How to Use Memes in Social Media Marketing

How to Use Memes in Social Media Marketing

So you want to create amazing memes, huh? You’ve come to the right place. Mastering the art of memes is no easy feat, but luckily for you we’ve put together the ultimate guide on how to use those suckers like a pro.

Say goodbye to low engagement and a bored audience. Instead, say hello to enhanced brand loyalty and increased audience connections. 

baby meme

Why Memes Work

A meme is a piece of satire that often capitalizes on a hidden meaning that exists in popular culture references. They are an efficient way to collect ideas, emotions, and actions in an easily transferable manner, making them ideal for going viral. 

The benefit of memes, especially for brand use, include:

  1. Memes are cheap (and sometimes free), which makes them more likely to have a greater return on investment. Not many other methods of advertising can say that. 
  2. They showcase brand personality, allowing for a unique opportunity to humanize and authenticate a brand voice. 
  3. Memes increase audience engagement, and also contribute to higher levels of website traffic and brand memorability
  4. They are easily accessible, considering that the same meme can be found across several different platforms. Twitter, however, is typically their place of origin. 
  5. Increasing technology provides larger audiences and therefore a higher chance of going viral. Newer platforms such as TikTok offer an expanding audience, especially if you work with influencers who already have a built-in audience on the platform.

How to Use Memes 

Ultimately, memes can be a powerful tool for brands struggling to connect or expand target audiences. However, there are millions of memes floating around out there, which makes delivering content value through the chaos a challenge.

It’s crucial for marketers to thoroughly understand how to use memes in order to produce high quality content and not just another meh meme. Here are some tips:

  1. Know your audience in order to develop an appropriate brand voice. Not everyone has an appreciation for memes. If your brand focuses on an older, classier audience, memes may not be the best way to connect.
  2. Know your memes to avoid any embarrassing campaign mistakes. A good knowledge of memes will allow you to create more relatable and humorous content, without missing the mark.
  3. Know which memes to repurpose to maximize engagement. When choosing a meme, look for one that is already popular and easy to understand. This way, the majority of the audience will resonate with the humor. 
  4. Know how to incorporate memes into your social content to maintain relevance. This can be done by reacting to recent news or cultural phenomenon, participating in meme challenges, or reposting user-generated memes. 

Brand Examples 

Ruffles 

This chip brand saw a meme opportunity and they went for it! This meme never seems to get old, making it easy to understand and recognizable. Who’s craving some flamin’ hot Ruffles now?

ruffles flamin' hot meme

Netflix 

Netflix knew just what we were all asking for this year. This meme did a great job of incorporating popular references with the brand name, without looking like a blatant advertisement. 

Jimmy John’s 

This sandwich chain knows the struggle! Not only was their post relatable, but it stimulated tons of engagement. Fans were tagging friends and sharing the post for weeks. 

jimmyjohns sandwich meme

Gucci

This luxury brand proved that even they have a sense of humor. While it’s not always advised for affluent brands to dabble in the art of memes, Gucci did it just right. 

gucci watch meme

BarkBox

Of course, we can’t leave out BarkBox, a pet subscription brand that is known for their hilarious memes. This post is a great example of light-hearted humor that sells!

BarkBox funny meme

Things to Avoid

While memes are a great way to connect with an audience, it can also pose hidden risks for a brand. The value of memes is primarily derived from two key things: humor and relevance.

Both of those are subjective, which makes things slightly more tricky as a meme could be deemed hilarious by one viewer and wickedly offensive by the next. 

In order to avoid a disastrous blunder on social media, here are a few meme tips and tricks of staying out of trouble:

  1. Keep it simple to avoid any misunderstandings or confusion. A good meme can speak for itself without any further explanation.
  2. Be careful what you joke about even if it’s not overtly offensive. Topics such as race, gender, and religion are always in bad taste and should be avoided at all times.
  3. Don’t push harsh branding as that will only eliminate any enjoyment of the meme and it will be viewed as an ad. Rather, the meme should feature your brand, not be about it. 

The Takeaway

Memes are a great way to connect with your audience and develop a relatable brand personality. While they may have short life-spans, memes are an engagement tool that can be used to boost interactions and reach.

If your brand is looking for an inexpensive content strategy to go viral, start using memes in social media marketing like a boss.

Marketing Specialist

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