Memes: They’re the simple screen shots from a TV show or movie that really drive home your point while being humorous and sarcastic at the same time. Take that screen shot, add some witty text, and voila! Viral marketing. BOOM!
But not so fast; it takes a bit more than a few clever words on an amazingly-timed photograph to turn a meme viral. There’s an element of timeliness, industry-specification, cleverness, and methods of distribution that really makes a meme catch on and work for a business.
Memes are a great way to promote your company, or service in a social media- friendly way. They don’t need links. They don’t need long explanations. They are just images and humorous text that are easily shared through mail, text, Facebook, Twitter, and all other social media outlets.
While memes have the ability to spread virally throughout the social sphere, be careful you know what you’re attaching your brand’s name to. Before you associate yourself with a Game of Thrones or Willie Wonka meme template pic, be careful. If you and your business don’t understand the underlying context of a meme, or why it is especially relevant or funny, it is best NOT to build on it for your brand.
Other companies have chosen to make already popular memes their new ad campaigns. Friskies hired “Grumpy Cat” to be the star of a web series “Will Kitty Play With It”. Pistachios has a series of commercials based on “of the moment” viral internet personalities: keyboard cat, Winklevoss twins, Khloe and Lamar, Prancercise lady, PSY, Snookie and even secret service agents canoodling with beautiful woman. This campaign showed their sense of humor, rode high on timeliness, while highlighting the short life span of internet stardom and relevancy. The individual ads were right on top of trends, but did not stay on air very long. This reminds us to keep memes up to date, not out of date.
If you don’t know where to start with your meme, you can visit any number of meme making sites that make the process as painful as possible. Memegenerator.net and Memecrunch.com are good places to start.
The best memes for your business are ones that your fans can easily relate to and possibly modify for themselves. Memes are inherently humorous or at least sarcastic in nature. The key is being relevant, to your brand, or the topic you are addressing.
If you are using a common meme, it is important that you include your brand or call to action in the meme. Place your twitter handle, or website on the image. This will help people to associate the image with your brand. Why do the work of building a meme that’s funny, clever, and memorable, if no one knows it’s from you?!
Building your new, funny, socially sharable and viral meme is just the first step. Now, you must put it out there in front of your audience for all of them to see and share with all of their friends. Get out there! Put your meme on Facebook, twitter, Instagram (yes, you can share on Instagram), Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, and Google +. Be sure to put share buttons on your website, and blog posts, this will allow your audience to share it with their friends much easier.
Think you’re ready to take your brand into the meme zone? Give it a try while keeping in mind the items discussed here. Be timely, be relevant, be on brand and most importantly, understand what a meme can do for your business.
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