There are countless memes floating around the internet every single day.
Some memes are meant to be funny. Others help spread political messages or educate people about a certain topic.
Memes can be a powerful marketing tool. They’re so effective, they can be used to influence buying decisions and political opinions.
Read on to find out what a meme is, how they work, and how you can create corporate memes to market your business.
What is a Meme?
A meme (pronounced as ‘meem’) is anything that spreads. The phrase was coined in 1976 by author and biologist Richard Dawkins. In his book, The Selfish Gene, he said that an idea could repeat itself and enter the mainstream the way that genes spread and multiply.
Fast forward about 40 years and memes have taken over, and at times, broke the internet. In the late 90s, The Hampster Dance dominated the world with its silly hamsters and annoying music. Yet, there was something about it that went viral before going viral was a thing.
The Dancing Baby meme (remember that?) and Grumpy Cat became global sensations overnight.
A meme is powerful because people remember them. Social media posts have an awfully short shelf life compared to other forms of marketing. You literally have a split second to make an impression as someone is scrolling through their feed.
Let’s see how long social media posts last. On Facebook and Twitter, they last about three hours. You’re also fighting among a ton of other content to get traction.
Facebook and Instagram have been notorious for limiting engagement once they reach critical mass. That lack of engagement forces everyone to purchase ads.
If you want to be seen organically without spending a ton of money on ads, corporate memes are the way to go. Here’s how you can get started.
Using Memes in Marketing
When memes are done well, they can add to the conversation and give your brand some credibility.
Ruffles successfully used a meme to encourage grillers to show off their grilling disasters. It showed the funny side of the brand. It also reminded people that Ruffles are a great compliment to any grilling situation – success or disaster.
When done poorly, you look like a 45-year-old trying to fit in with the 22-year-old kids. It can come across as disingenuous and do more harm than good to your brand. It shows like an older person hanging out in mom jeans.
Some of the worst corporate memes were companies like IHOP, which was trying to be ‘on fleek.’ Another example was Toshiba encouraging its users to twerk at work.
Yeah, that didn’t work at all.
You definitely don’t want to be like that when you use corporate memes.
Successfully Using Corporate Memes
How can you use corporate memes in your marketing? There are some things that you can do as part of your marketing strategy to create fantastic memes related to your business.
What is Your Brand About?
Marketing always starts with your brand and your niche audience. Your brand is the emotional connection that people have to your company. You need to know how you want people to feel about your company.
For example, if your business is a pet store, you would people to think about the love that they have for their pets when they think of your brand.
This is important to know because you want to make sure that your memes apply to your brand.
Be a Good Listener
The next thing you need to do is to be a good listener. You want to monitor the conversations that happen online related to your brand.
Let’s say that you have a political consultancy. You can monitor hashtags like #demdebate and see what people are saying. You also want to watch out for trending hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, and whichever channels you use the most.
The reason some memes are successful and others aren’t is because the successful ones are relatable. Everyone can relate to leaving things on the grill for too long.
Even if your brand is a serious corporate brand, you can still be relatable. Everyone who works in an office can relate to certain things. They can relate to the guy who has to call a meeting over every little thing. They can relate to having silly, useless reports to do.
Your job is to find the humor in various situations and show people that your band can relate to them.
The Timing of Memes
When you’re listening to various online conversations, you want to make sure you time your meme right. For up to the second trends, you must get content out the door immediately.
If you’re timing your meme with an event or trend, you need to get the content out at that moment. A day later is too late.
However, if you’re capturing an everyday moment, like a water cooler conversation at the office, you can be more flexible when you send them out.
Corporate Memes to Boost Your Business
Whenever you are using social media marketing to boost your business, be smart about it. Everyone is on social media, and it’s a tough challenge to be seen.
You want to use memes sparingly. Otherwise, your brand will look like you’re trying to fit in. You also want to make sure that they’re relevant to the conversation and your brand. Constantly posting memes that are off-brand won’t do you any good.
The best corporate memes are fun, engaging, and create conversation. They also get people to link to your site, which can be a boost for business and other marketing efforts.
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