Memes and how you can use them
What Are Memes?
An idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture either vertically by cultural inheritance (as by parents to children) or horizontally by cultural acquisition (as by peers, information media, and entertainment media)
A pervasive thought or thought pattern that replicates itself via cultural means; a parasitic code, a virus of the mind especially contagious to children and the impressionable
In blogspeak, an idea that is spread from blog to blog
An internet information generator, especially of random or contentless information
A unit of cultural information, as a concept, belief, or practice, that spreads from person to person in a way analogous to the transmission of genes
An element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means.
It would appear they have now come to describe the visual image content across social media. People refer to images with message in general, as memes.
The general concept is text over an image. It started out with something that would create a connection, make someone laugh, be quite ironic and snide in its message or implied message, so people would share like crazy. Now people are using motivational and inspirational quotes and sharing their business messages in the same way – to get their message out there, and to connect with their audiences.
Whether the image is yours or a stock image, whether the words are yours or quotes, whether you’re selling your wares, showing off your testimonials, sharing some insight or just sharing a dose of inspiration, they are commonly being grouped together as “memes”. I have clients who will say things like “can you make me up a set of memes” and within the content they are looking for adverts, generic “memes” and promotional materials, but because they are all the same concept, same size, to them, they are all the same thing.
Whether you call them memes or social media images, adverts or promotional materials, they are great for getting your message out there, showing off your visual branding and creating consistency in your marketing efforts. People are using these visual statements daily in business in one way or another.
Things To Think About
Use your visual branding guidelines, if you don’t have any, try to create some consistency – Fonts, Colours etc. You want people to recognise that it is your business that is sharing the content. Like here, using Clarissa’s and Emma’s as an example (Clarissa Woodcock – Shropshire Hypnotherapist) (Emma Johnson – Inner Smile) as an example.
What type of business are you? Think of the images you are using, do they match the message you are sharing, do they fit with the type and image of your business? You don’t want to be sharing cheesy, rude, cheeky memes if you want your business image / reputation to be that of quality, style and elegance.
Different Ways You Can Use Them
As I’ve previously mentioned there are so many ways you can use memes / image / social media content (remember you can always add more content in your comments, you don’t have to fit it all in to the image):
Show off your testimonials. Instead of just putting it out there in text format you can create an image with a snippet of your testimonial and make it a little different.
Share parts of your work like Irene here from The Visible Woman who shares the wonderful poems created during her workshops.
Share messages relating specifically to the work that you do in a way that can be shared to those individuals who may very well benefit from your services. Like Liz here from Live Your Life Therapies.
Head up sections of your work that you do on a regular basis / within your groups like Stuart here from Stuart Kelly Insights
Add a bit of a punch to your sales messages, and fill the rest in in the comments. Like Myself and Emma from Inner Smile
Share your own words or words of others to reinforce what you stand for, what you do and what you can help others with. Connect with people, take your message to another level.