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Posting Memes Increases Engagement

| Flourish Monthly

Here’s a not-so-controversial opinion for you: social media is dumb. It may be surprising to see us write that since we so often emphasize how important social media is for your marketing plan, but it’s true. However, marketing is all about meeting your customers where they’re at, and most people are on one form of social media or another. So it’s helpful to look at sites like Facebook, Twitter, or even TikTok for what it is: a tool. It just so happens that the way you use this tool is by posting 80% polls, questions, or memes and 20% industry-related things. But we’re seeing some recent data showing how a particular kind of post can drive traffic to your website. Enter: memes.

Hey, everyone! Bailey, here. As the resident Gen-Z of Flourish (just barely - I was born in 1998), this seemed like a great topic for me to write about. We talked about the personal side of social media back in June, but with this new study, we thought it was important to talk about more than just pet posts. Merriam Webster (yes, we’ve made it to the dictionary, my friends) defines meme as “an amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) or genre of items that is spread widely online especially through social media.” We won’t get into the way Gen-Z uses memes, which is more of a cultural phenomenon, since most people aren’t trying to market to Gen-Z at the moment.

Your page will be seen if you’re providing content people like. People will like, comment, and share on things they enjoy, which means social media algorithms will show them to more people. This is why memes are crucial in the internet world. If your business is showing your followers something they enjoy, they’ll engage with it and Facebook will show them more of your jokes. I’m not going to claim that memes are some magic that will come to your page. I wish that was the case. The reality of memes is that some of them will work and some of them won’t. Similar to a comedian. Some jokes will land and some jokes will make people groan. But you just have to keep trying. 

Likes, comments, shares, and new followers are all great things, but they often don’t translate to sales. If you get nothing else from this blog, please remember this: Social Media is not meant to drive ROI. Like we wrote about back in June, social media is there to make your company more known and help people get to know how your company operates and what your values are. By posting memes, you show your followers that your company isn’t all about sales and that your customers aren’t just numbers to you. Memes help build relationships and make your company more personable. Doing this can build a community around your brand and create more loyal customers.

This being said, social media (and memes) are a great way to lead people off of social media and to places that do generate ROI, like your website. Social Media Today saw a 12% increase of traffic to their website after just one month of including memes in their social media plan. It’s not a huge jump, but any increase in the double digits is great! It makes logical sense, too. If posting memes increases engagement, then more people are likely to see the rest of your content. If more people see your sales posts, for example, then more people are likely to click on that link to your website. Here’s a few notes Social Media Today had about their experiment:

  • Some commenters are going to take your memes literally, no matter what it is you post.
  • General memes work better than trending ones. Their jokes about Twitter verification didn’t do as well as jokes about more common social media marketing experiences.
  • Every meme is a bit of a risk. Some will do well, some won’t.
  • The more general the meme, the easier it is to create them in big batches and schedule them out ahead of time.

So how do you post a good meme?

  1. The 80/20 Rule. In general, we still recommend you plan out your content with 20% sales posts, 80% other content. As much as I’m selling memes as part of your content here, please don’t assume I mean your page should be 80% memes! That 80% should be questions to drive engagement, sharing tips related to your industry (i.e. realtors can talk about home maintenance), quotes, and also memes.
  2. Know Your Audience. Just like in the rest of your marketing plan, you need to know your audience. If you’re marketing toward a younger audience, something that’s an inside joke or has more abstract humor would work really well for them. However, if you’re marketing toward an older demographic, this could be the first time they’re seeing the meme. Your piece for them will need to stand alone and not reference any other jokes or something that happened that week. There are definitely in-betweens here, but play around and see what your audience knows best.
  3. Know the context. You wouldn’t want to post a meme that, on the surface, is related to your industry and then find out it had darker meaning or was associated with questionable events. Especially if you’re putting your own spin on a trend, make sure your meme is just as pure as your marketing plan.
  4. Stay on Brand without Promoting. I promise this isn’t as confusing as it sounds! If you’re an interior designer, you can post photos of carpeted bathrooms and make jokes about them without promoting yourself. Just acknowledge the fact that it doesn’t look good or how soggy you imagine it getting in there and move on.

I’ll go ahead and get off my soapbox about how underrated memes are in marketing, but hopefully I gave you a new perspective on them and social media. If you need help with the 80% of your content that isn't sales, we're here for you. We have a few openings for new social media clients in January. Contact us for a free consultation!

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