Memes are a fun way to engage with readers and/or other writers on a casual level while still effectively branding yourself.
What is a Meme?
First, the newest definition is that a meme is a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.
The majority of modern memes are captioned photos that are intended to be funny, often as a way to publicly ridicule human behavior or commonly shared life situations. Other memes can be videos and verbal expressions. Some memes have heavier and more serious content.
Why Are Memes Effective?
Have you enjoyed a quote that spoke to you? Laughed at a picture with a funny caption? Felt your heart warm at a sweet image that reminded you of something fond in your own life? Then a meme has been effective for you.
Memes are effective because they are:
- Easy to Create – Usually a single image with a quick quote.
- Easy to Consume – Again, single image with a quick quote.
- Sharable – Most memes are shared via social media, which makes them easy to like, share, repost, retweet, etc.
- Familiar/Relatable – Typically memes are images, quotes, or situations that are familiar to most people.
- Funny – Most memes lean toward humor, though they can also be heartwarming or serious.
- Attention Getting – Because of the above reasons, memes easily grab the attention of your followers.
- Branding – Memes for marketing purposes can help you brand yourself.
Using Memes as Marketing Tools
Memes as a tool of marketing can either be very specific and similar (look at big brands like Geico or Progressive), or they can be general but still point to a theme (like being an author). When you use social media as your main means of marketing, then memes become an excellent tool to connect with people. Each time you post a meme, then, ask yourself the following questions
Why Are You Posting a Meme?
Are you short of other things to post that day? Memes are great fillers. Or are you using a meme to help you make a point or an announcement? Why you’re posting will affect the type of meme you’ll use.
Who is Your Target Audience?
Are you aiming at readers? Other writers? Readers of a certain age? Readers of a certain genre? Your audience will affect the type of meme you use.
What are Your Goals for the Meme?
Is your goal to sell something? To connect with readers? To share your personal life? Your goal for a given meme will affect the type of meme you use.
How Can You Make It About You/Your Books?
This is all about marketing in the end, which means the mean should point back to you somehow. As authors, there are many ways to do this. General memes about your writing life. Memes specific to your genre. Memes specific to your books. Memes about you as a person. Making the memes about you will affect the type of meme you use.
Just for fun, think through different ideas that are currently popular in the meme world. Take some time to search for memes. Make note of the ones you connect with or enjoy. A few examples include:
- Animals saying human things.
- Babies saying or doing adult things.
- Sayings from popular television shows or movies.
- Popular images of characters from television shows or movies.
- Popular or classic quotes.
- Puns or joke punch lines.
- That moment when. . .