The art of the #humblebrag and other sources of good PR


By Kiki Schirr, {grow} Contributing Columnist

We all know that it is important to react quickly and decisively to negative publicity or trending topics on
social media. But… How do you deal with GOOD publicity on social media?

A simple Google search of “Dealing with ‘bad publicity’ on social media” returned over 400,000 results. When the substituting ‘good publicity’ the results are quartered and most seem to be focused on “turning bad publicity into good publicity.”

Clearly, it is an organizational emergency when 50,000,000 people view United Breaks Guitars or “asbestos in baby powder” is trending, but I would argue that good publicity is also a marketing emergency. In the world of word-of-mouth-on-steroids, good news is valuable but fleeting. An organization must make sure the positive news reaches the people it needs to and if possible, even extend its time trending.

The following are six major techniques on how to boost the signal of your brand’s good news.

The Usual Suspects – Keep a list of people who love your brand and are good advocates. When good publicity comes your way, be sure they see it.

The Promotion – Though it might be inelegant, you can always post a complimentary news article yourself and then spread the post through paid promotion.


Maybelline boosts a loyal fan while promoting its own product in this Assist

The Assist – A more elegant solution is to comb existing content for mentions of the news article by third parties, which you can then retweet or otherwise share. Be sure to briefly vet the account that mentioned you, however, as you don’t want to promote any content, no matter how flattering to you, from someone with values counter to those of your brand. And this method can be employed to thank your Usual Suspects and boost their social presence.


A clear example of The Humblebrag from Buffer

The #humblebrag – Very common among influencers, humblebrags focus on being thankful or grateful for all your blessings, that include this recent news article about your brand, which you should most definitely read and share to your own followers. This might appear to be subtle, but the average consumer is savvy enough to see through it.

The Outright Brag – Go ahead, admit it, you’re bragging! Do the exact opposite of a humblebrag and be honest that you’re going to take a moment to highlight everything your company has achieved and been proud to build through your hard work and commitment to quality. As long as you don’t do it often, your followers will appreciate the refreshingly honest tone.


An example of “The Mentor”

The Mentor – While similar to the Outright Brag, instead of highlighting everything amazing about your brand, take the time to profile some of your employees or customers and congratulate them for their job well done. Be sure to tag them as best you can so that they can save and share the post.

My advice to social media managers: Be forewarned and forearmed for good news on your brand!

KikiSchirrKiki Schirr now sells cars and runs social media at Duncan Hyundai in Christiansburg, Virginia. Kiki enjoys absorbing the tech scene and current trends. You can contact her easily through Twitter.


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