It’s a social media fact of life that we just have to deal with: everybody memes. We’re all guilty of it. You might be asking “What’s a meme?” For starters, know those crass 1950s-esque cards on Facebook? Those are memes. The pictures of cats speaking in jumbled grammar? Also memes. Images of celebs with snarky sayings? Totally memes. Texts from Hillary, sad Keanu, everything Ryan Gosling — all memes. Basically, memes are the inside jokes we share with one another online… and the world has gone meme crazy. Naturally, many brands are tapping into the forwarding power of memes and using them in social media marketing. But is it a good idea or a flash in the pan?
Well, memes themselves aren’t going anywhere. Our love for sharing this kind of crap (we mean that in a loving kind of way) really took off in the 1970s. Remember the “Hang in There!” kitten posters from your dentist’s office? Our collective desire for sharing a smile or laugh is something powerful and timeless — and something any sized company can tap into. We like the clever memes that chicken producer Red Bird Farms posts on its Facebook page, for example. The company wisely posts funny images like this one that transcend social media marketing and traditional Facebook advertising.
The rules of thumb for achieving meme marketing gold are as follows: Above all, make sure it’s funny with a great image. Next, make sure it works with your brand. Red Bird Farms, Oreo and others are able to get their memes shared and talked about on Facebook and Twitter because they cleverly tie in their products with a humorous message. In other words, don’t pick something funny that has nothing to do with your company. Lastly, go for originality — or at the very least underused — material. It’s a tall order to put something on Facebook everybody under the sun hasn’t already seen, but we say try to challenge yourself. There are a few great sites that can help you make original memes and others that will help you identify some of the most popular.
In the end, memes are a fantastic way to give your social media followers something to laugh about that breaks up the monotony of strict sales messages. So gather those crazy kitty pictures and go get your meme on!