Through the last decade, memes evolved from funny and entertaining images into a communication tool. While previously memes fit only into one or several contexts, current memes present more of a trending template that could be used to describe a wide variety of situations. Thus, memes allow individuals to make their version of a comment of a funny situation. In cases where the situation is relatable to many social media users, the meme becomes viral. The simple, concise, and relatable form of memes provides instant reaction from an individual and forms a desire to share the meme with friends or colleagues who might find the meme funny or relatable. Combined with the fast information-consuming process across social media platforms, the relatability aspect increases engagement.
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In social media marketing, memes could be used to build brand loyalty through a branding strategy based on “meme-jacking,” which means using a trending meme to market their products (Barker, 2021). However, the idea of using a brand’s social media to market the products is getting older as current social media marketing leans more toward the idea of using social media to increase audience coverage. Even though brands’ social media are initially developed to market their products, for some customers, social media presents the source of communication with the brand. Communication with the brand through social media offers an opportunity to establish trustful and loyal relations. Building brand loyalty, in this case, implies being familiar with the audience and using memes to comment on various situations and events that the audience might find relatable. The strategy allows the brand to promote its products through increased coverage of audiences with similar characteristics to the target group.
Barker, S. (2021). Marketing with memes – how to use them to gain traction. Shane Barker. Web.