Compared to other aspects of communications, social media is a relatively new approach to getting your brand’s name known by the public. It’s no surprise then that many PR pros are still figuring out how we can best use the opportunities it presents. I’ve just read an article in PR Daily about how we can embrace memes to strengthen presence over social media. In case you don’t know, a meme is a humorous image or video shared over social media, and if it’s funny enough it can get shared and retweeted on a large scale, making it go viral.
Memes having the ability to go viral means there’s opportunity for your brand’s name to spread widely too. Part of PR is about news jacking, and using something current to engage with audiences. Getting recognition through memes can work in a similar way. As the PR Daily article discusses, a meme about a hot topic (in this case: the Olympics) can spread fast, and if a brand is quick enough to be the first to make a meme on the topic, their name can spread along with the meme.
But how many PR/comms pros are actually embracing the meme? In my experience, it seems that it’s mainly individuals over social media making them, rather than brands. You can perhaps understand why. It might be difficult to convince clients or the board that using memes is a worthwhile tactic, considering that it’s perhaps not the most serious approach to marketing. And this might be especially the case for B2B PR pros like us, as many might think that other businesses wouldn’t engage with them like consumers might. But the truth is that as long as you create memes relevant to your brand, it could be a fruitful way of spreading your brand’s messaging.
It’s fair to say that a few years ago, many companies might have seen social media as a fluffy form of communications and that it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Fast forward to today, and without a clear social media strategy you could be seen as lagging behind. I think that a similar thing might happen with memes, and that we could see a perception shift that makes it a key part of marketing. Brands keeping an open mind with regards to memes could soon cash in on some good results, proving them to be social media marketing pioneers…
Alex Brown enjoys being one of the Skout blog’s most regular contributors.