OK, I typically try to avoid talking about politics, especially in a public setting such as this.
But, alas, being this is an election year, you can’t help but see political material. Everywhere. However, it’s not so bad when it’s on social media.
Let me introduce you to @PaulRyanGosling. He’s a meme blending Paul Ryan, the Republican nominee for Vice President and the sensitive Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Gosling. The tweets are hilarious. An example: ”Hey girl, I don’t believe in global warming. But I do believe in snuggles.”
Don’t worry though. The Dems got it too. Earlier this year was Texts from Hillary. This poked fun at Secretary of State Hillary “Hillz” Clinton, depicting how texts would go down between, say, Ryan Gosling and Hillary.
You can find a number of political memes on the Internet. They are great because they do engage the general public with the political process. Because whether or not it was the creator’s intention, it does make people aware of what politicians are doing and creates some kind of personality around them, accurate or otherwise.
For me, it gets good when the real person interacts with the meme, as Secretary Clinton did. It shows us that Hillz can laugh at herself. Makes her human. Maybe we’ll see Paul Ryan take a jab at his alter ego.
Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for funny memes and satirists like Stephen Colbert, much of my generation would probably not be as attuned to the world around us. And social media provides the perfect breeding ground for this stuff to spread. Which is all the more reason for companies — yes, even B2B — to get on Facebook and Twitter.
For companies and organizations who say their customers aren’t using social media, that may be true now, but who do you think will be your customers in five, ten, 15 years? That’s right. Those meme-creating-viral-video-sharing friends of mine — and younger!
I say embrace social media. Give it a test run. Most of it is free, and if your customers aren’t on Facebook (which is hard to believe when it’s estimated that Facebook will reach 1 billion members by the end of August), then it seems to me that you have an opportunity to give it a test run without much to lose. It would be scarier and more daunting to make an entrance once everyone is at the party, watching the door, waiting for you to come through.