Big hitter: The Bermuda Day meme of half marathon champ Tyler Butterfield crossing the line attracted almost 8,000 engagements online. *Image courtesy of Bermemes
Big hitter: The Bermuda Day meme of half marathon champ Tyler Butterfield crossing the line attracted almost 8,000 engagements online. *Image courtesy of Bermemes

The decision whether or not to launch their long-awaited website on Bermuda Day was a tough call for social media satirists Bermemes.

On the one hand, their potential audience might have been be far too wrapped up in parades, parties and half marathons to even notice a new online venture going live.

On the other hand, the team felt they could tap in to all that excitement and national pride and bring together a multi-platform social media package that would unite the country on a whole new level.

It was a risk that the team was willing to take and it was a decision that the site’s four, still anonymous members will never regret.

On launch day, the site received floods of, not only Bermudians, but residents, tourists and expats from all over the world who flocked to the site to get a slice of the action.

“We started engaging with people on a level that no other Bermudian entity was doing on that day,” said Bermemes’ web and marketing director who decided to forego the day’s celebrations in favour of maximizing interaction with visitors to the site.

Throughout the day he uploaded memes, photos, live video feeds of the day’s action, Bermuda-related posts gathered from across the Internet, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts and even a playlist of party songs, many by Bermudian artists. 

One meme showed half marathon champ Tyler Butterfield cruising towards the finish line high fiving members of the crowd. 

The founder and CEO of Bermemes had to dash ahead of the finish line to snap a shot of Butterfield which was made in to a meme saying: “Showboats across the finish line like a BOSS”. 

That meme alone attracted 7,700 engagements, 260 likes and 25 shares. 

On the day, Bermemes was engaged so heavily with their audience that they “broke Twitter”.

“Once the day’s events started going we decided to hit social media,” explained the web and marketing director. 

Twitter jail

“We got cut off from posting on Twitter at about 3:30pm as we’d put up about 1,000 posts. We were put in ‘Twitter jail’ as they called it. 

“On top of that I set up a social media filter to essentially extrapolate everything that was being said about Bermuda or Bermuda Day on the Internet so I would engage people who were abroad directly. 

“We saw the usual comments of people saying they wished they could be in Bermuda on Bermuda Day. I would engage them and say, ‘hey you can see a live feed here’. They would ‘retweet’ and tell their friends they could still be a part of it. 

“We were live Tweeting the marathon results as the runners were coming through. As well as the UK and US, we got hits from Dubai, Columbia and places we never expected Bermudians to be. We had loads of hits from Ireland for some reason. 

“Ever since then it’s been hits, hits, hits every day.”

On Bermuda Day alone the new website received over 2,000 page views.

Three weeks into the launch, it has attracted some 30,000 hits and 7,500 unique users.

While the website is brand new, Bermemes arrived on to the social media scene in September of last year. 

While having a philosophical moment in the shower one day, the group’s founder and CEO had the idea to launch a Cup Match related Facebook page. 

He told us: “It was a week before Cup Match and I was in the shower thinking about life. 

“Everybody had started posting things online about their colours and changing their Facebook profiles to red and blue or blue and blue and I thought, I’m going to start a Cup Match page. 

“That was the original idea but then I thought, no — I’m going to go bigger. That’s when I started the Bermemes page. The first post about Cup Match had over 1,000 likes.”

Light-hearted take

The group has grown and has become known for its light-hearted, humorous take on life in Bermuda. 

So far, the group has decided to remain anonymous in order to “protect the brand”. Bermemes’ art director said: “That mystery element is definitely something that keeps people drawn to us.”

Asked about the secret to their success, the web and marketing director for Bermemes, said: “Everyone gets so up in arms about things on this island, sometimes they are not that major, some times they are. We reflect that and give people a platform to say it’s serious but you can still have fun with it and make commentary that is humorous.”

Bermemes business director added: “With us, we represent every little bit of what Bermuda is. With me being Portuguese/Bermudian I can tap in to that part of it. The meme about (former Premier) Paula Cox’s famous green hat with the Portuguese weed cutter in it — that was one of mine. It’s not just Bermudians though — it hits everyone. 

“As far reaching as Bermudians are, there is not really a place where all Bermudians can go and have a community so that is our approach with the entire brand is to have that community for Bermudians.”

The CEO added: “When you go on the forums in Bermuda’s media you see the comments are always whining back and forth
but we have never had that. 

When they come to us we take that same article and people have fun.”

As for the future, Bermemes has plans to further its reach and branch out into other media platforms.

Bermemes web and marketing director said: “We are looking into expanding and doing video. I definitely want to work with some other Bermudians. We have other things in the works that we want to release that are in the vein of promoting Bermudanisms which we can’t say too much about. We are always game planning.

“As long as we are bringing people together and having fun then I think it has staying power.”