Everyone wants their content to go viral, even if they don’t quite understand what that means.

The emergence of memes in social media over the last half-decade have allowed anybody with an internet connection to create their own piece of pop-culture. While the results have been entertaining, inexperienced business owners have attempted to jump on the bandwagon in the hope of going viral.

It hasn’t worked.

There’s a few reasons why this is the case:

Speed. No matter how we talk about the great leaps science and technology have taken over the last century, nothing, NOTHING, moves faster than the internet. The busier you are, the more likely that by the time you first encounter a new meme, it’s already run its course. By the time you craft and release your own version, people tend to be so sick of seeing it that they may choose to opt-out of receiving future content from you.

They’re transitory. Even if you happen to release your meme at a good time, you’ll soon learn the difference between an internet meme and a ‘real-life’ meme lies in its longevity. Once the web has had its fill, a meme quickly loses its value. Though you may end up with some fantastic inbound enquiries upon first release, overall benefit still tends towards useful, original content.

They’re meant to be funny. The most popular memes are designed to provide a quick laugh. It’s what makes them such a viral concept in the first place. If the kind of humour necessary to make a viable meme doesn’t align with your brand, what’s the point?

Copyright. Did you know that Getty Images owns the rights to the ‘socially awkward penguin’ meme? And that they’ve been threatening legal action against companies that use it without a license? It’s not really worth the risk.

Then there’s the question of professionalism. I don’t know about you, but if a company was flooding my social media feeds with memes, I doubt I’d take them very seriously.

What do you think? Have memes worked for your business? Let us know in the comments.

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