Images can pack a powerful message on their own or with captions. Here are some of the more interesting ways you can use them in social media sites:

Adapt a Meme

Memes are ideas that spread rapidly from person to person. On the internet, they can take the form of hashtags, hyperlinks, videos, songs, blog posts, and more popularly, photos. Some memes are simply replicated as they are transmitted, but many also evolve as they are parodied by other people. A successful meme leads to engagement (commentary, likes, shares, etc.), while a poorly constructed one just spawns irritation or goes unnoticed. Examples of images that have turned into memes are “Y U No Guy,” “Business Dog,” and his “competitor,” “Business Cat.” If you want to use memes for social media engagement, you can make your own at sites like memecreator.org.

A meme works because it’s already viral, which means you’re sure that it resonates with your audience. Your task as a marketer would be to make the meme your own; that is, to make it fresh and unique. An example of a successful photo meme is “Success Kid,” which features a photo of a toddler clutching a fistful of sand. The photo went viral after originally being posted in Flickr and Getty Images by Sammy’s mom, Laney Griner, and being captioned by netizens.

Success Baby Meme Social Media

In 2008, Success Kid was posted freely on Pyzam.net and subsequently picked up the following years by Damn Funny Pictures, Daily Haha, Reddit, Tumblr, and Facebook. Even the marketing world couldn’t resist Success Kid. In February 2012, Virgin Media adapted the meme for its billboard campaign.

Success Kid Meme Billboard From Hubspot

Later on, Success Kid was also picked up by Vitamin Water and used in a video, along with other memes.

At present, Success Kid is still… errr… successful. Sammy has now grown up, but to the World Wide Web, he’ll always be the adorable and determined boy who gives us added hilarity on the net:

Success Kid Meme Late

Success Kid Meme Test

Key Takeaways for memes:

  • Memes are great for running campaigns, since they are easy to create, spread quickly, provide free advertising, and have the potential to spread over a long-term period.
  • People love memes because they’re light-hearted and witty
  • Make the meme your own—keep them fresh and original
  • Post memes on social media sites that love sharing funnies and photos

Make A Tweegram

They say a picture is worth more than a thousand words. If you feel constrained by the 140-character limit on Twitter, then post a Tweegram! Tweegram is a free app for your iPhone and can give an added twist to the usual quotes and advice we see on Twitter. You can check out this post for examples of images you can create with Tweegram.

Hold a Contest

Contests are another great way to engage your audience. A contest can be popular not only because of the prizes that you’re going to give out, but also because of how interesting it actually is. A good example is this photo caption contest by RingCentral:

RingCentral Phone Service Contest

Since the company is offering cloud phone services, you will be able to note the cut cords on the phone. Care to form your own caption?

Inspire them

People love sharing inspiring quotable quotes. On social media sites, quotes catch even more attention if you place them on striking images.

Hemingway Quote Social MediaFrom Buzzfeed

But you don’t have to use quotes all the time. Here’s a striking photo with a simple caption.

Entrepreneur Inspiration

This is a wonderful post from the Entrepreneurs and Professionals Network. A child with beautiful eyes and in a dreamy pose resonates in all adults who need inspiration!

Use the “Kawaii” Card

Kawaii is a Japanese term that translates into “cute.” If you search for cuteness in Pinterest, Tumblr, and other photo-sharing sites, you won’t get disappointed. Cuteness always has a high potential for getting shared; plus, people can’t resist the occasional “OMG” remark on any kawaii photo. You can also couple your photo up with an inspiring caption, like this purposeful kitty picture from the Positive Energy Facebook page:

Kawaii Cat Quote Social Media

If you’re selling something cute, unleash that cuteness in a photo shoot!

In what ways have you successfully used images in social media marketing campaigns? Let me know in the comments.

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