08 February 2016

Using personality and pop culture to build your online presence.

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When you think about twitter accounts to follow for both serious information and a good hearty laugh, you’d be hard pressed to find an account that fits into that criteria more than the Queensland Police Service.

At first thought you would assume a police service’s tweets would be universally bad news; missing children, car accidents, violent attacks, break in’s. But Queensland Police Services Media office is a lot more than a litany of illegal activity.

Puns fly back and forth among the more serious tweets and the people operating the account aren’t afraid to drop a pop culture reference on an unsuspecting Twitter viewer.


Home security gets the QPS treatment on Monday night, with a reference to television program My Kitchen Rules.

Using humour to raise or address an issue has long been an Australian tradition. While on personal twitter accounts you have only yourself to answer to but when you’re operating a corporate account the expectation of professionalism can make people worried about allowing their own personalities to shine through.  But as QPS have shown, sometimes responding with a bit of humour or a random pop culture reference isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Finding the right balance between professional communication and some fun is never going to be easy. Just because you think it’s funny, doesn’t mean you won’t manage to offend someone. But if you can find the balance, you’ll find yourself gaining follows who are more engaged than those of accounts who simply post promotional material for their latest product or offering.

Here are a few ideas to try to introduce a bit of personality into your corporate tweeting:

Keep it clean: When making a more light-hearted post, make sure you remember to keep it clean. No swearing, no accidental wardrobe malfunctions and nothing that will offend.

Animated gifs: I love a good animated gif. When appropriately chosen they can add a real laugh to the end of the post.

Pop Culture: Referencing social trends, and pop culture references won’t always appeal to everyone who reads your tweet, but they’re a good way to expand your brand beyond the standard users.

Puns: Personally, I’m terrible at puns, but if you can write a good one, go for it. Along with dad jokes that invoke a groan, puns are a media officer’s best friend.

Twitter is a game: Posting on social media sites like Twitter is supposed to be fun. It’s 140 characters of almost instantly passed by text. Anything you can do to provide customers or potential clients with a reason to click on your profile, rather than just casually glance at a tweet as they scroll past is worth it. Just remember though, not all publicity is good publicity. Keep it professional even if your tongue is firmly planted in your cheek. Causing controversy for controversies sake isn’t going to help your brand at all.

James Kliemt, Senior Digital Media Officer at the Queensland Police Service is a special guest presenter at Akolde’s Social Media for Gov event, to be held at the Rex Hotel Canberra on the 16th to the 18th of March 2016.


James will be discussing how to use compelling visuals and evergreen storytelling to maintain a captive audience at the event, so if you’re looking for advice on how to emulate the success of the QPS Twitter account, click here.

Mike Cullen has recently returned to Akolade after a period as the conference producer for one of Australia's leading economic think tanks. Mike began working in the conference industry in 2007 after looking for a career change from the high pressured world of inbound customer service. Mike has worked for some of the most well-known conference and media companies in the B2B space and in his spare time is working on his first novel in a planned Epic Fantasy trilogy. Mike’s first published work will be the short story Seeds of Eden, in the Sproutlings Anthology scheduled for release in March 2016.

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