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How Can We Design Social Media for Fun? More Spontaneity, Says Grey

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Based on a new research study – the Famously Effective Business of Fun – the Grey reps discussed what fun means today, and how it can be best brought to life in a social media world.

Maybe you’ve poked someone on Facebook just for fun. Maybe you’ve uploaded a silly video on YouTube just for fun. Maybe you took hilarious, awesome selfies with your friends and shared it just for fun. Remember when social media was used to make fun connections?

Now, these channels are not as fun. They make you feel lonely. They lack meaningful relationships and connections. Instead, real fun has been replaced by “fake fun.”

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Kenny Gold, Director of Social Media and Holland Martini, Director of Data Strategy at Grey came together during #SMWNYC explore what fun means today. During the presentation, they called up a random attendee to the stage and had them karaoke to Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.” Grey took it up a notch by having Toby Daniels, Founder and Executive Director of Social Media Week, act out President Whitmore’s speech from Independence Day. 

The key take away for the audience? Real fun is derived from spontaneous, unplanned moments that spur connection and leave a memorable impression.

What is the market for fun?

The results are in: culture is challenging our ability to have fun. According to Grey, 69% of Americans are stressed about the country’s future, 43% feel their relationships are not meaningful, ⅓ of American adults don’t get enough sleep, and the U.S is just the 18th happiest country in the world. To top it off, only 5% of people prioritize fun as their number one. Fun is just not what we do anymore.

People are actually having more fun than they were five years ago, so why does the data contradict itself? “Some people recognize fake fun is taking over. People aren’t doing “fun” activities primarily for fun anymore.”

How can brands leverage fun?

Fifty percent of people are more likely to consider or purchase from a brand if they could help them have more fun and seventy-six percent would spend more on that brand.

“People want fun to help us feel less stressed, happier, and more connected to friends. It increases productivity, connections, mood, stress management, and more. If brands knew fun resulted in this, more time money would be invested in inhibiting fun,” explains Martini. Brands who provide fun can help people with problems they didn’t even know they’ve had.

How can we design social media for fun?

73 percent of people wish that more brands helped them create fun. “What was started for fun, connection, and understanding people, is no longer fun. This shows that there’s a huge problem,” explains Gold.

Brands who can enhance fun make it easy for people to disconnect, create supportive communities for like-minded people, provide shareable, memorable cultural currency, and people the canvas they need to enjoy life.

Gold puts it best when he says “We’re all here because relieving tension is the core of creative business.” Let’s build the foundation for a social media future that involves more fun.

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