How and when to use emojis

How and when to use emojis

The emoji has had a super-charged journey into our digital lives. Despite being rooted in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, they’re said to have been first invented in 90s Japan. Fast-forward 17 years and it’s now thought that 6bn emojis are sent every day via mobile messaging apps. The simplistic style of messaging helps companies speak to their audience on their own terms – whether via social, email or content.

It’s reported that including an emoji in a Tweet can increase engagement by 25.4%, while using them in a Facebook post can increase Likes by 57% and comments and shares by 33%. Not bad for a simple cartoon.

Things to do

  • Know an emoji’s meaning – Just one misuse of the aubergine can open an unwanted can of worms
  • Make use of the emojis already widely available on the emoji keyboard
  • Only use emojis when appropriate and keep it relevant to your audience – look at your demographics and figure out whether you think emojis will allow you to connect with your audience

Things not to do

  • Don’t go overboard – it is a popular method of communicating with audiences, particularly younger generations, but an overuse can seem patronising and cause emoji fatigue
  • Take care when creating custom-made emojis - while they may be more tailored to your brand, they may miss the mark with your audience. You need to create emojis that can be used on a regular basis. 

So which brand used emojis successfully?

WWF: #EndangeredEmoji

The wildlife organisation created an #EndangeredEmoji campaign on Twitter in a bid to raise awareness and help save animals from extinction. To reach a younger audience, WWF felt it needed to take a light-hearted approach – and using emojis was the way in. WWF finds that social media campaigns can be up to 60% more effective than traditional advertising campaigns so this was the perfect way to reach its audience.

17 emojis from the emoji alphabet were used for the campaign after WWF found that they suitably represented endangered species, with users encouraged to donate 10p every time they retweeted one. The clever campaign sought to test the waters with social fundraising. This particular campaign has proven to be successful and triggered more than 500,000 social mentions and 59,000 signups.