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Hey, Social Media Marketers: Do You Speak Meme?

It’s been six years since the insanely popular website I Can Has Cheezburger? posted its first LOLcat, and since then the word “meme” has been firmly entrenched in our internet vocabulary.

But did you know that memes have been around a heck of a lot longer than that? They go back at least as far as the 1800s, when American photographer Harry Whittier Frees took photos of dressed-up cats, added text, and turned them into greeting cards.

Photos like these took until the 1970s to earn the “meme” moniker, when Richard Dawkins first defined the word to explain the way cultural information spreads. “Meme” is short for the Greek word “mimeme,” which means “imitated thing.”

Those are just two of the neat facts I learned in an informative infographic from Mozy that asks “What’s in a meme?” and proceeds to answer that question. The infographic walks you through a historical overview of memes and into present-day examples, with tips on how to create one that will go viral.

Done right, memes can be a valuable tool in your social media marketing belt — and a valuable way to monetize. The trick is a potent mix of:

  • Making it funny
  • Making it appeal to a wide audience
  • Making it easily sharable across different platforms (Pinterest, Facebook, Reddit, Tumblr, etc.)

Read on for more, then let me know what your favorite meme is in the comments.


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