There’s a new way for you to increase your users’ engagement through Instagram Memes. Now that each and every social media network keeps changing and evolving, rapidly.
And we’re all seeing this happen on Instagram today: less polish, more authenticity. In particular, I am noticing an embrace of memes — that historically unpolished, yet highly relatable category of social media content.
Recently, I’ve picked up on the proliferation of memes across many major Instagram profiles. And as such, I’d love to share how brands are making the most of this form of visual marketing. As well as what it could look like for you to give it a try with your brand.
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But, although so-called “serious” people may deride memes, they are an essential part of modern social media. Like it or not, there is a good reason why your Instagram feed is filled up with lots of content.
Including pictures of funny cats cute kids, and motivational quotes. So, keep reading for examples, inspiration, and directions on the memeification of Instagram and how to ride the wave.
What are Memes?
My first question would be; are Instagram Memes taking over your feed? If your answer is Yes, then that’s because this year’s biggest trend is using memes.
You can use memes to boost your Instagram engagement and that’s why so many brands quickly jumped on board! But, if you’ve no idea, allow me to take you in for a ride. Now that at some point in time, this’s what was once reserved for an Instagram meme account.
Today, brands are realizing the power of Instagram memes — especially, when it comes to building brand identity, driving product interest, and increasing engagement. So, with that in mind, it’s important to note that Instagram Memes are very user interactive.
We all have seen memes pop up across social media before. And as such, I’ve found there to be a few defining characteristics. Particularly, on what makes this type of social media content so engaging.
- Relatable. This is a core element of a successful meme. They summarize a widespread feeling that everyone can relate to.
- Witty. Memes are clever. They have a way of putting obvious things succinctly in a way that we hadn’t thought of before.
- Entertaining. With the combination of relatability and cleverness, memes can be an incredibly fun piece of content, like being in on an inside joke shared with thousands of others.
According to the Collins English Dictionary, a Meme is “something such as a video, picture, or phrase that a lot of people send to each other on the internet.” That is a very general definition, but it describes memes well. The word once had a loftier meaning.
Richard Dawkins created the term, with the concept that a meme was an idea passed on from one generation to another. Does that mean the reason you share videos featuring your clumsy cat is to benefit future generations?
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But, despite the looser social media definition of memes we now use, you can’t get away from their importance. By definition, Instagram Memes are very popular, since even influential people do share them.
And if you want your material to perform better, you should share memes. Except perhaps, for firms specializing in serious B2B, you should include some memes in your influencer marketing. Here are 10 of the Best Instagram Meme Accounts to Check Out first.
There’s just one word of warning. ”More often, even though Internet memes tend to be irreverent, they are very fun-filled. This means that many favorite memes have the potential to offend some people. Fortunately, Instagrammers continue this irreverence when they name their Instagram meme accounts.
What are Instagram Memes?
So, what makes Instagram memes a meme? Do they have to be funny? Clever? Pop-cultural? Or some combination of the three? Well, most of us will immediately recognize a meme when we see one. However, nailing down a definition is surprisingly difficult to do.
In the broadest sense possible, an Instagram meme is any piece of media that passes from person to person on Instagram. They usually have some kind of cultural relevance. And they’re often funny or clever.
Typically, some memes do feature a combination of text and imagery (this can be a photo, a GIF, or even a video). But, while they may be difficult to define, there’s one thing that’s for certain — memes are really popular on Instagram — like really, really popular.
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And as a matter of fact, there are some of the biggest, most engaged accounts on Instagram. Existing for the sole purpose of creating and sharing memes. In reality, one of the most-commented Instagram posts of all time was a Britney Spears Meme.
I am, of course, talking about also accounts like @fuckjerry, @ladbible, and @mytherapistsays — all of which have over a million followers. But, all that is beginning to slowly change. You can see a sample feed from @thedesigntip brand below:— feel free to follow them on Instagram.
In the last year or so, brands and businesses have also started jumping on the meme bandwagon. While breaking away from the highly curated feeds of 2018. In lieu of something a little more authentic and way more fun. Indeed, it was really just a matter of time — memes are meant to be relatable, relevant, and highly shareable.
Why are Instagram Memes so Engaging?
As can be seen, these notable features mentioned above, make them so perfect for building brand engagement. But, there are tons of different business uses.
I mean everything, from sharing brand identity and values to driving product interest. And, in that case, there are a few reasons behind Instagram memes usage by various brands or even personalities alike.
Consider the following:
- As highly-polished photos have proliferated, the “Instagram aesthetic” has come to feel bland and cookie-cutter.
- I am sure you’ve learned before about the red vs. blue ocean strategies. A strategy for picks where there is less competition.
- Staged Instagram photos are achieving a mass scale, and it’s harder to compete for attention.
- So, have we reached “peak perfection?” Ugly Drinks’ social media and community manager Brittany Zenner calls it “influencer saturation.”
- But, even though there can be too much of a good thing, these memes are here to stay.
Bearing in mind, the “standard” way to post to Instagram with your very best pictures of your very best self is no longer the only way to get engagement. And with this lowering of the bar comes a welcome to many different types of content.
How are Instagram Memes used for Business?
One trendy style on the horizon is the shift in the ways to get more engagement on Instagram stories. The Trend on Instagram is less on Polish and more on Authenticity. Especially at scale, there is an art to noticing the trends as social media moves.
Taylor Lorenz in The Atlantic wrote about the decline of the “Instagram aesthetic.” Those images look well-staged, highly produced, and dripping with polish. In their place, a new style has taken over, and it’s largely moving in the opposite direction.
Instagram seems to be embracing more raw, organic, and natural images on the platform. And as I’ve already mentioned, memes are so shareable. While at the same time, posting a funny or relevant meme can earn you a ton of likes, comments, shares, and saves.
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Instagram is definitely growing as a sales channel. And as a business, your goal should be to post content that engages your audience. Rather than simply promoting your products — and one of the great things about Instagram memes is that they can do a little of both!
That said, still, wondering how you can incorporate memes into your own account? Below are a few great examples of how memes can be used for general business growth:
#1: An Effective Method to Promote your Brand Values
There’s no denying that Instagram is still a very social place. And people want to follow accounts that they can relate to. Regardless of whether it’s a brand, influencer, or something else.
So it’s important to make your Instagram account as relatable as possible and really show off what your business is all about! And memes can be great for this. Take @ritual, for example, the modern vitamin brand often posts fun, pop-cultural memes.
Memes that show off its ethos and brand values — all while engaging its audience in a relatable way. Not forgetting, the same is true for @curology — they often use memes too. To build brand affinity with their audience while tying back to their values.
#2: The Best Way to Share your Viral Community Tweets
As mentioned in the top trends post, one of the biggest (and strangest) design crazes to hit Instagram this year is using the platform to share screenshots of viral Tweets.
For example, meme accounts like @daquan and @thefatjewish have been doing it for years. But, the big surprise is that brands are now jumping on the trend too! Not to mention, the community aspect that I love about this trend is that it isn’t just branding reposting their own Tweets on Instagram.
For one thing, these brands are also finding reflective Tweets from their community. Tweets that reflect their brand style, attitude, and messaging. So that it appeals to their Instagram followers too! And of course, meme accounts are happy to share screenshots as is (aesthetics don’t matter quite as much in comedy).
#3: A Great Way to Promote your Business Products
Because they’re often funny or clever, memes don’t usually feel like an ad or promotion for a product. And for that reason — they can be a great way to “soft promote” your products.
And as such, without being in-your-face about it. A furniture brand like @burrow does this really well! They often share playful memes that entertain their audience while drawing attention to their product in a peripheral way. You can also check out how @meundies does it on their Insta page too.
In the end, these memes offer a more “indirect” way of selling. And that’s perfect for Instagram because they don’t come across as too inauthentic or salesy.
#4: Instagram Memes allows you to be as Timely as Possible
Another key point, Instagram memes are also great for sharing quality, relevant, and timely content. And not just that but, content that relates back to your brand and audience.
Considerably, that’s why a brand like @rocketsofawesome is so timely — the apparel brand for kids often shares laugh-inducing memes that are highly relevant and timely. A brand such as @bustle is also great at this.
Often, sharing timely memes for important holidays. Equally important, businesses and influencers are taking it a step further and adding on-brand backgrounds to their posts.
#5: Provides you with a Greencard to Entertain your Audience
Perse, having a business-central goal in mind is great. But, you can also share Instagram memes for the sole purpose of entertaining your audience. And as such, take @glossier for example.
They often post cute and hilarious memes that are just that — cute and hilarious! Sharing these kinds of memes is a great way to show your followers you’re approachable. And now, that there’s a real human behind your account.
So, the next time you’re in a pinch for something to post, consider pulling up an entertaining meme — your audience will love you for it! You can see the other 10 On-Brand Examples of Memes in the Instagram Feed as detailed by Buffer.
Why are Social Media Branding Tools important?
As can be seen (in this article), social media branding can be a great tool to increase your online presence. But, as more brands jump on the Internet bandwagon, marketing clutter can make it hard to compete.
For instance, think of your professional services brand as the product of your reputation and your visibility. With this in mind, a Brand Building or rather, Branding Tool is a technique that helps you build and refine your firm’s reputation or increase the visibility of that reputation.
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All in all, the best branding tools manage to do both at the same time. In that case, be sure to not only use social media as a branding tool. But to use it effectively in order to stand out and keep customers engaged and interested.
Assuming that, if you are an industry veteran, you probably already know the value of having a strong professional services brand. And, if not, consider some of the benefits listed below.
A strong brand you can:
- Generate leads more easily
- Command higher rates
- Achieve a higher win rate
- Recruit more effectively
- Have fewer competitive bid situations
One challenge that a lot of businesses have with social media branding is building initial traction. Getting your first few followers can seem impossible when you don’t even know where to start.
However, if you’ve been in business for a while or have other Web properties (like a website blog, or other social media accounts) then you should start there. Furthermore, unless you tell your current customers, colleagues, and network that you have a Snapchat or Instagram account, how will they know?
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For example, you can add infographics, photographs, and other visual images to your weblog posts. And then, take advantage of Pinterest and Tumblr, which can be used to store and share visual content.
But also, don’t post for the sake of posting. Therefore, keep social media posts relevant, meaningful, and simple. Whilst, keeping in mind, posting too frequently, and posting ‘boring’ content are the main reasons people will unfollow and unlike brands.
Never make the mistake of just assuming everyone knows about all your social media channels, even within your own company. It’s also important to realize, users, engage with social media posts that include images more than with posts that don’t include images.
Generally speaking, the above mentions are just a few among the many ways that businesses can use memes on Instagram! And because of these factors and more, brands have begun experimenting with memes on their Instagram profiles.
It’s especially important to note: not all memes need to get a laugh. And that you can use memes in your feed and in your Stories too. As well as in DMs, and anywhere else you communicate with your customers. Like a customer service interaction with an MVP customer?
Also, always remember, that while they’re fun and super-versatile, it’s important to stay on your brand line. Especially, with the Instagram memes that you post. First of all, try to find memes that deliver value to your specific audience — or are highly relatable to even a small portion of your audience!
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Secondly, you can get ready and start curating and sharing User Generated Content (in short UGC) to Instagram. So, be that as it may, you can join a platform such as Later. To easily find, schedule, and post user-generated content to your social feeds!
Finally, I hope the above guide was useful to your business as well as your social media team. But, if you’ll need more help, you can Contact Us and let us know how we can come in.
Additionally, you can even share your additional questions and requests in the comments section. And also, don’t forget to donate in order to support our online research work, blog articles, etc. As you help us grow together with you!