How to Bring Back and Leverage Fun on Social Media: Insights from Grey



“Fun has been deprioritized.” — Bevan Mahaney, Creative Director, Grey West


Access exclusive SMW+ content by marketers whose careers you can emulate with a free 30-day trial!

Social media was largely considered fun when it first boomed in pop culture. So, what happened? How it can be best brought to life in a social media world?

During #SMWLA, representatives of Grey came together for a candid discussion on what fun means within a social media platform today.

Join SMW Insider to watch this #SMWLA session


Bevan Mahaney, the West Coast Creative Director of Grey, reminded people that we originally got on social media “because of the organic joy happening there” and for a sense of connection.

Social media has deprioritized fun

But in recent times, social media has meant pressure, anticipation and much expectation.

“Fun has been de-prioritized,” Mahaney said. While people used to use social media to show fun hobbies or moments, it has shifted toward an emphasis on careers and entrepreneurialism

Holland Martini, Director of Data Strategy at Grey, agreed, “Everything’s a hustle.”

Creating a foundation for authentic fun

Mahaney and Martini went on to explain that authentic fun is more likely to spring from spontaneous, unplanned moments that can create connections and leave lasting impressions.

Although social media practices and engagement helps people memorialize their fun, via photo or status updates, recent data may suggest that fun is not something we have anymore.

Grey noted that 43 percent of people in the United States believe their relationships lack meaning, 69 percent are stressed over current politics and the country’s future, and that the U.S. falls in the 18th place when it comes to rankings of the happiest countries in the world.

To top it off, only five percent of people consider fun their top priority.

The Grey representatives posed the question: How can brands leverage fun?

Among those scary percentages, there is also a finding that says 50 percent of people are more likely to purchase from a brand if it can help them have fun. Seventy-six percent would also be willing to spend more on that brand.

There is still money in fun

In other words, it does not have to be all career-talk and entrepreneurialism; there is still money in fun.

Martini said that fun can be specifically tied to entrepreneurialism, as it helps boost one’s mood, productivity and connections. She suggested that if brands were aware that fun could help business in this way, they would probably be willing to invest money in inhibiting fun.

In fact, fun helps counteract the high statistics of stress and lack of meaning or happiness one could be experiencing within the shifted focus of social media.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.


Newsletter Subscription

Get the latest insights, trends and best practices from today's leading industry voices.

Learn More

Write for Us

Interested in sharing your ideas and insights with the world? Become a SMW News contributor and reach 300k readers each month.

Apply Here