What is a Meme? And how do you use them?

The world of memes (which rhymes with ‘teams’) is noteworthy for two reasons: it is a worldwide social phenomenon, and memes behave like a mass of infectious flu and cold viruses, traveling from person to person quickly through social media.
This is one of my favourite memes, and a reminder to us all when we create memes to make sure we have our facts straight too.


The “meme” word was first introduced by evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, in 1976. “Meme” comes from the Greek word “mimema” (meaning “something imitated”, American Heritage Dictionary). Dawkins described memes as a being a form of cultural propagation, which is a way for people to transmit social memories and cultural ideas to each other. Not unlike the way that DNA and life will spread from location to location, a meme idea will also travel from mind to mind.
In business memes are a great way to communicate tips, messages and how to’s in a visually appealing way.
The idea of a great meme is to be shareable, so you want to make sure you take your time crafting yours with not only a great tip, but a clear and shareable message.
The key to an effective meme for your business is finding the right image to use. It can be a picture you take, an image of a product or service you offer, or a spin on a popular meme.
You can find popular memes by searching the web; several sites will show you meme base images that have been popular for a long time, as well as current trending ones.

As a general rule, to help your meme be popular it should be:

  • Easy to create
  • Easy to consume
  • Relatable to your audience
  • Shareable
  • Familiar

Be Audience Specific
Your audience needs to relate to your meme in order to share it, so make sure you are audience specific. Some audiences will love humour, while others will value education and tips, so make sure your meme creation fits your audience.
Content ideas for your memes can come from just about anywhere, but here are a few of our favourite places to start.

  1. Short and sharp answers to FAQ
  2. Educational Tips that can be actioned straight away
  3. Did you know series
  4. You know you XXX when XXX
  5. Quotes and Tips from you to inspire your audience.

Keep it short and simple
Keep  in mind that the attention span of the typical internet user is pretty short, so you want to make an immediate impression. Come up with a catchphrase that uses simple and memorable language.
Create Your Own Branded Memes Whenever You Can
Meme generators are the easiest way of creating a meme within minutes. However, that is what everyone can do, even a child. A branded company meme takes some time, but is not hard and with tools like WordSwag Ripple and Canva you can create memes on brand.
The whole purpose of sharing memes in marketing is adding value to your brand. Otherwise, you are simply filling up your timeline with pointless posts which will not create any engagement. Memes alone will never attract more customers for your business.
Use your memes across the channels
Memes are a multipurpose content tool and can be used across the channels. Share your memes on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram – all it takes is a tweak of the introduction text.

What meme will you create?

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