How to use Memes in your Social Marketing

Memes are everywhere – Pepe the Frog, Success Kid, Grumpy Cat and Bad Luck Brian are the celebrities of social media. Social media is so fast paced that getting your organisation’s social content noticed can be tricky. That’s where memes can help – as they are simple to read, easy to share and good fun, this is why they remain a firm favourite for the social masses.

As a marketer you may be asking if memes would work for your business, so we have created a list of benefits and risks when using memes, to help you decide if they could work in your social campaigns.

What are the benefits?

Better engagement

Image-led content generates more engagement – fact! Facebook states that they have a 87% interaction rate from fans, meme’s are so successful because they are trendy, simple to read, shareable and aim to entertain. They aren’t complicated or hard to understand so social audiences are usually very receptive.

Build a personality

It can be hard to create a personality for your brand. Sarcasm and humour can be hard to convey into 140 characters and the last thing you want is for a sarcastic post to be taken seriously. Memes however are commonly acknowledged as sarcastic and meant to be a joke, so are a safe way to inject some humour. By using memes, gifs and emojis you can help to show the desired tone of your message, ensuring that your posts won’t be seen in the wrong light whilst building a persona for your brand.

React quickly

One of the big positives of using memes is that they are really simple to create. Some social media management platforms possess the tools to make creating your own memes simple, but if you don’t have the tools there are online meme builders like IMGFlip that you can use. This means that you can easily create memes for trending hashtags or for events and react quicker, without having to contact your Creative Team.

What are the risks?

Don’t steal!

You need to be careful not to steal memes or use copyrighted ones. Every meme has a source and it can be hard to follow the breadcrumbs back to the original creator. Some social media management solutions possess the ability for you to edit and add text to your own images, enabling you to create your own memes and helping you to bypass potential legal restrictions.

Make sure you have the right audience

If you are a bank or a funeral home then your audience aren’t going to appreciate a humorous meme. Some organisations simply can’t be anything other than sensible and informative. Evaluate your competitors and monitor your audience to see if you could introduce memes. You don’t want to cause offense or be insensitive.

Is it really worth doing?

Social trends and memes don’t usually have a long shelf-life, so act quickly and maximise opportunities. Don’t invest too much time or resources into memes, but they can be a quick method to boost engagement and extend your reach. Some brands have had brilliant campaigns by incorporating memes into their marketing campaigns, for example Virgin Media’s use of the “Success Kid” led to them even featuring the child on a billboard.

Meme’s can help you to boost reach, increase engagement and build awareness of your brand – whilst also helping you to gain more followers. Discover how the Deltic Group benefit from incorporating memes into their marketing campaigns to create a more human presence.


Rhiannon BirchAbout the Writer:
Rhiannon Birch is PR & Marketing Coordinator at SocialSignIn. She is passionate about all aspects of writing and enjoys discussing the real-life stories behind social media. With two young children and three dogs, Rhiannon spends her (very little) spare time exploring new places and watching Star Wars.

If you’d like to connect on LinkedIn click here or follow her on Twitter @RhiSkywalker