⚫️🟡 Social Media Pros: It's Time to Stop Using Memes

Memes might get engagement. But are they putting your brand at risk?

Hey, welcome to Mind Your Marketing. The weekly newsletter that gives you actionable social media advice for your brand.

Today, I’m diving into why you shouldn’t use memes in your 2024 content strategy. This might ruffle some feathers, but it’s something I’ve seen a lot of brands struggle with managing, so here are my two cents on meme usage and brand social.

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Memes create hollow brand impressions.

They're fun, but when your brand uses memes as the primary social tactic, you're fighting a losing battle.

Here's why:

1. Consumers are more likely to remember the meme imagery than your brand 💡

How often have you seen the meme with the multiple Spiderman cartoons pointing at each other? Now, ask yourself if you remember a single time you remember a brand using that meme. The content is fleeting, and in this format, your brand is competing with Spiderman for memory. There's one problem: we remember Spiderman over your brand.

2. They're easy to replicate by competitors 🤺

Memes have zero visually creative distinction among brands. That means your competitor or Jerry324432 can use the exact same format as you for content. Memes are easy to make, replicate, and leave your brand, creating more noise than signals.

3. They are largely brand dilutive 😴

As much as SMMs and Performance Marketers want to discount brand, it matters. When you run content looking like it was made with Microsoft Word Art while you try to sell a product with premium branding, you're diluting your brand.

4. Memes are in murky waters legally 🌊

Anytime you use content you didn't create, you're taking a legal risk. The best way to avoid a lawsuit is to nix memes from your content mix. I sat with Robert Freund to discuss this at length, see our conversation below.

5. They aren't scalable 📈

Maybe the most important reason you shouldn't use memes is that you don't have the in-house talent to pull them off. If your SMM isn't completely tapped into internet culture, you risk the content coming off as corny. Memes also need fast approval windows because if your brand posts late, it's like showing up to a party after everyone's left.

So, what do you do instead of using memes?

Create your own content! Even if this means creating less content overall, it's the way to stand out above the social media noise.

P.S. If you want to connect on social media, where I share tips throughout the week, follow me on X (Twitter) or Linkedin.

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