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What’s the Meme-ing?

Memes. They’re funny. They’re engaging. And even more impressive, there are more memes created in a month than the overall amount of iterations of iPhone. They are getting so popular that meme marketing is now one of the most prominent ways to reach your audience and according to Forbes, they are here to stay which is why even the big brands are utilizing them.       

Almost anyone who has social media or manages social media knows what it is, it is the most popular form of expression online because it can work for almost any social media platform and easily and universally understood. It is so popular that it has become its own genre of sense of humor. They are a fun way to reflect on current events, trends and fads. For social media managers, it is a great way to connect with your audience especially now that the most prominent users of social media are young adults who grew up in the meme culture. But even so, memes are still considered a risky decision for a brand/organization.

One poorly constructed memes or offensive jokes can drive away your audience which is why I am writing some guidelines on how to use memes in a way that benefits you and your organization. 

A meme used in our Instagram post for Colorado State University.

Are memes appropriate for your brand?

While millennials are the majority users of social media, this does not automatically mean that memes will be an appropriate part of content for your brand. It is still important to know who your audience is. Memes are generally born through an online discussion or platform such as Reddit or Twitter thus they are predominantly created or shared by younger audiences. If your users are in an older demographic range, memes will probably not resonant.

Don’t overdo it

Just like with anything in life, moderation is key. Memes are like jump scares in a movie. When used sparingly, they’re effective. But when used constantly, your audience will expect it and the interest decreases.

Memes can’t replace original content

Memes are merely a tool to keep your audience engaged and amplify your brand to an even broader audience. It should never replace your original content. Do not turn your social media accounts to a meme page.

Be thoughtful

Do NOT misuse a meme. The fastest way to lose your audience’s interest and even back fire against your organization with bad publicity is misusing a meme. Make sure that you understand the meme thoroughly before utilizing it. An example would be this FAFSA tweet:

The rise of meme marketing is a powerful tool to reach your audience and create fun and meaningful engagement. Remaining fresh and relevant are important to the meme culture so you have to be quick on your feet. Knowyourmeme is a helpful tool to keep your meme knowledge updated. I believe that within the next couple of years meme marketing will be an important part of every organization’s social media marketing strategy.