Regardless of your take on these cheery little faces and icons, they’re now part of the online dialogue in all corners of the world.
Use them wisely, and the folks on social media (especially the younger ones) will thank you in kind. Get it wrong, and the whole thing could become more of an unhappy-faced emoji.
So, join us on this exploration of all things emoji to decide how best to use emojis in your social media marketing.
Just how important are emojis today?
Emojis have been hanging around since the 90s. But, they’ve truly come into their own since the start of the digital age, when character numbers/space and the universality of language became critical factors.
Here’s the state of play with emojis today:
- 92% of social media users spruce up their posts using emojis
- Marketing emails with emojis in the subject line have open rates 56% higher than those that don’t
- Emojis in Facebook posts generate 57% more likes, 33% more comments and 33% more shares
- And, on Twitter, they generate 25.4% more engagement
- Emojis have even made it into the dictionary, claiming ‘Word of the Year’ status in 2015
- Despite all this, 59% of consumers reckon companies try too hard when using emojis
So, in case you missed the memo, they’re seriously important and you should be using them.
Things to think about when using emojis in your social media marketing
These are some of the factors you need to understand before you start using emojis in your social media marketing:
1) Know what they mean
Most importantly, you need to genuinely understand their meaning, and whether this is the same on all platforms.
In emoji-land, some things aren’t quite what they seem. Understanding the difference between a ‘crying face’ and a ‘crying with laughter face’ is just one of many examples of how to avoid a serious faux pas.
Other emojis have taken on meaning beyond their original design, which might not be immediately obvious. The most famous instance is the aubergine, which you wouldn’t use to promote your latest moussaka recipe anymore.
Emojis are intellectual property (unlike language), so are designed differently for each platform, which can lead to confusion. The ‘toothy grin’ emoji on Microsoft, Samsung and Google are all seen positively. But, the Apple version is viewed by most as representing a negative emotion.
2) Use them in combination
No emoji is an island. You need to know how to use them in combination with marketing messages or other emojis to maximum effect.
Accent shorter pieces of text – such as email subject lines and social media posts – with emojis, but avoid using them in longer-form posts. This will give them a cheeky, playful edge.
Remember, they hold meaning, so you can use them to shorten your message overall.
When using emojis in combination, make sure the meaning is obvious. For example, if you’re running a Christmas promotion, you could use a Santa emoji, reindeer emoji and champagne glass emoji to add a touch of festive cheer.
3) Add emojis to your style guide
As with all your marketing resources, you should have notes in your style guide for how to use emojis in a coherent, brand-orientated way across all channels.
Further down the line, you might want to design a bespoke emoji for your company. Your style guide can help determine the character of this emoji and ensure it fits with your overall branding.
Use these handy tips to master emojis and take your social media marketing to the next level.
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