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Por María Eugenia Guidara |

“Emojis” have become a true digital “language”. Their use on social networks is becoming ever more popular; and this is not only due to their ability to transmit emotions, behaviors and physical emotions but also for other more specific functions that we’re going to go over. July 17th was the world emoji day and we want to honor it by providing you with enough information that you can successfully include them in your Social Media Marketing campaigns. We’ve included tips, examples and everything else you need to start using Emojis and really connect with your public!

emojis rock on gif

Image from thumbchatapp

The emoji revolution: the perfect visual content

The word emoji is Japanese and literally means “pictogram”. These graphic icons were created in 1995 thanks to the work of the Japanese engineer Shigetaka Kurita who developed them for the telephone company Ntt DoCoMo, which recently became popular in 2011 when it was incorporated in the iPhone5 keyboard. Emojis can’t only be spoken of as a simple presence in digital communications but rather as a true revolution that had unimagined growth when it was created.

The must ask question is: Why have Emojis been turned into an ever important tool for users in the digital universe? First off, for their current preference of everything visual. A digital user’s attention span decreases significantly on a daily basis; some studies put this to be around 8 seconds. Although no one rules out that this time could be less (perhaps 5 seconds?). Being what it is, visual content is all about getting these users’ attention. Visual information is processed 60,000 times faster than plain text.

Similarly, a doctoral thesis from the University of Valencia indicated that users prefer facial expressions to other things depending on the variety of available options. One possible explanation is that facial expressions are better recognizable to users. It’s no coincidence that in 2015 the Oxford dictionary chose the face-with-tears-of-joy  “face with tears of joy” emoji as the “word” of the year.

But beyond from everything strictly visual, there are other reasons why Emojis have become the perfect content. And it’s because they enable users to express “emotions”, exactly why Facebook incorporated multiple emoticons with the famous “Like” in order to express reactions. In the same study from the University of Valencia, others reasons were identified to why digital communication users use emoticons:

  1. Visual Appearance, 13%
  2. Cuteness, 12%
  3. Imagination, 1%
  4. Expression, 27%
  5. Precision, 10%
  6. Happiness, 12%
  7. Ease, 6%
  8. Variety, 7%
  9. Time/ Word saving, 3%

Expression ranked first. No one understands this better than American artist Yung Jake who portrays famous singers and actors through Emojis. These are not only part of digital communications but also other spheres of life such as art, politics, advertising and even justice (there have been many occasions where Emojis have been legal evidence).

emojis miley cyrus

Miley Cyrus. Photo from BBC

However, in this article we’re only interested in their use on Social Media. From the webpage Emojitracker you can access a real time visualization of the most used Emojis on Twitter. According to the data gathered by this application, 250 to 350 Emojis are tweeted per second around the world. This makes a total of more than 25 million a day on this social network alone!

This is the main reason why Emojis are so important for brands. It’s their commercial and promotional potential which makes them so attractive. Let’s look at an example from the multinational furniture store IKEA. It’s a tool which allows Android and iPhone users to share fun emoticons on their social networks and on WhatsApp, and these Emojis aren’t all faces but home practicalities: household tasks, furniture and even representations of the company buildings.

emojis IKEA

The time has no come: 5 hit strategies for humanizing your brand through Emojis!

1.- Before you implement the use of emoticons in a Social Media Campaigns, think about their features.

This doesn’t mean bombarding your audience with Emojis because they’re fun. You have to always think about integrating them into your campaign with a clear purpose. The use of irrelevant Emojis will only hinders the message and can really push you further away from the goal of connecting with your public. The World Wildlife Fund from Washington started a very interesting campaign (  by using 17 Emojis of endangered animals. In order to register and start being part of the campaign, you have to retweet the following publication:

emojis WWF endangerdemoji

Once registered just do as you normally would. At the end of the month the WWF sends you the number of endangered animal Emojis that you used in your tweets. For each one used, 10 cents is donated to save them. Perfect!

2.- Use Emojis to announce offers and discounts on your products and services.

This is a very effective Social Media Marketing strategy when trying to increase sales. Many studies have demonstrated that consumers are more influenced by Emojis compared to information and logic. Furthermore, emoticons not only help you in reducing word count, leaving more free space, but are also more visually attractive. You’ll have to search for the perfect emoji to represent whatever product or service you’re trying to sell. Like we said earlier: don’t use emoticons without any meaning. Keep in mind that your user should be able to easily interpret the message.

If you have an app, it’s ideal that you include emoticons in your notifications for offers, discounts, etc. You can’t deny the power of mobile marketing. What’s better than appearing on your user’s home screen on their mobile phones? The goal is to create interesting notifications, not intrusive or bothersome ones. A good idea is to play on usefulness.😉 For example, the pizza store Domino’s created an entire ordering system through Twitter and through text messages by having their clients send a pizza emoji. Domino’s is currently developing an application to facilitate these orders, but this new way of ordering pizza has already generated a lot of enthusiasm among consumers.

emojis domino's ordering

3.- Add Emojis to your Instagram account and make it grow!

Emojis are most used on Instagram. The first thing you need to take into account is knowing how your audience uses them and what sense they give to these icons. Based on this information, you should look for a combination of Emojis that will represent your brand and that can connect with your Instagram followers. It’s important that you know there are four key areas of this social network where using Emojis will be very effective:

  1. In your biography: For this, the main thing is to use emoticons to emphasize keywords and guide your visitors towards different sections.
  2. In your “Calls to action” (CTA):👉 👇 🔜  Cues and more cues to make your audience click on a specific link, form, etc.
  3. In your comments: This generates more interaction, makes your comments eye catching and stand out from the rest.
  4. In your posts: It’s much better if the textual content of your post includes Emojis! This strategy will help you give your brand a little more personality in each message.

emojis GUESS instagram

INFO: The heart 💕 (or love of your heart) has surpassed the other Emojis based on an analysis of 2500 Instagram accounts. It was also chosen as “word of the year” in 2014 by the Global Language Monitor. This doesn’t mean you should start rampidly using hearts. It all depends on your country and the location of your brand. Take a look at this data first, then apply the Emojis most suitable for your public,

4.- Don’t forget to use Emojis in your Facebook and Twitter accounts to increase your public’s participation.

According to some recent statistics, Facebook posts that include emoticons have 57% more “likes”, 33% more comments and 33% more “shares”.

Plan text, without a doubt, is boring. And with this in mind, Facebook now allows you to use Emojis in your status updates; take advantage of the resource! Keep in mind that not all Emojis get the same level of response. You will have to test out which ones you think will be most effective in transmitting what you want to get across. It’s also important that you analyze the context and amount of Emojis you’re going to use (you should never overload your message with icons that could potentially confuse the reader) Comprendo? 😐 😑 😒 😓 😔 😕 😭 😮 😯 😰 😱 😲 😳 😴 😵

The use of Emojis has a similar result on Twitter: tweets composed of Emojis have a larger level of engagement. They’re ideal for filling in this lack of emotion that this social network tends to have. Specialists indicate that the key to success in using Emojis on Twitter really depends on who you’re targeting.

5.- Although they may seem a little informal, emoticons can be very effective in your e-mail messages.

In fact, the use of Emojis in the subject line can generate better opening rates. While being associated with instant messaging, these icons tend to be more attractive than “boring” messages people receive in their inbox. Some examples depending on the campaign type:

💙 Save 20% on St. Valentin’s day.

🎁 Thanks for subscribing. Here’s a free card…

🌟 Great! You’re the winner…

Are you ready to start experimenting in using Emojis in your Social Media Marketing campaigns? We really hope that this text was helpful. Have comments or concerns? Tell us! And before we go, we want to leave you with a few articles on Social Media that may be of interest: