If you’re interested in writing memes because you love how memes make other people feel, you can easily learn to do this because creating a meme is easier than you think. Even if you’ve never written a meme before, keep in mind that this isn’t the same as writing a novel or short story. A few sentences or words and the right graphic are all that you need in most cases to be successful.
What Is a Meme?
A meme is a cultural symbol; it is a graphic or picture that contains both symbols and social ideas. It usually spreads quickly and its main purpose is to make people laugh or even to make fun of something. Many memes go viral because of their unique and interesting content. In many cases, they relate specifically to television shows, urban legends, human oddities, movies, and even philosophical ideas.
Memes encompass ideas, styles, or certain behaviors and they spread quickly because nearly everyone who views them feels a connection to them. They carry cultural ideas and can be shared via speech, gestures, rituals, and even writing. Memes usually have a specific cycle of success that includes self-replication, mutation, and responses to selective pressures. When a meme is written, the writer never knows if it will go viral or not but all meme writers hope that’s exactly what happens.
When you wish to write a meme, you can easily find a little assistance so that you write one that looks great and makes people smile. There are different types of writing used in memes but since memes are a relatively new phenomenon, there are few hard-and-fast rules, when writing the perfect meme is your goal. This means that you have a lot of freedom in what and how you write, which makes the task much easier.
The term “meme” is actually short for memetics, which is technically the study of commonly repeated content, principles, or philosophies. Sometimes deciding on the content of your meme is the hardest part because memes can touch on hundreds of different topics and subject areas.
How to Get Started
Just as when you are writing a short story or a novel, there are things that you can do to make getting started a lot easier. In the case of memes, the first thing that you need to do is make sure that you understand what a meme is, its purpose, and what its effect on others is. Keep in mind that most memes are there to make people smile, although some of them are written to prove a point to the audience.
The types of memes also need to be taken into consideration and these types include:
- Dank memes: These contain out-of-context and often absurd or ridiculous humor.
- Traditional or “normie” memes: These contain stock photos or a screenshot from a magazine, movie, etc. The text of these memes fits perfectly with the graphic.
You should also understand the unique humor that is featured in memes. This can be ascertained by studying memes so that you can better understand them. Naturally, insensitive or crude memes should never be written; unfortunately, this has happened in the past. Memes often have to do with current events so there will always be those people who wish to capitalize on the moment by creating a meme that isn’t funny but is instead offensive to many people.
Trying to determine the subject of your meme is easy if you study current popular memes. If you go online and search for the memes written in the past few months, you can get a good idea of what is going on with them. In addition, reviewing current videos and images can help you predict what is going to be popular in the next few months, which can give you an idea of what to write about in your meme.
It is also entertaining if you reference past memes in your brand-new meme, which most viewers will appreciate. You can reference books, movies, events, and even video games in your meme because it will strike a chord with anyone who has seen the previous memes detailing this subject matter. Another tip is to use two separate attributes in your meme that don’t usually belong together; for instance, a children’s cartoon character that is coupled with profanity.
What Should You Do First?
Fortunately, there are several ways to get started when you’re interested in writing memes. You can even start with websites such as imgflip.com, which consists of a database of hundreds of images that you can use to start your own meme. In fact, you can even upload your own unique images if you’re all right with letting others use them for their memes.
For dank memes, keep in mind that they are there to capitalize on something absurd, dissonant, nonsensical, or even uncomfortable. Dank memes often reference old or dead memes and even viral content that is currently irrelevant. If you use imgflip.com, you can create your meme by selecting an image, adding your own unique text, and then saving it so you can decide what to do next.
Just what types of images are available in websites that help you create the perfect memes? Just about everything! This includes images of celebrities, political figures, sports heroes, artists, animals, babies, old people, cartoon characters, television and movie icons, and even everyday people. Some of these people are making funny faces or gesturing in ways that allow you to come up with a great caption so you have a lot of variety to choose from when you decide to create your own meme.
There are, in fact, numerous websites that help you create a meme so don’t get discouraged if you visit one of them and discover that there is nothing there that catches your eye. There are even apps that you can put on your phone that help you make a great meme for those days when you get a great meme idea stuck in your head and you don’t want to let it go to waste.
When You Already Know the Basics
Creating a meme takes a little work but if you have a great imagination and allow yourself to think outside the box, it can be a lot easier and faster than you think. You should still take your time, of course. You can increase the odds of creating a meme that is destined to go viral if you follow a few simple rules, including:
- Study current memes that have gone viral. This cannot be overstated because if you don’t know what is already successful, you cannot create a meme that will follow suit.
- Keep up with all current trends, not just with memes but in fashion, politics, sports, and anything else. To see what’s popular, check sites such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and others.
- Always choose a subject that you feel you can relate to. Choosing something unfamiliar to you will make writing that meme a lot more difficult.
- Decide on the right medium, which is usually a photograph, although it is possible to create a meme that is a video.
- Get all of your materials together before going any further. This means to make sure that you have the right image that you feel that you can use.
- Keep the meme short and sweet. If it’s too long, it will never go anywhere because people won’t read it.
- Match the visual with the text you’ve written. They have to have something in common or the meme won’t make any sense.
Once you’ve gotten to this point, you likely know exactly how you want the meme to look and what you want it to say. However, you can go back and rewrite the text or find a different image if something isn’t working right. Remember that there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to memes.
The Advantage of Adding Memes to Your Marketing and Promotional Efforts
You can feel free to use hijacked memes in your promotional and marketing efforts because anyone can take a meme that he or she loves and include it anywhere he or she wants to. Writing memes that are original is one thing but using ones that are already successful and popular is much easier, particularly since there are so many of them to choose from. What are the advantages to hijacking a meme? Below are just a few of them:
- They’ve already gone viral so you know that they are guaranteed to crack a smile regardless of who looks at them.
- They are great for attracting likes, links, and traffic.
- Visual content is the perfect addition to any website or promotional material.
- They are easy to find and/or create yourself.
Regardless of what you’re promoting, it does a lot of good to lighten up the material with a good meme. Since there are so many of them to choose from, you can easily find a meme that is applicable to your material and complements it perfectly. Just perform an Internet search using relevant keywords and you should easily be able to find memes that are perfect to add to your marketing materials.
To make sure that these efforts are even more effective, keep in mind the following tips:
- Don’t wait too long to include the meme in your marketing campaign. Just because it is going viral now doesn’t mean that it will stay popular for long.
- Make sure that you completely understand the meme so that readers and visitors to your site won’t get confused or, worse, think that it isn’t funny.
- Remember that the meme has to relate to your brand. It can’t be something that is totally irrelevant to your product or service.
- Try to anticipate what your audience will think of it and make any changes that may be necessary.
- Make sure that the meme sticks with its regular format and style. After all, if it doesn’t, you might as well choose a completely different meme.
- Most importantly, make sure that it is funny and witty!
Using a hijacked meme is always a good idea for a marketing campaign but you still have to follow certain rules in order for it to be effective. Learn what you should and shouldn’t do before you choose the right meme and always make sure that it has something to do with your business. You can find a lot of other efficient tips and suggestions on the Internet.
Can Memes Be Used in the Business World?
Just because memes are meant to be funny doesn’t mean that you can’t use them effectively in the business or corporate world. Indeed, many businesses have found a way to creatively include memes in their business materials, advertising, and even their websites. In fact, even if your business has a tough or very serious image, the right meme can make a good impression on clients and prospective customers, making your business seem more personable to them.
If you’re going to use memes in your business, however, it is good to consider the following things:
- Consider your target audience. Make sure that you never use a meme that is too risqué or offensive because this is a turnoff for everyone.
- Consider your shared interests. Before you choose a meme, consider what you and your audience have in common so you can choose the right one.
- Know which media type to use so that you can reach your audience. This can help you decide on video memes for Facebook or standard memes for other sites and materials.
- Make sure that your audience is tech-savvy enough for the medium you are planning to use.
In other words, when planning to use memes in your business life, you have to know your target audience well. This will vary depending on whether you are retail, industrial, a governmental entity, or a corporate business. Some audiences are specialized; some are general. Decide which category your audience falls into and plan accordingly.
When You’re Trying to Make the Right Decision
Learning about writing memes is easier than most people think but if you’re trying to decide if using these interesting graphics is something that you should do, there are ways to help you make the right decision whether you’re an individual or a business owner. The very first thing to consider is whether the meme is relevant and timely. Again, consider your audience to answer these questions.
You should also:
- Make sure that the memes are recognizable. If the picture is of someone or something unfamiliar to most people, it simply won’t be very effective.
- Make sure that it is clean and not dirty or risqué.
- Don’t blatantly promote yourself or your company. Make sure that the meme can stand by itself and be funny to your audience.
- Make it relevant. This is especially important for business communications.
In other words, you have to consider your meme from all angles, especially from the angle of the people who will be viewing it. If you’re using it for your business, you have to consider its long-term effectiveness as well. What type of image does your business wish to portray and will the meme still be looked at with a smile in future years?
Memes in the Classroom
To connect better with their students, many teachers use memes in their classroom assignments and even the signage put up around the classroom. Since all young people know what memes are and love them, this is a great way to feel a kinship with students even if you’re using those memes for a list of “do”s and “don’t”s and other rules and regulations. Teachers will find memes useful for:
- Class rules and expectations and anything else that you want to emphasize through signs
- Any type of “let’s get to know one another” activity or introduction
- Any type of creative activity for the students
- Any type of freshmen orientation or open house, including parent-teacher meetings
- Any materials that are made to reinforce or promote the curriculum
When you think about it, there are dozens of ways to use memes to catch students’ attention and make them remember something better. Any time that you’re using a sign, poster, or anything else that is pinned to the wall because you want it to be noticeable, you can easily add a meme so that it is more eye-catching and memorable.
Memes that are familiar, easy to create, easily shared, funny, or clever and that your audience can relate to can serve many purposes, especially in the world of business. Even if your business is rather stuffy and conventional, you can bring a much-needed smile to your customers’ faces with the right meme. They are also the perfect touch to many marketing materials, websites, and posters and signs.