Memes, they are literally almost everywhere. They are an ever-present part of the online experience, especially on social networks. The internet phenomenon has grown in popularity, mainly due to the visual nature of the web and social media.
Memes are generally meant to humorous or sarcastic, but because they are massive attention grabber, businesses can leverage them to their advantage as long as it’s done in a smart or clever way. In order to understand how the use of memes can benefit your business it is important to understand how they work, and most importantly how to make them funny!
What is an Internet Meme?
Seasoned Social Media experts can skip this section, but for the sake of newcomers here is the description of an internet meme.
Meme is pronounced with a long E and the last E is silent. The original, pre-Internet definition of a meme is, “an element of culture on a system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by non-genetic means, especially imitation”.
The newer definition is, “a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.
How to Make an Effective Meme for Your Business
So now you know what a meme is, but how can you use it? The key to creating an effective meme for your business is finding the right image to use. Whether it is a picture you take, an image of a product or service you offer, or just a spin on an already popular meme.
You can find popular memes by searching the web; several sites will show you several meme base images that are popular now, as well as the classics. The image you choose and overall meme must tie into your branding or your company in some way. Memes are also supposed to be funny, witty, or clever, and is an important part of the puzzle if you hope for your meme to ever go viral.
As a general rule, you will want your meme to meet all or most of the following in order for your meme to become popular:
- Easy to create
- Easy to consume
- Relatable to your audience
- Funny, witty, clever, or smart
It is important to think of the theme of your meme. What emotion are you trying to convey? Is it a sense of pride in product? Is it something humorous? Use caution with popular memes that might be associated with risque or off color jokes. Be sure that you understand the meme to prevent it from being hijacked, or copied over in a negative way. Now that you have the goals in check and you know what feeling you want to evoke with your audience, it is now time to develop your text. This brings up another point of caution, using grammatically incorrect memes, think about how your audience would react and whether or not they might understand it.
Meme Making Tools
There is no shortage of sites that allow you to make memes for free, but it is important to note that most sites will add their own watermark to your masterpiece. If you have a designer, or if you are handy in Photoshop, then you can make your own meme, or modify the meme you create to add your own watermark; this is ideal for branding purposes.
Some good sites are kapwing.com/meme-maker or imgflip.com which not only help you create and download memes, but also show the most popular images and trending images. A simple google search will also return several other great meme generation sites.
These sites will allow you to add top and bottom text and then download the image, royalty free. The popular images that are all over the internet are no copy written so do not worry about grabbing an image and adding your own text and watermark.
Now its time for the fun part! Sharing your meme! You should use all of your social channels to distribute the meme, and don’t be afraid to push it more than once. You should use your social channels as a test audience and if you find a meme that gets a lot of attention don’t hesitate to tap into it for a marketing campaign!
It is important to remember that not every meme will take off and generate a ton of exposure, so don’t be afraid to try different variations and keep tweaking until you find the perfect balance!
Using memes as a part of your marketing efforts can help grab the attention of users, and vastly increase your reach and branding efforts.
Now you have the necessary tools to plan out a successful meme! Good luck out there!