Social media is a great way to get your message out to a wide audience. It isn’t all fun and games, but it should be just a little! Having a bit of fun with your social media accounts isn’t as trivial as it sounds – it can actually be a very solid strategy for your marketing.
Why is it important to have fun with your social media?
It shows personality. It’s much easier to engage your audience when you are authentic and straightforward, and it becomes much easier to build relationships with clients, both existing and potential.
So how can you have fun with your social media?
We have a few ideas, but today we’re going to look at one in particular: the meme.
Memes started as a light-hearted way for folks on the Internet to make jokes, but they’ve become a mainstream way to share amusing quips and clever double-entendres. They’re a fun way to share your sense of humor with your audience, and they’re a good way to show off your Internet savvy – especially among your younger clients.
Play to your audience
The first step is to figure out your audience’s sense of humor. Obviously, this is going to vary depending on a bunch of different factors, including (but not limited to) location, demographics, how long your practice has been around, and even prevalent types of pets!
So how do you figure these factors out?
Use social media analytics
Social media analytics are a big help here. For example, Facebook and Twitter both have analytics offerings. If you go to your Facebook page and click “Insights” along the top, then click where it says “People” on the side menu, you’ll see a breakdown of your Facebook fan base.
This can give you a good idea of your general demographic, as well as where in the world the majority of your fans are from. This, in turn, can help you figure out what types of humor would be most appropriate for the people reading your page!
Twitter’s analytics offering is a little simpler than Facebook’s, but it still gives you a general idea of which types of tweets and which interests resound best with your audience.
Check your patient records
Another great source is your own patient records. You have an idea what types of pets visit your practice the most, and the thing about pet owners is that they love to see their type of pet!
Let’s say you have lots of cat owner clients. If this is the case, a funny picture or quip about a cat is probably going to do much better than the same of a dog. It can also give you a good idea of what types of funny captions to use. Humor is all about playing to the crowd!
Put it in your strategy
The thing about social media is that simply blasting advertising never really works well; it has to be subtle. We always say here at LifeLearn that it’s a good idea to mix your advertising social with your fun social; after all, people spend time on social media because they want to have fun, not so they can read ad after ad after ad.
Your task will be to figure out how you want to achieve this balance. Again, it will depend pretty heavily on your audience. Try experimenting with your scheduling; alternate between fun and business throughout the first week, and then use analytics to see how well each of them did. Then, mix it up the next week, and compare the results. This will give you an idea of best times and amounts for each type of post.
Note: It can be a great idea to use quips and wit for your advertising posts. However, if you find humorous images that you want to use, or even make your own memes, do not use these for your advertising. Using these images without permission can land you in a world of hurt, so it’s best to just say no!
If you make your own humorous images with stock images or CC0 images, that is generally okay. Many stock sites will ask that you put your logo on it, though, to prevent it from circulating excessively all over the web.
Use an existing meme
There are several existing ones that you can use:
- Grumpy Cat is good for bringing up situations that aren’t necessarily pleasing – or for Mondays in general.
- Pun Dog is a happy fellow that can help you with all of your worst groaners and puns.
- Doge is a generally associated with a Shiba Inu making a goofy face and accompanied by internal dialogue that shows how a dog might react to a situation. Just remember to leave your grammar rules at home!
- MoonMoon isn’t limited to just one picture – it encompasses any photo of a dog being ridiculous, along with a silly explanation of what the dog is doing.
- Actual Advice Mallard is good for sharing useful tidbits and advice with your clients.
- If I Fits I Sits is any picture of a cat who may or may not fit into that cardboard box, glass salad bowl, or other strange seating arrangement.
You can use pre-made memes that you find amusing, or you can adapt the plain images with your own text – but be careful! Many users will be familiar with these images already, and it can be confusing if they’re used out of context. The images themselves are generally easy enough to find in a Google Image search.
You’ll notice that memes use mostly the same font, too – it’s called Impact, and is a standard font on Windows computers. The text is also generally in white with a black outline, or “stroke,” which helps make it visible regardless of the background. To put your text over the images, you have a few options. Generally, Photoshop is the easiest to use, but if you don’t have access, there are several online tools like Imgflip you can use.
Tip: These are a great way to liven up your social media and even your blog posts, but memes shouldn’t be used for formal marketing or on your website.
Create your own practice meme
The great thing about memes is that new ones are always surfacing. It’s easy enough to make up your own – even one that is specific to your veterinary practice!
All you need to get started is an amusing image – say, if you have a patient that has an inordinate amount of sass, or an animal that got itself into a very relatable situation. Just make sure you have the rights to use the image in case it catches on and starts circulating!
Once you have your image, assign a trait to it based on what’s happening, and come up with an amusing caption.
For example, we’ll make a meme of one of our office dogs, Capone. Here’s an image I took of him:
The caption should relate to the image. Capone doesn’t exactly look thrilled about the recycling bin barricade, and pets do tend to have wily ways of escaping confines, so it should be related to that.
For this example, I used Imgflip to create the meme. It’s pretty straightforward – just be sure to mark your meme “private” if you don’t want spoilers getting out there before you use the image on your own social media!
Here’s the final product:
Most free services will add a tiny watermark to the corner of the image, and this one is no different. While this isn’t desirable for most marketing, it’s generally fine for social media.
That’s all there is to making a meme! Don’t forget to add your practice’s personality, and you’ll be having fun with your social media in no time.
Things to avoid
Being overly cheesy
As much as it pains me to say, there is such a thing as too cheesy. If you’re unsure about whether a particular joke toes the line, try it out in conversation a couple of times with some of your regulars, and gauge the reaction.
- Did they chuckle, chortle, smile, or snort? Those are good signs.
- Did they roll their eyes, sigh, or ignore it altogether? Back to the drawing board.
Everyone has an opinion, but not everyone appreciates humor about those opinions. When you’re being funny on behalf of your business, it’s best to err on the side of political correctness and keep it clean.
Finding content for social media isn’t all fun and games – but we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves. Check out our new WebDVM Social-equipped websites!