Memes and social media are perfect for each other.

Both concepts are about connecting with people online. While social media is a platform for communication, memes are a way of expressing a culturally-relevant idea. A meme is an image or video that represents the thoughts and feelings of a specific audience.

Most memes are captioned photos intended to elicit humor. However, there are many viral video memes too.

Memes are a worldwide social phenomenon, and an increasingly important aspect of viral marketing and social engagement. Memes often relate to existing cultures or subcultures. Often, memes spread rapidly through social media, email, and forum boards.

meme example

Where Does the Word “Meme” Come From?

The term “meme” was coined by Richard Dawkins, a biologist. Dawkins believed that cultural ideas are like genes. He thought that our concepts as a society spread from brain to brain, multiplying and mutating as they went. The resulting trends were his definition of a “meme.”

Most modern “memes” are cultural inside jokes. They’re a way of connecting with people across the internet through unique photos that become instantly recognizable. Memes collect emotions, ideas and actions into an easy-to-translate format. Memes are ideal for the digital age.

The Benefits of Memes for Brands

Though memes are popular in the consumer world, they’re also powerful for companies too. Companies use memes to:

  • Share information in a fun and memorable format.
  • Humanize your brand through a demonstration of personality.
  • Showcase complicated concepts like company culture uniquely.
  • Obtain higher engagement with their audience.

Why Marketers are Using Memes

Most internet users spend around 100 minutes a day on social media. Most of our conversations today are informed by the jokes and references made online. Whether it’s a picture from a social influencer or a video from a brand, memes are affecting the language that customers speak online. This means that brands need to learn how to translate their advertising for this new world.

Memes elicit better reactions from audiences because they’re tailored for social media. People naturally share memes as part of their online experience, so they’re a great way to improve engagement.

How to Use Memes on Social Media

Brands using memes on social media need a strategy.

Like any other social marketing plan, posting memes must be a measured and audience-specific process. Remember to:

  • Target your customers: Know your audience’s sense of humor before you begin posting. Humor has a very wide spectrum and poor planning could cause offense.
  • Create branded memes: Rather than copying and pasting memes, organizations often see better results when they create their pictures and videos. Just make sure you understand the context of the picture or video you’re using.
  • Don’t force it: If memes look forced or out of place, they will damage your reputation. Make sure that your use of memes seems natural.
  • Don’t overuse memes: Memes are best used sparingly and in the right circumstances. Too many memes on your timeline will make your clients question your professionalism.