It’s Twitter Tip Tuesday — every Tuesday we’ll focus on one Twitter tip and show you how to integrate it into your social media strategy. This week we show you why it’s okay to occasionally explore the lighter side of Twitter by incorporating humor in your Twitter activities.

Whether it’s configuring your Twitter profile to reflect (or highlight) your more jovial side, or infusing your tweets with humorous repartee, if you use humor as a means to connect with your followers, you’ll be joining big brands like Nissan and the National Safety Council that have already realized the power of the pun. So don’t take yourself too seriously (at least every now and then), exercise your funny bone, and connect with some new people on Twitter using the following humorous tactics.

1. Lighten Up Your Twitter Profile

Create a Funny Twitter Profile

Telemarketers often get this advice during the first week of their training: “When you’re on a call, smile — the customers can hear it in your voice.” If you convey a positive demeanor in your body language this can translate into a tone of voice that reflects this positive attitude. Similarly on Twitter, the attitude you convey on your profile and in the copy of your bio creates a first impression that can emotionally influence your target audience.

Serious imagery in your profile sets up the reader to expect serious content in your tweets. Assuming you’re not the President of the United States, there might be room in your Twitter profile for a little humor, such as a funny or self-deprecating description of yourself, or perhaps even a lighthearted Twitter header image that conveys a tone of approachability and likability  — as in the image above.

2. Use a Hashtag as Punchline

You may be familiar with the standard use of hashtags on Twitter. But did you know that hashtags can also be used to convey subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) irony, humorously reinforce the theme of a tweet, or even act as a succinct punchline for 140-character jokes? In these cases, it doesn’t really matter where the hashtag links to, or whether there’s any history of people using that particular hashtag. The point is to add a funny punctuation to a tweet. Many times, a humorous hashtag can accomplish this goal much more effectively than if you wrote the corresponding copy in full.

In the image above, no one is seriously expecting the hashtag #EveryStoryLineOnGreysAnatomy to link to a bunch of relevant tweets or a vibrant Twitter chat. However, the hashtag does make it clear what point is being made in the preceding copy of the tweet. Because this tweet also refers to a very popular TV show (Grey’s Anatomy), it has the added potential of instigating a conversation or eliciting comments from those who like or despise the show. No, this tweet won’t cure cancer or achieve world peace but it may give someone in your tweet stream a smile, and you never know, it could just lead to #TheStartOfABeautifulFriendship.

3. Use Satire to Make Your Point

Sometimes the most effective way to make a point is to pretend to support an opposing position, thereby exposing its hypocrisy. A great example of satirical humor in practice is actor and comedian Stephen Colbert. On his TV show The Colbert Report, he purports to be an over-the-top, ultra-conservative talk show host, yet in reality he supports a more liberal political agenda.

You need not be a professional satirist, comedian, or political pundit to incorporate this type of humor in your tweets. But if you’d like your followers to know where you stand on a particular issue without beating them over their heads with it, then satire can be an effective medium to subtly convey that message. Of course, give serious consideration before taking an overtly political stance on Twitter in the first place, as this can sometimes have unintended repercussions.

4. Tell a Joke

If satire is not your speed, consider the tried and true method of telling a joke on Twitter. Again, you don’t need to be Jay Leno to comically comment on current events. Telling a joke — even if it’s not a knee-slapper — can serve to humanize your brand in the eyes of your audience.

Don’t know any good jokes? That’s okay, lots of other humorous Twitter accounts have you covered. For example, feel free to retweet jokes from accounts like @thejokeoftheday or @Joke_OfTheDay. Looking for something a little more topical? Follow accounts like Conan O’Brien or Jimmy Fallon to fortify your Twitter arsenal of current witty banter. And if none of those suggestions strike your fancy, here’s a list of 85 comedians from which you’ll likely find at least a few that will tickle your funny bone. If all else fails, you can always count on a “Knock-Knock” joke to get at least a few responses of “Who’s there?” from your followers on Twitter!

Do you ever use humor in your tweets or are you all business, all the time? Share your experiences in the comments below.

[Image credit: ynnil]