Social media is the dominating tool for the exchange of information. In this era of rapid communication, are memes redefining the business model?

Meme, myself, and I

Generally speaking, memes are types of content that convey a humorous message. The most popular and widespread are images, although video and stand-alone texts also qualify.

Social media is the vehicle that transports these snippets of ideas. Instagram is by far the most popular platform for memes, with millions churned out every day by people around the globe.

Their popularity not only lies in their comedic nature, but also in the fact that anyone can create one. Their simple premise, and the open nature of social media, facilitates both entry and engagement in this modern form of storytelling.

However, while memes can be accessed and produced by anyone with a smart phone, a certain number of users have achieved fame and success through their social witticisms.

A new type of brand ambassador

Their ranks of followers transform them from passive posters, to sought-after influencers.

Josh Ostrovsky, who operates under the Instagram name of ‘The Fat Jew’, is one prime example of this phenomenon. His memes inspired his virile social media success, one that has tabloids covering stories of his personal life.

Furthermore, he created his own rose label, and appeared in Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Lastly, he revealed his own clothing collection at New York Fashion Week in 2015.

Evidently, everyday people are achieving celebrity status due to their far-reaching influence on the Internet.

As such, brands are becoming increasingly aware of the marketing power one individual can hold through social networking.

Megan Gilbride is the blogger behind the brains of Wonderful You, a source for fashion and lifestyle. Brands such as Levis, Clinique, and Asos have worked with her due to her content, and she has over 30K Instagram followers.

However, memes also have the power to create influencers from unsuspecting audiences.

Their viral nature recently turned Robert Kelly and his family into Internet sensations after his BBC interview gaffe.

A Meme by any other name is just as strong

Whether a fleeting trend, or fixture of the Internet, meme culture is a powerful resource. Its ability to turn social media users into entrepreneurs could be creating an emerging business model.

If that’s the case, then corporations will have to choose between competing, or joining their consumers.