With that said, I want to use the example of how the “Keep Calm” meme became very much top of mind this week to drive the point of the article. Depending on what type of business you are in, you could actually leverage existing memes to help increase the reach and awareness of your campaigns. A successful meme will instantly bring to mind positive feelings about something and an instant cultural or emotional connection to what is being communicated. In the process, the person/business posting it will have an instant association with whatever feelings the image brings. If posted correctly, it will increase the reach of your message exponentially as it’s shared on the Web.
Home Depot has recently started using “Richard the cat,” aka “Pundit of People,” as its meme of choice as the brand welcomes spring with some out-of-character humor. It has even created a website where you can generate your own Richard meme and compete to win weekly gift cards.
Most of us are not creative enough or have a large enough budget to create our own meme. But with luck and determination, we could identify an existing meme and use it to our advantage.
A Few Tips
Here are the top three things to consider when selecting a meme to use:
1. Make sure it matches your business/brand personality. If your business has anything to do with pets, you have won more than half the battle.
2. Be topical. Make sure you consider your choices among those that are currently popular with your target audience. If you are not sure, ask friends or search the Web for what’s hot at the time.
3. Importantly, be sensitive. That’s an area I may be risking with this article. While I am using Boston and “Keep Calm” as the theme for this article, it is not my intention to exploit such tragedy for commercial gain; I just want to share how the strength of this particular meme brought up positive emotions toward the city and the events of this hideous crime. Please exercise common sense and humanity when developing shareable images.
When it comes to editing your memes, make sure they are not copyrighted. Most of them are not. If you like the “Keep Calm” meme, you can actually create your own at this website, although I caution you that this one may already be overexposed.
You could also create your own “someecard” here. Here’s an example of the many that are making their rounds in social networks lately:
I like to search for a clean image on the Web and use PowerPoint to edit it and add my own text.
Wishing you a successful meme creation, and Keep Calm and Long Live Boston.
Other articles by Jesús:
15 Quick Tips for Effective Writing
Social Media Doesn’t Bite
Small Business Social Media: It’s All About Word of Mouth
When Disaster Strikes Small Business
Social Success Strategy
Cuban born, Puerto Rico raised and U.S. educated, Jesús Grana is a strategy and marketing professional with 20 years of CPG, technology and worldwide marketing experience. As a consultant, he is actively learning and testing social media strategies and tools to truly understand their capabilities and help his clients focus their efforts toward real performance and away from fads and hoopla. You can read more about him and his marketing thoughts in his blog at jrgrana.com.