How humor (and hunks!) helped improve our Facebook reach

By Joy Landry

Let’s face it: Air quality is not a sexy subject. For those with asthma or allergies, air quality is often a source of discomfort, especially in Greater Cincinnati where our seasonal weather patterns and topography contribute to high ozone levels and high pollen and mold counts.

Joy Landry is a public relations specialist at the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency.

Joy Landry is a public relations specialist at the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency.

Consequently, it’s challenging for the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency to engage our Facebook fans when we may be sharing “bad news” such as a high pollen count that brings on sniffling and sneezing.

This spring, we took a new approach to posting our daily pollen and mold counts. Rather than type in the numbers and hit “publish,” we create our own graphics to visually engage our Facebook audience. When maple trees cause a high pollen count, this post of a delicious pile of pancakes smothered in maple syrup caught people’s eye. It’s been our most popular post of 2016 thus far.

When May took an unexpected chilly and rainy turn, mold counts rose. One Friday, the mold count hit the “very high” category. So for fun, we used the hashtag #BlameItOnTheRain and included a YouTube link to the 1989 Milli Vanilli song of the same title. That “#FlashbackFriday” Facebook post exceeded our average post reach by 400%.

Rounding out our top three “pollen and mold” posts was the now wildly popular “Chris Pine” message. Given that 79% of our Facebook fans are women, we were merely trying to reach our target audience. And it worked, earning our first ever “ha ha” likes on Facebook.

So the lesson we learned is simply this: A little humor can go a long way to entertain and engage your Facebook fans. We took our air quality content from struggling to successfully fun and offbeat.

How have you used humor in your client’s, nonprofit’s or company’s social media content? Tweet us @CincinnatiPRSA.