The good news is, if you can become a #dank #memelord then the internet is your cloyster. Memes are the language of the digital native. Visual and often only understood by a small group, they appeal to users because it makes them feel they’re part of a clique. Sometimes, they’re funny – sometimes they’re horribly, terribly dangerous (Tidepods, anyone?). 2018 was the year of What’s your child texting about, Change My Mind and American Chopper argument, amongst many others – if you haven’t seen them, have you even been online?
So…what’s in a meme?
There are three types of meme. Memes more generally is the term used to describe a cultural phenomenon that’s gone viral. The ones you’re most probably familiar with is the image and text meme, which can be made using meme generators.
The third type, intentional memes, are the ones you’ll probably want to have a punt at: created specifically for your content, but have acquired viral status. That is the golden ticket for your social media strategy.
All of these meme types can acquire virility – meaning, they can become hugely, internationally popular, and be used to discuss a multitude of issues.
How should you use a meme?
Use them as attention grabbers, or content enhancers. A meme is a particularly good way of explaining a complex idea to a large audience. You can even create your own, riding that sweet zeitgeisty wave all the way to Memetown Lordship.
But only use them if you think your target audience will appreciate them. Because for some, memes will be juvenile, and using them could undermine your brand.
The danger with memes is that you can get them wrong. Badly. You can miss the joke & alienate the meme community, or the meme might fall flat with your client base. Getting them wrong will almost certainly make you look fuddy-duddy and middle aged (the horror!).
Memes are the street art of the social web, and they are becoming more central to the political and cultural conversations we have. [Hrag Vartanian]
Let’s face it, nobody wants to be trending on Twitter because of a badly applied meme. So if you aren’t sure, just don’t use them. Or get someone in who knows what they’re doing. (*cough cough Digida.co.uk cough*).
And just so you can chuck your new terminology around confidently, it’s pronounced meem, not me-me.