Social media has been a major platform for businesses to reach their potential customers. As the 2020’s climb to higher heights, platforms like Instagram are becoming even more popular with businesses as they look to visually appeal to their customers. Companies both large and small understand the importance of having content on Instagram, and it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to learn from the content created by successful meme accounts. By understanding their strategies and taking inspiration from the content on such accounts, businesses can improve the performance of their own Instagram accounts and see tangible results, such as an increase in followers, increased engagement and increased sales opportunities. This article lays out 10 strategies that business owners can implement to start taking advantage of meme accounts and improve their Instagram performance.
1. Establish Your Brand Message
The first step to successfully implementing any of these strategies is to establish your fundamental brand message. Without a brand message, your account will lack a sense of continuity, and customers won’t engage with your content as effectively. For example, Wendy’s fast food chain has been known for its signature style of humorous and sarcastic tweets and they’ve become famous for their boldness and comedic value. Another great example is King Culture Clothing, which is known for its streetwear and cool style. Both of these brands have crafted a message that resonates with their target audience and reflects a consistent sense of identity.
2. Utilizing #Hashtags
Hashtags are essential for businesses seeking to get their content seen. According to Instagram, posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than those without any. Meme accounts typically employ a combination of short, catchy hashtags like #memelife or #memecommunity and longer, trendier hashtags such as #sarcasm or #foodislife. Doing so allows the content to reach a much wider audience and significantly boosts engagement. In addition, leveraging popular hashtags related to the topic encourages followers to like, comment and share content with friends. For example, Top Dawg Entertainment, a record label based in Los Angeles, California, frequently posts memes on their Instagram account and utilizes popular hashtags related to their music, like #TDE and #topdawgent.
3. Find Your Niche
Successful meme accounts tend to identify a niche topic and create content that appeals to a certain audience. For example, an automobile dealership might focus their content on automobiles and use memes to illustrate topics related to the industry. Doing so helps establish credibility, as followers recognize that the account is a reliable source of information on the topic. Additionally, businesses that hone in on their niche can generate content more easily and attract a larger pool of followers.
4. Shared Aesthetic
Having a recognizable aesthetic is essential for successful meme accounts. An Instagram aesthetic should be consistent and visually appealing to ensure that content stands out from the competition. Meme accounts usually have a signature style and colour scheme to give their content a sense of recognition. For instance, PrettyCorpse, an urban clothing brand based in the Netherlands, deploys a lot of vibrant colours and graffiti art in their posts. This gives the brand a signature aesthetic that helps their content stand out and quickly draws in followers.
5. Know Your Audience
Audience segmentation is essential for any social media marketing strategy. Knowing your audience’s interests, behaviors and preferences allows for content creation that is better tailored to their needs. For example, Successful Black Women, a meme account run by six Black women living in New York City, has grown to over 200,000 followers by focusing on creating inspiring memes geared towards black women. They focus on motivational quotes, spiritual sayings and images that encourage black women to embrace their own excellence. By understanding their audience’s interests and needs, they’ve been able to expand their reach and become a more successful page.
6. Use Visual Elements Strategically
Meme accounts tend to leverage an interesting combination of visuals to create content that stands out. They usually employ visuals such as humourous videos, GIFs, quotes, illustrations and photos to appeal to their target audience. Additionally, they rely heavily on captions to tell a story and evoke emotions. For example, Paddlers Pub, a canoe and kayak rental shop based in Seattle, Washington, often posts outdoorsy visuals with humorous captions which resonate with their target audience and increases engagement. The use of visuals in tandem with captions helps to draw in viewers and encourages them to comment on the post or follow the account.
7. Showcase Products or Services
It’s important for businesses to showcase the products or services they offer on their meme account. Doing so helps the business reach a broader audience and potentially generate sales leads. For example, On Episode, an online platform for creating audio plays, regularly posts humorous memes related to audio plays, music and sound. This not only helps to attract their target audience, but it gives potential buyers a taste of what On Episode has to offer.
8. Take a Stand For Your Brand
Business owners should not be afraid to take a stand for their brand and advocate for causes they believe in. Doing so can potentially attract more followers to their page and increase brand loyalty among existing customers. Nike took a stance following the 2016 death of African American citizen, Alton Sterling, who had been shot by a police officer and their “equality” slogan became a powerful message to send across to their customers. Not only did this message lead to more followers for Nike, but it also made customers feel better about supporting the brand since it was actively taking a stance on social issues.
9. Encourage Interaction
Encouraging engagement from followers is essential for businesses looking to increase brand awareness and boost visibility on Instagram. Meme accounts typically utilize response mechanisms such as asking questions, polls or even contests to engage followers and encourage them to comment on their content. For example, Burger King posted a meme with a question asking followers to pick their favorite burger and encouraged them to comment their answers. This led to a significant amount of engagement, demonstrating the power of interacting with your followers.
10. Analyze Your Data
Finally, it’s important to analyze your data regularly to assess the performance of individual posts and overall strategy. It’s essential to track metrics such as likes, shares and comments to understand which strategies are working and which need to be improved. Additionally, businesses should also track engagement and impressions to get an overall picture of their performance. By leveraging the insights gained from data analysis, businesses can tweak their current strategies and understand what type of content resonates with their audience.
Meme accounts are growing in popularity on Instagram and offer businesses an effective way to connect with their target audience. By understanding the strategies employed by successful meme accounts, businesses can create content that resonates with their audience and helps to grow their social media presence. Establishing a brand message, utilizing hashtags strategically, finding a niche, developing a shared aesthetic, understanding your audience, creating visually appealing content, showcasing products or services, taking a stand for your brand, encouraging interaction, and analyzing your data are all strategies that businesses can leverage to create an effective presence on Instagram and drive tangible results.