I believe that for months now memes have been making my Facebook timeline more juicy. It’s crazy how easy it is nowadays to scroll down your timeline, to find out your friend’s latest embarrassments just by seeing in what meme they got tagged.
For the ones who lived under a rock, here is a quick update: A meme (with a long ‘E’ and the last one is silent), is an image, video or phrase that one shares through social media networks, which are likely to achieve some sort of viral status. Often it has a hidden meaning, which are meant to be funny and most importantly a piece of satire. Some great examples of the last months are:
Me to me:
Meryl Streep singing:
Brands want in
If you still have no clue what I am talking about, you either don’t have Facebook or you don’t have friends who make fun of you. Either way, you missed out on life and this is why..
On average, people spend over 100 minutes per day on social media, our generation lives for the jokes, sneaky references and commentary made by the influencers we follow. As we are more than willing to spend hours and hours looking for absurdist humor and ridiculous YouTube videos, it is more than obvious that brands also want to hop into the bandwagon. You might have noticed already that some of your favorite brands have been exploiting their knowledge on the content they publish on social media. Most importantly, they know how to get down with their tailor made content for social media.
Thus (!), by making use of memes as part of your marketing efforts, you can definitely grab the attention of users, help increase your reach and help your branding efforts. It might be even fun to work on as a marketing team as memes must be planned out carefully in order to increase its chances of going viral.
Putting brand equity at stake
However, mistakes are easily made.. The first mistake companies make is not understanding the meme in the first place, followed by using an outdated meme and sometimes they do not see the offensive double meaning behind the meme. Furthermore, memes have a short lifespan, heavily rely on humor and produce immediate (negative) reactions. On top of that Casey Roeder of Wondersauce points out that “the problem with companies latching onto memes is that they are following a trend, rather than building a long-term communication strategy that drives commerce and brand equity”. Luckily there are companies, which do get how to create a meme:
But there are also companies, which probably should back away from their computers when they even think about creating one:
The question now is: should companies integrate memes within their social media strategy? Well, I guess I would say that it is good for a boost of social media content, however as one can make so many mistakes, my simple advice is: just... don’t. But if you are eager enough to play the meme game anyways, I suggest you don’t overuse a single type of meme, but instead really look out for something that could potentially be the next big successful meme.
Got inspired? Below are some meme tools you can use to make more juicy content to fill your friend's’ timeline with:
Or for some background info on memes, check out: http://knowyourmeme.com