When a hashtag trends on Twitter, marketers and social media pros rack their brains thinking of ways to sneak in a mention of their brand.
Is there a tweet we could offer, they ask, for #PenguinAwarenessDay or #CareerEndingTwitterTypos (“a child slaughter is music to my ears”)?
This week it probably looked like a cinch when the capricious and inscrutable gods of Twitter elevated #HowIStaySaneInMyWorkspace. After all, any lowly employee who has ever filled in a spreadsheet, stocked pantyhose on a store shelf or thawed frozen plumbing with a blowtorch can make a joke about work.
So how come some organizations looked so clever while others came across like the guy passing out Amway flyers at a block party?
The workplace sanity hashtag took off as individuals oblivious to the possibility of firing confessed to power-napping in the disabled bathroom stall or applying for other jobs.
Smart brand managers understood they were competing with banana cosmetologists, paper airplane assailants and refrigerator cuisine critics.
With that competition, it’s probably best not to post what amounts to an ad. Yes, we all hunger for Twitter love, but a plug for a car is as welcome as the glossy inserts that spill out of the newspaper when you’re trying to find the Sunday magazine.
Meanwhile, others were confessing to workplace misdemeanors such as sticky-note harassment:
Or how about the guy you never can find around the office after 3 p.m.? He might leave his coat draped over his chair, but he’ll never again get away with sneaking out early after this disclosure:
The most successful organizations tweeted something funny, cute or a bit wild and crazy. Majestic Athletic, the official uniform provider to Major League Baseball, could have posted a photo of a superstar slugger wearing one of its outfits. Instead, it offered a gif of a ballpark employee turning his groundskeeping duties into a dance.
Animal-related brands always have a cuteness advantage. People love bringing their dogs to work, and Petco tweeted a photo of the perkiest puppy ever to pee in a cubicle. Pet pictures seemed less promotional, however, when they came from Google4Entrepreneurs.
The publisher Random House stayed on message yet appealed to its bookish customers. (Scholastic had more or less the same idea.)
KC Staffing Solution got in a mention, but it might have been better to add a photo of a zany guy pulling his hair out in front of his computer or some other sight gag.
Microsoft Office horned in on the fun with a gif of drawers full of canned drinks and what looked like Skittles. (Perhaps that’s a nod to Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, who loves the goodies.) Was anyone else distracted, though, by the thought of some marketing manager rushing in with several jumbo bags of candy and dumping them in on top of his stapler and paperclips?
Amid the humor, there were cries for help. Some people seem to work for the same company that employs Dilbert and Catbert, the evil HR director.
You won’t find a tweet like that from Nissan or Microsoft. Here, however, is a tweet we hope no Pointy-Haired Boss would object to: