In a lighthearted, two-minute video that almost fooled us, Google “promoted” what it termed new technology: Google Tulip, an innovation that translates the feelings, thoughts and needs of flowers into human language. The April Fools’ gag showed fictional researchers outlining the technology — and the unexpected outcomes they encountered: needy tulips and one rather petulant cactus.
Funny as it is, the video also has some application for florists looking to connect with customers in a sincere way via social media.
That’s because customers today are looking for businesses that show personality online, as Forbes contributor Mike Templeman wrote in his article “7 Ways to Make Meaningful Connections with Customers on Social Media.” One piece of advice he shared: “Don’t make [your pages] all about business.” (In other words, hard sells.)
“In addition to business-related topics, get in the habit of sharing content that your target audience would enjoy reading or watching,” Templeman suggested. “This could include a funny meme or heart-warming video. It can be an inspirational article or informative blog posts. It’s not a bad idea to develop a content calendar to have a plan for what you will share on social media with your followers.”
That way, you’ll have a steady flow of posts ready—and the ability to pop in the unplanned, hilarious meme (or prank video from a multinational corporation) as those appear.
The highly produced Google video is the latest in a long series of gag videos the company has created to personalize its brand and connect with customers in its own right. If you missed “Google Tulip” when it made the rounds on Monday, you can still check it out and share it with customers who need a giggle (and like shopping at a business that is hip to what’s happening in pop culture).
Mary Westbrook is the editor in chief of Floral Management.