Due to the unprecedented severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, students have been forced to acclimate to a new way of learning and working from home: Zoom. When classes first transitioned to the new online platform, hundreds of memes began circulating the internet, perhaps to make light of this difficult situation and new way of learning.
Because I was just one of hundreds of thousands of students experiencing this huge change, I wanted to create a meme that people my age could easily relate to and one that could bring a bit of laughter to these difficult times. Most people have heard of, if not watched, SpongeBob Squarepants; the show is arguably one of the most popular shows for a wide range of age groups. Thus, for this assignment, I thought there was no better way to maximize engagement than to use a GIF from SpongeBob. I chose this GIF of Squidward eating Krabby Patties because I related to it. Whenever my professors would give us a Zoom break, I found myself sprinting to the kitchen to scarf down as much food as possible – let me tell you, the quarantine 15 is real. I also personally crack a smile whenever I see a SpongeBob meme because I grew up watching the show almost every day, so I find myself reminiscing on the good old days.
My objective for this campaign was to reach at least 300 views on Imgur. As someone who has never used this platform before, this number seemed overwhelming, but I’ve always loved a good challenge.
While thinking of how to best maximize engagement on my meme, I decided that the best way to achieve my goal would be to cross promote on as many different social media platforms as possible. My first post was made to my personal Facebook page, on which I have almost 2,000 friends. Around 30 minutes after posting the link, I gained nearly 200 views, which surprised me. I knew I would get a decent amount of views because of my decent sized friends list, but I also knew that many people my age don’t necessarily check Facebook as often as their other social media platforms. Next, I moved to my sororities private Facebook group. I knew this would help me out because the group is made up of 235 college aged girls who are in the same situation as me: stuck at home doing online classes. The post seemed to be a hit, as I got 15 likes on the post – which is a lot for this particular group – and 100 added views on Imgur. Finally, as stated in my marketing plan, I planned to post the meme to SpongeBob Memes 3.0, a private Facebook group for SpongeBob meme connoisseurs, but unfortunately they never accepted my request to join.
Because one of my recent Tik Toks blew up, I decided to post the link to my meme in my bio. While there is no sure way to tell how many people clicked the link from my profile, I did gain 30 followers since I added it, which may have added a few extra views on Imgur.
In my marketing plan, I stated that I wanted to post a swipe-up Instagram story on my personal account so that my story viewers could easily swipe and view my meme. However, when I went to research how to go about making a swipe-up story, I discovered that you either have to be a verified account, or a business account with 10,000+ followers. So, I decided to improvise and post a swipe-up link to my Snapchat story, which gave me an extra 200 views. I also tweeted the link to my meme, but did not gain much engagement from that, which is the only thing in my campaign that did not work. I should have used more hashtags than I did, considering I only used 2, and I should’ve paid more attention and included richer media so it didn’t just look like a messy link.
Overall, I think that by spreading my meme around on multiple platforms, I definitely maximized engagement. However, I think that my hashtags on Imgur itself were the most beneficial. Throughout the semester, I found that my Tweets did not do as well as they could have because I never used enough hashtags. Thus, for this campaign, I decided to put that knowledge to good use by using 11 hashtags on Imgur, as well as the top 5 tags.
At the end of this campaign, I received 2,053 views on Imgur. These results completely shocked me! Unfortunately, there were no derivatives created from my meme, but I surpassed my original goal of 300, which feels like great success.