Belfast Telegraph

How Mohamed Abdulkadir built a Facebook meme empire

If you’re in your teens, twenties or thirties, there’s a very high chance Mohamed Abdulkadir has appeared on your Facebook newsfeed, whether you follow him or not.

Except you won't actually see Abdulkadir himself, but rather one of his memes.

Currently followed by 710,036 people, Abdulkadir is a Facebook sensation. And for what do so many people follow him? Memes.

All he posts is memes.

A few years ago, memes didn’t even exist, but now we’re all obsessed with the humourous pictures and videos, and specifically with tagging our friends.

Abdulkadir is one of the biggest in the business, but he never set out to become the icon he is today.

The 22-year-old German had always posted funny pictures on his personal Facebook page, but a couple of years ago decided to start sharing ones in English for the sake of his English friends, and that’s when he started gaining followers.

“As my following grew, it motivated me to start posting more and my account grew really fast,” Abdulkadir told The Independent.

Considering how much he posts, you’d be forgiven for thinking Abdulkadir spends all day working on his Facebook account, but you’d be wrong. Abdulkadir has two jobs - helping out with his parents’ properties and teaching English - memes are merely a hobby.

As a personal account rather than a Facebook page, Abdulkadir can’t schedule posts, which annoys him.

In order to stop memes taking over his life though, Abdulkadir now devotes up to an hour of his day first thing in the morning to looking for memes to post throughout the day. “I find them on Instagram and Twitter from all over the world,” he explains.

Abdulkadir also makes some memes himself, and now that he has such a huge reach, he's inundated with memes sent by people who want him to share theirs.

Only the best make the cut though: “Not every meme will go viral and a lot of people think just taking a random photo and a caption is enough,” Abdulkadir says, explaining that he now can tell what will work and what won’t.

He certainly has a knack for tapping into what his followers want, and explains that it’s most important to know your audience - his is 90% female and predominantly 20s. “I try and do posts that they want not posts that I want,” he says.

Whilst trying to appeal to young women, Abdulkadir also stresses the need to be unique and relatable, and he thinks this relatability is why young people are so obsessed with memes.

“Some memes describe something you thought you were the only one to experience, and a meme makes you realise everybody does.” And the habit of tagging friends in memes means his reach is ever widening.

Most brands have now cottoned on to this, creating and posting memes in the hope that people will tag their friends on Facebook, but few have done so as successfully as Abdulkadir.

Despite his following, Abdulkadir doesn’t make a big deal of his account. Whilst his siblings love what he does, he admits that “I don’t think my parents understand memes,” and thinks it’d take hours for him to explain memes and meme culture to his mum.

But the more Abdulkadir posts, the more his following grows. “It’s my one motivation to post every day,” he says.

Independent News Service