Instagram, the photo sharing application, has become a popular platform for contests. From a marketing perspective, Instagram contests allow brands to interact with advocates and gather authentic real-time photos. From a user perspective, contests can provide new content ideas and a chance to win something on a platform they’re likely already using.
Feedback’s Danny Masting and Dean Browell, PhD have provided a discerning guest blog at Smart Insights discussing complacency in today’s social media marketing, both in the realm of insights and implementation:
Considering how fast social media came upon us, social media marketing has reached an interesting point in its evolution: complacency. Not in the media itself, nor in how users are behaving online, or in how quickly new spaces are popping up and evolving – but in how marketers are becoming comfortable in how they are using (and not using) social media.
This complacency is driven by marketers’ need to create short cuts in analysis and implementation without necessarily understanding the ground-level view of what it is they are analysing and implementing.
…We believe it’s important, as we face new social landscapes, that we do not immediately respond with complacency and a desire for efficiency and instead take the time to listen and seek out the right audiences.
So – please allow us to adjust the premise of this article… While they are looking for the snappy headline to polarize marketers, there’s a better way of approaching the very real issue they are laying out. They point out that only 25-30% of consumers they surveyed want engagement and that the other 70-75% just want coupons and deals – they use these stats to wag a finger at marketers for misunderstanding needs. But we would be remiss if we didn’t point out: Why not aim to have all of your “fans” be the 25-30%? When I look at a stat like that I would tell a brand with that kind of split that they should try and only attract those that fall into that 30%. The ACTUAL fans. This article presumes to paint all consumers as equal (they’re not) or at least that 75% of all consumers as coupon/deal-hungry zombies (absolutely not true). The real truth is, everyone’s fans are different. Every industry is different. Get to know the community you have, the one you want, then move to make those one and the same. But if you wake up and most of your “fans” are deal-zombies – you need to attract different fans — not risk alienating the super-fans by marginalizing their experience and input for junk mail engagement.
meme – (n.) in Internet culture, an idea that is shared digitally across a culture. Also, typically funny.
When things on the Internet spread like wildfire as they often do, we might be tempted to assume that since we – the English-speaking Americans of the world – began using the web in earnest, that Internet culture is ours and ours alone.
But that, of course, is not the case.
From the cryptic blogs in the Cyrillic alphabet hosted on LiveJournal blogs to the old oekaki online drawing boards in Japan, foreigners have contributed just as much as Americans to the humorous or interesting posts we find on eBaumsWorld.com, that are emailed to us by friends, or are shared on Facebook. Digital emoticons, for example, are now used by the masses but first started popping up in international Usenet groups, one of the first forms of large-scale message boards from the 1980s. A smile or frown emoticon says the same thing no matter your nationality.
The principle of how an Internet meme catches on also applies to viral videos, save one crucial detail: creating memes requires considerably less skill and equipment to create, capture and share with the Internet. And unlike videos, a photo meme can transcend the language barrier. A video that begins in America may only reach an English-speaking audience; but a funny picture that requires no caption or language knowledge to understand could end up flying around the world.
Tenso, which originated in Portuguese, is a beautiful example of such a meme.
Tenso memes are typically four-panel comics that showcase something that might not have been obvious in the original image. In most cases, this is drawing attention to someone who has a less than desirable facial expression in a photograph. An example, shown right, is taken from a concert scene in the film Scott Pilgrim vs. The World where an extra has a rather absurd face that doesn’t fit in with the crowd so much.
There are several instances of Tenso photos popping up on a forum called “Fórum Uol Jogos,” a popular Portuguese-language destination primarily for Brazilian Internet denizens to discuss pretty much anything from the latest video games to silly pictures like these.
Many memes are images adapted from their original media (a music video or a movie, for example) and applied to other pictures. Take the meme simply known as Dorgas, in which a Brazilian forensics dog has its picture taken in front of a large supply of narcotics. In the meme, people place a quote bubble above the dog’s head, and meme participants change what the dog is saying. The head of the dog has even been Photoshopped into the wildly popular “Advice Dog” meme, as well.
Memes like this cross-pollinate on a near constant basis, turning pictures of a dog with a bit of text and point-blank humor into images that are instantly sharable and almost universally understood. It’s subtle humor that makes for big laughs and, if done correctly by a marketer, gives customers a reason to pay more attention to their brand.
So, to recap, memes must be:
“Language” is not necessarily included. Get all three of those right and you might have just created the next big Internet sensation.
- Brad (@bcarr)