March 21, 2017 by Joy Thompson
When corporations try to piggyback off of viral social media movements, the outcomes are usually unoriginal and/or overly promotional. The latter is the worst offense because it showcases a brand’s lack of understanding about social media.
For the most part, users don’t log onto social media to see brand posts. They log on to see what their friends are up to, and if they happen to see a brand’s post, it better be damn interesting. There’s a reason why social media marketing is nicknamed “interruption marketing”– you are interrupting a person’s news feed to talk about your product.
Rule of thumb: Keep your organic posts light, fun, and interesting. Make your key promotional posts into social media ads.
I mention all this because, social media is an art form. It takes a clever and creative person / team (hint, hint, nudge, nudge) to make brand posts interesting — to make them SO interesting that a consumer will willingly share your company’s post on their own profile (your mom, friends, and employees don’t count).
All this leads me to the inspiration for this post…
These occasionally funny images with sans serif text overlays have been around for a while, and brands have tried to incorporate them into their social media strategy since the beginning. Most brands either overuse memes, share other people’s memes, can’t come up with anything funny, or all of the above.
Here’s an example a brand failing with a meme. Student loan company got killed on Twitter after tweeting (and eventually deleting) this tweet.
— Jacob Fischler (@ItsFischy) June 25, 2014
When used sparingly and intelligently, memes can be a good way to connect with their audience. Typically, if the meme is a winner, you’ll get increased engagement and viral reach.
The latest meme craze is the zoom-in memes. These memes are like pinch-and-zoom scavenger hunts. You get directed to zoom in on a certain part of the image (ex: bottom right corner), only to get re-directed to another part of the photo (ex: upper right corner), only to be re-directed to another part of the image, and then redirected to another part of the image (ex: the subject’s ear) that contains a final message.
Here’s an example of a good zoom-in meme by Denny’s (works best if you’re on mobile)…
zoom in on the syrup pic.twitter.com/omRBupjrXq
— Denny’s (@DennysDiner) March 1, 2017
This simple tweet with this zoom-in meme became a viral hit. Why? They opted to come up with an entertaining message rather than a “Come eat at Dennys”-type message.
I’ve now spent 300+ words bashing brands for coming up with unoriginal memes. The pressure is on. Here’s what I came up with:
ZOOM IN ON TOP LEFT
Kop (the office dog) approves this message
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