One thing that makes communication via social media so unique in 2020 is the usage of memes, gifs, and emojis. According to YPulses’s social media behavior study, 75% of 13–36-year-olds exchange memes as a form of banter. This phenomenon of non-verbal communication has become a staple in how brands strategically interact with their audiences as infamously demonstrated by big brands such as Wendy’s.
With social media being at the forefront of digital communication with consumers, you may find your brand in a vulnerable position where consumers are the ones driving and controlling the online conversation. Although memes can be utilized in a jovial manner, they can also work adversely and be used with malicious intent. A prime example of a memetic crisis is when a meme purposely deviates the intent of a brand or a widely known individual and instead cleverly mocks them among a group who shares the same values. To prevent your brand from being at the center of a memetic crisis, here are five suggested tips from Talkwalker below:
Because memes are a form of visual communication, they may not always be accompanied with any text. One way to check up on your brand’s reputation is to use an image analysis system. An example of an image analysis is Google image search. This search engine will show you all the times on the web where your logo was used making it easy to monitor your brand’s logo.
Using popular memes can drive engagement for your brand from consumers and increase its moment of virality.
Brands are encouraged to share user-generated memes on platforms where they are the most effective. Giving credit to the user will also strengthen the connection between the brand and consumer while encouraging others to engage with the brand.
From an ethical and strategical perspective, it is imperative to thoroughly research memes and its implications before sharing them. You wouldn’t want to share a meme that falls flat in front of its audience because it contained insensitive material or was simply used out of context, making it unfunny.
To avoid any legal repercussions, brands should always review the copyright or licensing rules before sharing a meme.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can stay on top of your brand without embarrassing yourself in front of your consumer base.
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