Updated: Nov 19, 2020
Billions of emojis are exchanged each year. They are and were used so much that in 2015, Oxford Dictionaries chose an emoji “Face with Tears of Joy” as its word of the year.
With over 3000 emojis available to use, and more being developed and released, this is the fastest growing language in the world.
Emojis are used in everyday informal communication and are dominating social media platforms. Communication on these platforms is largely mobile-based, with communication on mobile devices becoming more image based – through use of emojis, emoticons, and stickers.
Usage of emojis in business and marketing has also risen with brands using these social media networks to communicate with their customers. Using emojis in marketing can be rewarding when used in the right way. Here are some reasons why emojis have taken off in marketing communication:
1. Emojis are a universal
With digital marketing, you can reach just about anyone in the world in a single post. This means there’s a chance that someone who doesn’t speak your native tongue may come across your post. Even though some platforms have translation features, they aren't always contextually accurate or altogether accurate. Emojis can bridge that communication gap. Everybody understands what a smiley face, heart, or pizza slice is.
Emojis are an inclusive tool of communication that cuts across geographies and demographics. When added to your copy, it will help you connect better with your audience.
2. Using emojis sends a clearer message
Audio and visual cues are hard to pick up through text. Images can be used to communicate more information using fewer words. People process and express themselves better with images than with plain text, as they offer a way to convey nuances and emotion. Selecting appropriate emojis to use in your copy will help you express your message clearly while adding an element of creativity to your interactions.
3. Emojis can humanise your brand
Impactful marketing taps into emotions. We often look out for social and emotional cues when communicating with others. This can be missed in text-only messaging. Emojis can help you bring out emotion as they are expressive.
Understanding your audience’s emojis usage will help you decide which ones to use in your campaigns. Emojis help make messages more personal and human as they emphasise how the author is feeling. Using emojis that your audience frequently engage with will help add a level of relatability and humanisation to your brand. It creates a feeling of familiarity when correctly applied.
4. Emojis drives audience engagement
Using emojis in your social media posts can drive engagement on its own. By asking your followers to interact with your post in a fun and creative way, you can boost that engagement even more. It’s also a clever way to begin a conversation or draw attention to your call-to-actions much faster. You can achieve this by using emojis in your polls, for example.
On the other hand, picture a scenario where your audience had to type a comment on a social media post rather than just use an emoji. Using emojis is a much lighter action than having your audience member articulate and type out their thoughts in entirety.
5. Make your brand stand out
As brands navigate social media platforms, they have seen the need to engage their customers in fun and unique ways. Brands like Coca Cola and Dove have created their own custom emojis in order to engage their audiences in a new way.
On Twitter, brands can design custom emojis that are hashtag generated. These emojis are unique only to the brand and set them apart. These emojis are used to fuel the hype around their launches or to help them stand out. When you tweet the hashtag, the emojis automatically gets added to your text.
6. Communicate without the exceeding your character limit
Emojis are amazing for social sites such as Twitter where character counts is limited. Using emojis in your copy will help you give more information using less words. They don’t just help when you have a character limit, sometimes emojis can just say what you can’t.
Communication on social media platforms is largely mobile-based with communication on mobile devices becoming more image-based (through use of emojis, emoticons, and stickers). This means that emojis will continue to play a huge role in how we communicate. Brands should embrace it now and add it to their strategy before they get left behind.