Memes are important for survival and I’m not joking.
This is not a drill. By definition, memes are ideas that strike a chord and are shared from one person to another or many others. In short, it is an idea that catches on. It is akin to a forest on fire where one flames leap from one burning tree and set the whole forest afire. As incredible as it is to believe, memes are actually a part of our survival instinct.
They have always been around even before the invention of Internet. In the stone-age, lighting a fire for cooking and protection would be called a meme. It was an idea that helped humans survive, flourish and become more refined. It was an idea that caught on!
In today’s age of the Internet, social media and the sheer barrage of information, memes are unsung heroes who have saved time, relieved boredom, made us laugh and given us news by presenting information in a way that panders to our increasingly short attention spans.
Thankfully, its immense potential hasn’t gone unnoticed. The past few years have seen a spurt in startups and small businesses and such outfits cannot bear the exorbitant expenses of traditional media like TV and Print. On the other hand, Social Media sites offer the space and means to be a lot more experimental for a very small fraction of the cost. Though Facebook is seen as a frivolous medium, it is actually a David that can easily defeat the Goliath of Mainstream. In a lot of ways, social media offers things that the more traditional options cannot.
In fact, traditional methods of media have become obsolete as people have grown weary of the constant intrusion by advertising. Research shows that on an average, a person spends at least 100 minutes per day on Facebook. And here the best way to speak to potentials is by talking to them in their language and doing it quickly. Preferably in 8 seconds as that is the average attention span of a human on the internet. If you take longer, you have better chances of convincing a goldfish to buy a treadmill as fish have an attention span of 9 seconds!
Here are some statistics to determine whether social media is really that important for brands.
- The latest Facebook statistics in June 2017 reported over 2.01 billion monthly active Facebook users which is a 17 percent increase year after year. This means that Facebook is essential for a brand to leave any kind of imprint in people’s minds.
- Young and social media savvy with good spending power, this age group of 25-34 makes up a whopping 29.7 % of active Fb users and is the prime demographic for many brands.
- With five new profiles created every second, brands definitely get the opportunity to strike at more potential customers each day.
- Interaction is actually higher on Thursdays and Fridays as engagement is 18% higher.
- Social Media traffic in the mid-week reaches its peak between 1 to 3 pm. But of course, Social Media Executives must be careful to take the time zone of the target audience into account.
Brands using meme marketing have two options. Hitchhike on an existing meme or take a risk and create a new template that will hopefully ‘catch on’ and inspire a flurry of new memes.
Choosing a popular template is much safer, especially if it is the current trend. You run the risk of looking stale if the meme gets outdated by evening. Some of the most popular memeing trends include: Winter is Coming, Kermit the Frog, Batman Slapping Robin, White Guy Blinking. The latest fad is the Elf on the Shelf template but by the time this article is published, it is quite like that it is outdated! New templates have the advantage of originality. But what gives it strength is repetition – it must go viral.
What does this mean for you?
If you’re a meme enthusiast who loves actually creating them, there is a demand for your skills that could make quite a lucrative career as a Social Media Executive. Yes, making memes is actually a job! For a memer it’s important to have good grammar skills and a good knowledge of internet slang. As opposed to popular belief, internet slang is not random. You need to know what’s trending and you need to know your grammar so that you’re not shooting in the dark. Your skill set must include a good knowledge of pop-culture references and the ability to cleverly combine current news and pop culture references in a visual/caption format.
Well, no shit, Sherlock!