Memes for Marketing: Should You Use Them?

Is it possible to go a whole day online without seeing a meme? Wherever you look on social media, you find those amusing combinations of images and text sending a short, sharp message. Marketers can use memes in marketing, too.

Originally a meme was simply “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture” (Merriam-Webster) but now it can be a piece of content – usually visual – that spreads quickly and may even go viral. A case in point: all the memes around Donald Trump, many of which focus on his hair and fake tan.

Getting Started with Memes

Using memes in your marketing can show that you’re in touch with what your customers are talking about. They can also give your brand some personality. For example, Grammarly has built an audience of more than 7 million by using images with grammar on Facebook and other social media channels. Several of these tap into popular memes.

Hubspot believes that memejacking is a great strategy for brands. That means hijacking a meme that you already know is popular and putting your own spin on it. That allows you to ride the trend while gaining more attention.

One tip: make sure you really understand what the meme is all about. Get it wrong and you could really hurt your image. Check out Mismeme on Reddit for some more examples.

Seven Tips on Using Memes for Marketing

So, how do you use memes effectively in your marketing strategy? Here are some tips:

  1. Check to see what’s already popular. There are several great sources of meme intel including Know Your Meme and Memebase. Use those to see whether your planned meme is hot – or not!
  2. Keep an eye on your social media streams. If you’re repeatedly seeing versions of the same image , that’s sure sign that a meme is on the rise.
  3. Check out trending topics on your favorite social media site and see if there are any particular images that go along with them.
  4. Keep tabs on current events that lend themselves to humor.
  5. Decide on the idea and brainstorm some possible takes on it.
  6. Use an online meme generator (try this Google search) to help you create it.
  7. Be selective! Be sure that the meme is aligned with your brand. And, remember, in this case too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Too many memes can have a negative impact on your brand in social.

Tips for Meme Success

When creating memes, be careful about the copyright of the original images. If it’s not clear who owns them, you’d be better off creating your own. In fact, the Success Kid meme started when a photographer uploaded an image of her 11 month old son in 2007. People are still using this image for new memes today.

The final element you need for meme success is social sharing. Share your meme everywhere: on the main social media profiles and within groups. Don’t be afraid to share a meme more than once. The only exception is LinkedIn, where people generally expect more serious, business-related content. Other than that, use your normal content marketing workflow to help your memes to achieve their potential.

Used well, memes can be a useful part of your content marketing strategy so don’t be afraid to try them out.

Negative Comments About Your Brand? Make Them Work for You


It’s never pleasant to receive negative comments and reviews. You work hard to deliver your very best products and services, and bad feedback stings. However, every business receives negative feedback from time to time. It’s how you handle it that sets you apart and keeps your customers coming back to you despite one less-than-stellar experience. And it’s how you respond that influences new customers to give you a chance, despite any negative reviews. The most important thing to remember is that social media is a public forum. Your audience (current and potential customers) will be paying attention to how you handle criticism and complaints.

How to Handle Negative Comments About Your Brand

So how should you respond? Here’s a list of 6 best practices for dealing with negative reviews:

1. Check Your Ego at the Door

Criticism hurts no matter how tough you are or how long you’ve been in business, but suck it up, butter cup. It’s not about you, and usually, it’s not personal. The feedback you receive is all about your customer’s experience. You can’t change what’s already happened. The good news is, you can influence what happens next.

2. Respond Promptly

There’s little worse than letting negative feedback sit and fester because you don’t want to deal with it at the moment. Treat online feedback the way you would in-person complaints. If someone were to complain to a staff member onsite, how would you expect your employee to respond? Promptly, right? Respond to negative feedback you receive online with the same attention and speed you would give a customer standing right in front of you. Also, keep in mind that others will view your lack of response as an attempt to ignore the issue. If you already have an angry customer, expect the lack of response to make matters much, much worse.

3. Acknowledge the Complaint

It’s important to genuinely acknowledge the complaint. Don’t be defensive or use sarcasm. How do you want others to perceive your brand? You want to appear not only competent, but also interested in your customers. You want to demonstrate with every response that you care about customer experience. Don’t brush the problem off, make excuses, or attempt to minimize the customer’s complaint. Tell the customer you appreciate and value his feedback. Remember, it’s not necessarily what the complaint is about—it’s how you handle it that can make the biggest difference.

4. Follow Up

If the negative feedback was the result of a genuine problem with your products or services, take steps to fix the issue promptly. Then, invite your customer to try your product or service again, giving her incentive to do so. For example, you might offer a free meal or provide a discount on a future purchase.

5. Respond Publicly and Privately

In addition to responding to your customer’s comments publicly, contact him privately to address his concerns. Let him know you are genuinely sorry and want to make the issue right. Handling the issue in private demonstrates that you are truly committed to customer satisfaction and provides a personal touch customers appreciate.

6. Ask Your Customer to Remove the Negative Feedback

Once you are sure you have resolved the issues to your customer’s 100-percent satisfaction, ask her to remove the negative feedback or update it with her positive reaction to your attempts to fix the problem. Your customer may not fully understand how important positive feedback is to your business, but if asked, she may be willing to report how prompt and caring you were in resolving the issue.

Getting negative feedback isn’t the end of the world, especially if you handle it well. Use the above best practices to handle social media complaints the right way.

Social Media: The KonMari Way

The KonMari Method is taking closets everywhere by storm. If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s a system of decluttering that focuses on keeping only the items that spark joy in your life. And though the book that reveals the system, The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, is all about organizing your belongings at home, you can use it for social media too. Here’s how to organize your social media the KonMari way:

Purge

One of the basics of the KonMari Method is the purge. You are to ruthlessly discard what is unnecessary before you start organizing anything. Take no prisoners. All those sites you bookmarked (because maybe someday you would need them) but have never actually cared to visit? Delete them. The groups you joined because you thought they might be helpful (but they weren’t)? Remove yourself. Those lists of links you thought you might share with your audience (but they kind of sucked)? Delete them. Apps that seemed useful but just clutter up your devices? Uninstall them. Getting notifications from a million pages you don’t actually want to follow anymore? Unfollow them. And last but not least, drop the social media platforms you joined just because everyone else did. If your audience isn’t there and it won’t yield the kind of exposure you need, it’s just taking up space. Drop it like a bad habit.

Make Sure It Sparks Joy

Once you’ve discarded a bunch of the social media clutter that’s been inhabiting your online space, take some more time to evaluate what you have left. With the KonMari Method, you’re supposed to discard anything that doesn’t bring you joy. In this case, not only should your content bring you joy, it should bring joy to the people that follow you. Everything you keep should do one of the following:

  • Help you better reach your audience
  • Help you demonstrate skill and knowledge relevant to your industry
  • Make it easier for you to provide your audience with valuable content
  • Help or inspire your audience
  • Enable you to be better at your job
  • Connect you with people likely to help you reach your goals

Organize

With the KonMari Method, you don’t organize one entire room and then move on to the next. Instead, you organize by category, something you can do with social media as well. Here are some smart ways to organize your social media:

  • Create an editorial calendar, organized by type of content, topic, and date. Include categories for images and links, so you always know at a glance what you’re posting, and when. You don’t need several different calendars (one for each social media platform) either. Use one calendar to cover them all.
  • Use your editorial calendar as a guide to schedule posts ahead of time, in bulk. This can be a huge time-saver and make publishing social media content less of a hassle.
  • Create a file to store all of your links and notes for content resources. When you need to post timely, relevant content for your audience to enjoy, you shouldn’t have to waste time searching for it.
  • Use an RSS reader to stay on top of the latest news and content from multiple blogs.
  • Create a folder to house images for an entire campaign. Let’s say you’re implementing a campaign across several different platforms. Creating the campaign images ahead of time and keeping them organized in a single folder can work wonders for your efficiency.
  • Create a uniform identity across all of your social media networks. This means branding with the same or similar handle/username and using the same logo and colors on all your accounts to ensure that you are easily recognizable (and memorable). Likewise, it’s important to have the same professional profile image across all of your platforms. This give you a single, credible identity.
  • Use a social media aggregator, such as HootSuite or TweetDeck to see content from your social media feeds in a single place rather than going from site to site to see the latest activity.
  • Create a social media folder for your email. Keep your social media notifications, promotion information, comments, content others send to you to share, etc. in this folder to ensure that the information is right at your fingertips when you need it.

Appreciate Your Social Media Tools and Resources

How you care for your belongings is also important with the KonMari Method. In keeping with this system, take the time to back up your files and maintain your blogs, websites, and social media accounts with up-to-date information.

We can all use a little KonMari in our social media. It’s a system that makes simplicity and joy paramount. Use it to get your social media organized and keep it that way.