The importance of Memes
What Do You Meme?
If you haven’t seen a clever captioned image of Kermit the Frog sipping tea, or an ironically shocked looking Pikachu, you’ve probably been living under a rock.
Memes, according to Digitaltrends.com, are defined as “a cultural shorthand that, like all forms of communication, evolves with those who use it”. If you’re ever confused about memes you’ve never seen before, that’s partially the point. Memes are so incredibly popular not only for their humour, relatability, sharability and versatility but also because of their incredibly fast-faced turnaround time on trending events. The internet moves at a furious pace and memes along with it.
Those who aim to stay current in the world of memes have to actively source the latest trending memes and capitalise on them before their usually short-life span expires and are subsequently replaced by new ones. This may sound like a simple task but knowing where to look can be tricky and time-consuming. By the time a meme becomes popular on Facebook, it’s usually near the end of its life span.
Luckily for brands that aim to utilise memes for community engagement, some memes have longer life spans than others, particularly when their use is versatile to a multitude of captions/subjects. Example: the “Kid What” meme (pictured below) is years old but is still popular as it can be identifiably used as a reaction to any strange, uncomfortable or odd occurrence.
Memes usually start catching fire on Reddit, a free-to-join online worldwide community that branches into hundreds of thousands of sub-topics that one can selectively follow to customise what kind of content they’re consuming. Many popular sub-topics (known as subreddits) are packed with the latest trending memes that then get shared to more commonly used social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Some memes have made people incredibly famous and/or wealthy through free promotion and popularity.
For example, “Grumpy Cat” is a cute cat with dwarfism that gained popularity online when her image circulated as a meme. The cat’s condition is the reason its face appears to be permanently grumpy (pictured below). Grumpy Cat was used as a template worldwide to caption viral grumpy quotes that people found relatable or humorous. Grumpy Cat’s fame didn’t stop there. Her owners were approached to film an entire Grumpy Cat movie and made money every time they were asked to bring the cat to events, licence official merchandise or have her appear in promotional material. Grumpy Cat sadly passed away recently (May 2019) but not before earning her owners millions of dollars in royalties.
Does your business’ social media page capitalise on current memes? Contact us to find out more about what type of content can boost your social engagement.