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Invisible Obama, McKayla Is Not Impressed: The Power of Memes Online

It seems that the online social sphere lately is all about the power of the meme.   Memes – an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture — are particularly suited for the social universe because they can travel so quickly.  And using Facebook, the blogosphere and particularly Twitter, memes can spread like a wildfire!

For instance — the morning after the recent Republican convention, the meme of Clint Eastwood talking to the chair was spread far and wide, with people uploading pictures of chairs and using the hashtag #invisibleobama on Twitter.   According to the site knowyourmeme.com –  approximately 93,204 tweets were posted about Clint Eastwood on August 31st,  with 78,272 of them occurring during the hour of 11pm on August 30th.   Pretty unbelievable!   And then last week, the morning after Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic convention, the next day was all about the meme of ‘ask Bill how it works’, because in his speech, he explained everything about how things are working in the economy.  So people were posting things like ‘I want to ask Bill to explain the ending of Lost’, ‘I want to ask Bill to explain the Big Bang’, etc.   It was quite funny.

The other thing that people are doing is grabbing hashtags on Twitter, and even domain names.  During the recent London Olympics, after an American gymnast, McKayla McKenna, fell unexpectedly on the vault and grabbed silver instead of gold, her particular expression on the podium  was captured as a meme: McKayla is not impressed.   Someone started posting the picture of her on the podium and putting her in all kinds of different photos around the world (a la Photoshop) with that phrase.  Before you know it, this meme traversed the Internet and made international news.  It, also, was quite funny.

The question is — other than enjoying memes and finding them laughable — is it possible for you to take advantage of memes in your business?

You have to be clever to start a meme that catches on — but  it is definitely possible to do.   Check out this great article by Anita Brady who provide a lot of suggestions on how to use memes to further your internet marketing.

 


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