Yesterday this gem popped up on Facebook:

A fan of KFC Canada posted a somewhat hard-to-read profession of love for the fried chicken chain. Instead of ignoring it, deleting it, or posting a polite but impersonal “Thank you for your support,” KFC Canada opted to go the cheeky route and was rewarded with 275+ likes and a slew of attention to the post (over 40 comments and counting). The thread was submitted to reddit, 9gag, and other humor sites, putting KFC Canada on everyone’s radar for having a sense of humor with their customers.

The original poster, Julien Lanctot, responded to his own thread and KFC Canada followed suit with another amusing comment:

When Julien professed his sadness (and another Julien gave KFC Canada “props” for having a funny guy manage their Facebook account), KFC Canada invited him to message them for “something cool”–presumably a coupon or discount for some finger lickin’ goodness.

From KFC Canada’s standpoint, using humor to deal with a passionate (albeit silly) customer is a win-win. They got a lot of attention for their amusing demeanor and even more praise for hooking up Mr. Lanctot with some goodies. I imagine their freebie offer cost them less than $20 but resulted in a positive branding experience that was well worth the short amount of time and money spent.

This is a perfect example of how you can cheaply reap the rewards of social media marketing. By simply engaging with your fans, your customer base ties a certain personality to your brand and can respond more favorably towards it. In KFC Canada’s case, their personality was fun and charming, but your brand can come off as professional, warm, friendly, and caring as long as you convey these emotions when publicly interacting with your fans. It doesn’t take much engagement, just a little effort. KFC Canada commented just three times in that large thread and received a slew of attention and praise.

Pay attention to your social media accounts and don’t be afraid to inject a little humor or lightheartedness in your interactions. At the very least, show a little personality–that’s what your fans are hoping to see, and it helps make your company feel a little less stuffy and a little more approachable.