The Impact of Social Media on Stock Prices: The Rise and Risk of Meme Stocks

The Impact of Social Media on Stock Prices: The Rise and Risk of Meme Stocks

Written by Katie Gomez

Social media has undeniably shaped various facets of modern life, but one overlooked area where it’s made a substantial impact is the stock market. Particularly, the advent of “meme stocks” has redefined trading dynamics and created a new breed of investors. This article explores how social media platforms have influenced stock prices and delves into the phenomena of meme stocks, assessing their potential for future impact.

The Birth of Meme Stocks

For the uninitiated, meme stocks are shares of companies that suddenly gain immense popularity, often thanks to heightened buzz on social media platforms like Reddit. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this trend, turning Wall Street into “Wall Street Bets” (also the name of a popular Reddit Subreddit). As people found themselves homebound, many began trying their luck in stock trading based on tips and trends discussed on Reddit and other social platforms.

The Gamestop Revelation

Gamestop (GME), a retailer many assumed was in decline post-COVID, became the face of the meme stock revolution. Those on the outside looking in at the time saw a miraculous, inexplicable stock price skyrocket from $20 at the start of January to over $400 at the end of the month. Initially thought to be a miraculous surge, it was later revealed to be a well-orchestrated plan by a group of retail investors on Reddit. 

The GME rise was led by a group of small retail investors, who drove the stock’s price by banding together to buy up shares—this created the infamous GME short squeeze. This phenomenon disrupted traditional financial wisdom, proving that retail traders could wield as much influence as Wall Street insiders.

The Domino Effect

The GameStop saga didn’t just stop at one stock; it ushered in a new era for meme stocks. Previously dormant retail traders found renewed enthusiasm, while new traders, ranging from laid-off workers to fresh graduates, jumped on the bandwagon. Entire indexes and ETFs dedicated to meme stocks soon followed.

The Power and Peril of Social Media Buzz

However, the essence of meme stocks lies in their social media backing. Without a dedicated online following, a meme stock loses its luster, making it a high-risk investment. Investing in meme stocks has less to do with financial expertise and more to do with timing, luck, and staying updated on social media discussions.

For instance, traditional investors usually consult a stock’s historical data and growth charts, but meme stocks operate differently. Their valuation often hinges on Reddit discussions and Twitter trends rather than financial metrics, making them highly volatile and unstable for long-term portfolios.

The Future Landscape

The buzz surrounding meme stocks could have far-reaching implications for the stock market. While it has provided a lifeline to struggling companies like GameStop and AMC, it has also led to dangerous overvaluations. Several companies, initially touted as the next meme stock, have ultimately filed for bankruptcy, demonstrating the risky nature of such investments.


Meme stocks and social media have revolutionized the way we think about trading and investing. However, their volatile nature makes them a risky choice, particularly for novice traders. As this market phenomenon continues to evolve, caution and research should be your guiding principles. If you’re interested in navigating this complex landscape, visit Trade Ideas for more insights.