LOL 🙂: Informality on Social Media


Whether you like it or not, social media has changed the way we communicate.

When everyone is labeled as your “friend” on Facebook, informality inevitably becomes a formality in online spaces. It was only a matter of time before advertisers started using an informal tone when addressing their target audience; ads have begun appearing in our news feeds almost as if they were written by one of those very “friends” mentioned previously. We here at J Miller Marketing work hard to project an authentic and relatable image on behalf of our clients, and informality in ad creation is a just one of the many ways we accomplish that goal.

Our first task is to understand our client’s audience before we start talking to them like we know them. A consumer in their forties probably wouldn’t appreciate as many emojis or slang terms as the 13-24 year-old demographic, but they share something in common: neither wants to be treated as if they’re a walking ATM for your brand to withdraw money from. Simply pushing a message that says “buy our product now” doesn’t cut it anymore because we as consumers are looking for relaxed, chatty-natured ads that emulate the content we see daily on Facebook or Instagram; anything that is too formulaic has a tendency to be seen as cold and distant.


Take this Instagram ad from beauty subscription box service Birchbox for example: they are acknowledging the functions of Instagram in this ad by asking for a double-tap to get a Like as well as referring potential customers to follow the link in their profile bio to learn more about their monthly service and throwing a hashtag in at the end for good measure. It’s almost a guarantee that all of the aspects of this particular ad can be found on at least one of the profiles your customer base follows. This portrays Birchbox as having their ear to the ground in terms of understanding how their customers interact with Instagram. Balancing this kind of authenticity with your brand’s message is something we carefully consider whenever creating ads in the social space.


Engaging the target audience isn’t just a one-way street for the digital marketers to ride out alone.

It takes a joint effort from both the agency and its clients to put forth the best content. Once prospective customers are drawn in from ads on Facebook or Instagram, it is then up to the client to post engaging content to retain interest in the brand. A content calendar may generate some engagement, but it pales in comparison to what someone is capable of when they’re in-store taking the product shots that their followers want to see. Not only that, but access to this kind of never-ending supply of content from a digital marketing standpoint helps supplement ad creative. If we use in-store images in our ads, the audience can see exactly what your store has to offer. A fantastic example of active and engaging content creation put into practice is the Instagram page of Plato’s Closet in Kingsport, Tennessee:



Not only do they post new arrivals & featured items daily, but they also have a rabid following of customers commenting to hold certain items that they want to buy later in the store. At the time of that screenshot, only 3 hours had gone by and there were already people claiming nearly every article of clothing pictured as well as multiple comments after this calling second dibs in case they aren’t sold. Here we can see how an informal interaction on social media can directly affect in-store sales, and it can be made possible by simply commenting something like “Jeans” on a store’s Instagram post.

It may seem far-fetched, but the fact of the matter is that people are looking for a connection, and while social media can seem impersonal at times, it allows people to make connections they wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s important to foster a mutual understanding between your brand and your customers. You can have the greatest products available, but if your ads and social media presence don’t have a distinct personality, you’ll get lumped in with all the rest.

Interested in standing out from the rest? Get a social media strategy tailor made for your brand by J Miller Marketing! Follow J Miller on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn or contact us directly!


By Nick Shulda
Online Media Strategist