Meme Marketing: Facebook Growth Lessons from An Absurd World
Organic Growth on Facebook is Far from Dead
Some call it an art, others call it absolute garbage. My views fall somewhere between the two, but there's one conclusion we can draw from memes. Memes have incredible power in reaching the masses. And in the marketing world, that's as good as gold.
For the past 2 years, I've run a Facebook page called Living in Asia Ironically. What started as a fun hobby turned into an absolute beast. My posts reach the feeds of 1+ million people daily. Organically. It's drawn enough attention that companies reach out to me to make memes for their business. Ridiculous as it sounds, it's an incredibly effective approach to growing your following. It's cost-efficient and brings obscene results to the table. Reach, engagement, page likes. Meme marketing brings everything you could possibly ask for to the table.
In this article, I'll be going over some of the things I've learned after entering the realm of weird Facebook. If you've got the knack for it, I highly recommend running a meme page or 2 of your own. With less limitations of what you can post, it's a great testing ground for honing your Facebook skill. I wouldn't be nearly as good at organic Facebook growth without my experience in memes. Yes, I realize how absurd that sounds. Meme magic is real.
Create an environment for user generated content.
For many brands, this just won't make much sense but if it does, sink some time into it. The most common form of user generated content (UGC) comes from running giveaway contests. You've likely seen companies run contests where you have to use a hashtag on a photo to enter. Check-ins are quite common too. The contest ends, you pick a winner and feature them. The content ends there. How do you keep the ball rolling?
Occasionally featuring fan content builds loyalty. Not only do those who get featured love it, but it sends a message to the rest of your fans. They have a shot at being showcased if you notice them. It's becoming a trend on Instagram, especially in the travel niche. If you use their brand’s hashtag, your photos can get regrammed. For smaller accounts, this can be a huge boost to their credibility and follower growth.
When my meme page first started taking off, I was getting dozens of messages daily with fan submitted content. Dozens turned to hundreds and I just couldn't keep up. Facebook's inbox system is outdated as fuck and hard to manage at this scale. It takes 3-4 clicks to download a photo sent to you. What a pain. The solution was to start a Facebook group specifically for UGC. From here, I can browse the Photos tab and download photos individually or run a script to scrape the group as a whole.
Empower your super fans.
You only need 1000 true fans to succeed. It's been repeated over and over because it's absolutely true. Meme marketing is no different.
For those running online communities, I highly suggest promoting your super fans to moderators. This is becoming common practice during ICO campaigns using Slack communities. I’ve also seen it for Instagram pods on Telegram and Facebook groups.
The key here is to get personal with them. Ask for their feedback on the content you put out. See what makes them tick, what they love and what they don’t connect with. Add them on your personal Facebook account. Open the window into your life and they won’t mind sharing important posts later down the road. Friends do favours for friends after all.
Beat the feed algorithm with a variety of content types.
Facebook is maturing to the point that the average user is overloaded with notifications. Of all types. And they aren't always super relevant. Sound familiar? When the newsfeed started having this problem, Facebook introduced algorithmic post sorting. Twitter and then Instagram followed suit. It wasn't too long ago that I was prompted by Facebook saying my notifications would now be sorted by what's most relevant to me. I predict that within a few years, this will become a global standard on social media. Notification feed optimization will become a key component of organic social media growth and retention.
One way to beat the Facebook algorithm in its current state is to post a variety of content types. Under Facebook Analytics, you can easily view performance of Photos, Videos and Links. But it doesn't stop at just that. Think about the other types of content you can throw out there. Think about all the different types of notifications someone can receive. Here's a quick overview of some underrated ways to send notifications to your fans:
Events: Updating any information (time, location, information, event title)
Live Streams: Going live won't always give a notification but it does for a portion of your fans
Comments: Replying and reacting to comments
Groups: Updating your group description, making new posts and linking your group to your page
Page Information: Updating your website field and contact details
I don't have data to back it up (yet). But I assume that if a person receives a variety of notification types, it improves your position in the news feed.
Scale up your posting frequency along your growth.
Volume, volume, volume. You never want to post too much since it will annoy your fans. But the more fans you have, the more you can post. Not everyone who likes your page will see your posts in the first place. As your following grows, posting more frequently allows you to get your posts in front of more eyes.
Don't fall into the trap of thinking you can only post a certain number of times in a week.
Recycle and repost your top performing content.
When I say recycle, I'm talking about micro content. Gary Vaynerchuk does an excellent job of this. He'll make short clips out of the longer keynote speeches he does to post on Facebook and Instagram. He'll take key quotes from those short clips and throw them onto an image. His messaging resonates with fans through repetition. His team is able to push a higher volume of content without much extra effort.
Reposting old content is done in the same vein. Make it a habit of reviewing all the content you've posted at the end of every month. Record their performance and save it for later use. Finding the sweet spot of when it's acceptable to share old content is a delicate process. Too soon and people will tune out. Too late and the content might not be relevant anymore. Pretty much every major news publication and blog on the planet does this. If you've been growing your following at a consistent rate, your old content will perform even better the next time.
Meme Marketing Packs a Punch
I predict this to only be a growing trend in the coming years. Meme marketing is not only here to stay but its organic growth performance will grow. There’s the rapidly growing communities surrounding the NASDANQ. Popular YouTubers like Anthony Fantano are talking about the massive market opening up. Big corporations like Gucci have fallen flat in their meme marketing efforts. It’s the golden age for meme artists trying to make serious bank.