You’ve seen them all over Facebook and Instagram. But has it ever occurred to you that it is something you could use on your social media campaigns?
What is a meme exactly?
It is an image, (whether a drawing, art, graphic, or photo) excerpted from popular culture, with comical/ironic text super-imposed over it.
The background images are usually stills from popular TV shows or movies, but not always. Some background images are simply stock photography or candid photos.
Memes by far get the most engagement over any other form of social media content. More likes, shares and comments. They are the epitome of social media content. While excellent photos or clever status updates can garner a decent amount of engagement, none of them have the virality potential that memes do.
But how is posting a meme about cats or something silly going to make a sale of my product?
It won’t! At least, not right away.
The purpose of entertaining your followers with memes is to increase their affinity for your brand, by relating with them with the comedy of the meme. This humanizing effect is the very essence and reason for social media. This is why companies that only post coupons and special offers get very little engagement and do not accrue fans.
Old Spice and Dollar Shave Club mastered this paradigm. By making people love them by entertaining them, they created fans who then wanted to buy from them.
It is empirical that if you can make someone like your brand, they will eventually become interested in what you sell.
It is just a question of how many impressions are needed to make the person genuinely interested in your brand, and curious about your offerings. Therefore, the strategy is to post, post, post, and keep posting, good and entertaining content on your social media platforms; and memes play a large role in that.
Isn’t it unprofessional?
Not at all. As long as your memes are not low-brow or discriminatory they can be used without any concern for PR blow-back. There are plenty of memes that are good, clean fun.
A good example
Mattress company ‘Purple’ is doing an amazing job on creating entertaining social media content. As a company that just makes boring mattresses you’d think it’d be impossible for them. But alas, it is all about creativity. Here is an example of one of their recent memes:
That post received 2800 shares and 14,000 likes. Now, granted, Purple does have a large audience on Facebook: 429,000 followers to be exact.
They simply took a stock photo, which was related to their industry, and thought of some clever text. That’s it.
Make your own
When making your own memes, you must:
- First choose a photo/image background (it doesn’t necessarily have to be related to your industry).
- Second, you must brain storm the humorous/ironic text. It is important to think freely and write down everything you think of. It is expected that your first 10 ideas for text will not be funny at all but will be predictable and plain.
- Third, keep going, once you get the creative juices flowing, you’ll start seeing which angles you should work, and you can only do this by first putting down the ideas, no matter how bad they are. You’ll never be able to write the perfect text right away, you must spend time, re working it over and over until it is perfect. It could take as long as 30 minutes for one meme.
- Look online at other memes for inspiration and angles.
I don’t think I can make my own memes, it’s too hard!
No problem at all! You don’t have to be a creator of memes to leverage their power for social media. You can simply be a curator!
Simply sharing good memes on your business FB page will develop the aforementioned affinity with your audience.
And they don’t have to be on the same topic/industry as your business. They just have to be entertaining.
Additionally you should share memes that are timely and address a particular current event or situation in the news, these tend to get more engagement, as they are on a lot of people’s minds.
Good luck out there! Start posting!