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  • Writer's pictureJames Cullen

Social Media Marketing Strategy: Newsjacking & Meme Marketing

I don't like to tout that I am a social media expert - I am merely a freelance copywriter with a whole host of tricks and tips for a killer social media strategy. I have extensive experience with my finger on the pulse creating social media strategy, content, and evaluating it for many brands.

So, I feel I have enough credibility in the field to provide key advice for those wanting to follow in my footsteps. So, here is a little something from this freelance copywriter to the next one about newsjacking and meme marketing.

What the devil is 'newsjacking'?

Newsjacking is nothing new. In fact, the term has been around for almost as long as the news has been a 24 hour cycle and Twitter and Facebook became the first port of call for such news (Remember when Jacko died? Hands up who saw it on Facebook first?) Newsjacking refers to the jumping on a bandwagon of whatever is hip and cool in the news - be it something scheduled such as the Super Bowl, Oscars, CBB Final, or a more obscure trend that pops out of nowhere. The key with newsjacking is having a legitimate reason to connect with the news story, and timing it so that the story is still relevant and the trend isn't over (i.e. Auntie Sharon on Facebook has just discovered 'Share this for good luck' posts)

This tweet from Charmin in 2013 is a prime example of Newsjacking (albeit an old one). They jump on the news: the Oscars. They insert some humour into it: the toilet roll stuck to the actress's foot. And they input a key brand message...What? You don't see it? The Oscars are frequented with the hoi-polloi of Hollywood. Anyone there is going to be wealthy and enjoy the luxuries of life. If the elite of the film world are indulging in Charmin toilet roll, then to purchase toilet roll would be to live the lifestyle of a famous actress. By joining the conversation everyone is having about the Oscars, and leading with something humorous, the brand message can slip in and not come across too salesy. If I were the social media manager for Charmin, I'd probably use a hashtag, create a few more similar tweets, and promote one or two during the run up to the red carpet.

What about meme marketing?

If you don't know what a meme is, where have you been since 2012? If you don't know what marketing is, well, maybe being a freelance copywriter isn't for you. Put them together and you get meme marketing, the best way to connect with millennials and Generation Z on their level, and provide something for Auntie Sharon to share on Facebook with a 'ROFL LMAO LOL xx'. Meme marketing bundles up a brand's message - whether it be a reminder of the brand's existence, a shift in focus, or a new product or service launch - with a meme that is on trend. Memes are clever as they provide a shell or formula - a Trojan horse of sorts - to bundle up a brand in and send out into the world. They don't come across particularly consumer-centred, and they provide something worth sharing. The social media user acts as an amplifier for the brand and shouts the message without coming across too gimmicky.

The Bottom Line

If brands aren't using humour on social media, then why bother. Social media marketing strategy should be rooted in tongue-in-cheek humour (where appropriate, of course) and shareable content. Shareable content usually falls into one of three categories: things that are cute, things that are funny, and things that cause outrage. While all three will give ample PR coverage, things that are funny have an undeniable pull on social media.

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