience, providing an unprecedented opportunity to build relationships and showcase products and services. However, not all brands have mastered the delicate balance between engagement and maintaining a professional image. In recent years, some brands have become known for their "unhinged" behavior on social media, displaying unfiltered, quirky, and sometimes controversial content. If you're unsure what kind of content I'm referring to, check out DuoLingo or SlimJim on any social platform.
I've seen recent conversations on whether or not "unhinged" is a good or bad thing. Let's dive into the potential benefits and drawbacks of this unhinged behavior.
Humanizing the brand: Unhinged brands humanize themselves by showcasing the personalities of their team members, sharing behind-the-scenes content, and engaging in real conversations with their followers. This fosters a sense of familiarity and trust with the audience.
Increased Engagement: Unhinged content often garners higher engagement levels. By tapping into trending topics and creating viral-worthy posts, these brands can expand their reach and visibility across social media platforms.
Memorable Brand Identity: Standing out in a crowded digital landscape is a constant challenge for brands. Unhinged behavior can make a brand memorable and set it apart from competitors, increasing the likelihood of being remembered by potential customers.
Attracting Younger Audiences: Younger generations, particularly millennials and Gen Z, appreciate authenticity and humor in their interactions with brands. Unhinged content can resonate with these audiences, attracting a broader and more diverse customer base.
Risk of Offending: Unhinged brands walk a fine line between humor and offensive. A seemingly harmless joke can backfire and alienate parts of the audience, leading to reputational damage and loss of customers.
Dilution of Brand Message: Overemphasis on humor and trending topics may distract from the brand's core message and values. If the content lacks a coherent connection to the brand's identity, it may lead to confusion among followers.
Potential for Misinterpretation: Without a carefully crafted communication strategy, unhinged content can be misinterpreted, causing unintended consequences. What may be amusing to some could be seen as unprofessional by others.
Short-Lived Success: The internet's attention span is notoriously short, and trends come and go rapidly. Brands that rely heavily on viral content may struggle to maintain long-term relevance and engagement.
There's No Going Back: Once you've created enough brand recognition with the unhinged behavior, it's nearly impossible to switch strategies and go to a normal "hinged" online presence.
Striking the Right Balance
Unhinged brands on social media are a fascinating phenomenon, offering both rewards and risks. By embracing authenticity and showcasing their human side, these brands can create meaningful connections with their audience and foster loyalty. However, they must also remain cautious of potential pitfalls, such as offending followers or diluting their brand message. Striking the right balance is key to harnessing the power of unhinged behavior while maintaining a positive and sustainable online presence.