More Cowbell, Grumpy Cat, Rebecca Black’s “Friday” Song; you’ve seen these mega popular memes of the past go viral all across social media. It might make you wonder how you can use popular memes to market your business, is it even possible? You’re in luck, it is possible but you have to do it right.

By definition, a meme is a “humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users”. While memes seem like they’re only for making your friends laugh, they can actually increase traffic and engagement. Not only that, but sharing memes correctly can make your business seem more socially relevant. But be careful, if a meme is shared incorrectly, the joke’s on you.

Here’s how to use memes in your social media marketing.

Know your memes.

Before you start using memes in your social media marketing, you need to get a bit more familiar with them. Becoming familiar with memes will help to make sure you’re using them correctly and effectively. So, spend some time searching the internet for popular memes.

For example, one of the most popular memes of 2018 was the “Change My Mind” meme below.

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Not only was this meme popular but it was also easy to use. All you had to do was change the text on the sign to something that’s relatable to your business and audience. It was a great way to start a conversation with your customers and audience. Find memes that are popular and timely but that also work for your brand.

It’s also important to understand the meme before you use it. Misusing a meme, such as taking a sarcastic line literally, can upset your audience and ruin your reputation online. Get more familiar with memes so that you can learn what will work best for you.

Know your audience.

The most important step to using memes in your social media marketing effectively is knowing your audience. Memes are typically enjoyed by younger people that spend a lot of time on the internet. If that’s not your target audience, posting memes on social media might not be the best option for you. While older generations can still enjoy memes, if you share a meme with your audience that they don’t understand, it’ll be a flop. So, before posting a meme consider it from your target audience’s point of view.

For instance, if your audience isn’t into video games or Ariana Grande, sharing a meme like the one below wouldn’t resonate with them.

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Remember, memes won’t work for every business. If your brand is serious and conservative, memes won’t reflect that which can confuse your audience. Instead of sending mixed messages to your audience, it may be best to skip memes altogether.

Use memes sparingly.

If you’ve considered your target audience and decided to start sharing memes on your social media platforms, remember to do so sparingly. Posting memes every single day will seem too forced. Going overboard with memes may even give your audience the impression that you’re trying too hard to be hip and cool.

So, use memes sparingly in your social media marketing strategy. Memes should be used to enhance your content on social media, not take up your entire feed.

Create original memes.

Sharing popular memes is great because they’ve already proven to be successful. If it’s not broken, why fix it right? But, if you really want to impress your audience and share memes that express your brand perfectly, consider creating your own original memes.

Take a look at this meme-marketing example from Denny’s. Denny’s is famous for creating their own hilariously weird memes that are a hit with their audience, this one has over 13,000 likes on Instagram.

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If you’re skilled with Photoshop, you can create original memes that way. But if you’re not, don’t worry. You can easily create memes without any design skills using online meme generators such as Kapwing or Imgflip.

Over to you.

With these tips, now you know how to use memes in your social media marketing the right way. So, get out there and make your audience laugh. Memes aren’t just for social media either. You can sprinkle memes in your email marketing as well as in your blog posts to liven up your content and delight your audience. After all, if you can make your followers smile, it’ll be much easier to turn them into customers.

Read more: How to Create a Viral Marketing Strategy Using Memes