"An internet meme is a piece of content or an idea that's passed from person to person, changing and evolving along the way," according to the Know Your Meme website.

Have you seen such a recurring online image? Does the image make you laugh or groan? If so, you've likely spotted an internet meme.

Like a viral video, an Internet meme happens unpredictably. You can't create an Internet meme on purpose; you can only assemble the pieces and see whether your idea goes viral.

After all, people's reactions to images and ideas can be unpredictable. (Who would have thought an Olympic medal-winning gymnast would inspire a snarky meme?)

MDG Advertising studied the most viral memes of 2012 and created the following infographic analyzing what made those memes popular.

Among the highlighted memes are McKayla Is Not Impressed (which inspired MarketingProfs's own Ann Handley Is Not Impressed) and Korean pop artist Psy's Gangnam Style.

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image of Verónica Jarski

Veronica Jarski is managing editor at Agorapulse and a former editor and senior writer at MarketingProfs.

Twitter: @Veronica_Jarski

LinkedIn: Veronica Jarski