Marketing with Emojis can boost engagement and interest from fans online.
If you're a frequent texter, at some point you've probably downloaded the emoji keyboard on your phone, and they've slowly made their way into everyday conversations. Much like LOL or TTYL took over pagers and instant messagers, emojis have become a language all on their own.
Over the last year or so, emojis have been making their way into the mainstream, with popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter accepting emojis as translatable text (the most recent version of the emoji encyclopedia is called Unicode 10) across several devices, screens and operation systems.
Even more recently, popular hashtags on Twitter have gotten an emoji treatment, creating more engaging posts than ever before. Led by mega brands like Coca Cola, bringing color and life to regular text provides a new way to stand out amongst the clutter. Just last month at the popular VMAs, pop culture icon MTV worked with Twitter to create a custom moonman emoji that was attached to the trending event. Not only was it widely used, but many users found it worthy of creating interaction with the brand just to be a part of the conversation.
Emojis representing cultural icons
In 1993, The Artist Formally Known as Prince shocked the world when he turned his name into a symbol. What he pioneered in the '90s has since become commonplace, with celebrity fans tying a specific emoji to their artist. For example, recording artist Beyonce released a new album in April, simply titled Lemonade. Soon enough, it was apparent that the one-word title was too much to type, as legions of fans across the globe (known as the Beyhive 🐝) shared their love of the artist with just one symbol: 🍋
Their ability to identify with Beyonce, show support, share in the conversation and communicate using one common symbol made Beyonce a trending topic worldwide, and helped her debut the new album as her sixth #1 album, an unprecedented record. This effort was led by the use of a lemon emoji!
Emojis have the power to represent a person, a message, and a cultural reference with just one symbol- a true testament to just how powerful emojis can be in marketing.
What's interesting to note is that finding the right emoji to express your emotion isn't a mindless or easy task. It requires a user to install or open a new keyboard, and search through hundreds of symbols to pick the one (or two) that represent their emotions. However, emojis provide a personal, more engaging way to interact with each other - making them appealing to everyone from Baby Boomers to Generation Z.
How can I use emojis in my marketing?
While you might not be able to have the power or global audience of Beyonce, there are several ways you can incorporate emojis into your local marketing that can increase engagement, and provide a break from the ordinary for your customers.
Most email clients have begun to accept emojis as valid characters. What does this mean for you? It means that you can add some easy flair to your emails! Think about the upcoming holiday season and your next marketing email - is there an easy way to add a bit of excitement without an extra "!"? Try this:
Don't Fret - We've got great Halloween deals for your 👻s!
Ho, Ho, Ho! 🎅🏼 Santa's Elves are already busy at work!
Substitute a word or add an emoji to the end of your subject line that helps convey your message. Emails regarding upcoming events, videos and more can also be expressed through the subject line and standout in your customers' inboxes.
2. Social Media
Proud of the work your team is doing? Don't be afraid to celebrate them on Facebook by adding a few 🔥🔥🔥 emojis to your post. Social media provides a great laid-back environment to have some fun with your marketing message. They add a personal touch, and show off personality as well as any post can. It can also be a big way to identify loyal fans, who love to show off their love for your brand with others through hashtags and emojis.
It's important to note that not all posts will be appropriate for emojis, and they should be used sparingly to prevent any of your customers from feeling that your content is too spammy- a major social faux pas!
3. Store signage and promo materials
Have a store promo that could use an extra boost? Look for ways to incorporate emojis into your marketing messaging including printable promos like table tents, postcards, etc. If you're feeling extra creative, you can modify or create your own emojis that fit your brand.
In fact, many global brands have taken to creating their own emoji keyboards (Dove, Burger King, Comedy Central just to name a few) for their fans, as well as several other open source emoji keyboards (like TexMoji - a Texas and/or Whataburger lover's dream😎).*
*These keyboards aren't Unicode certified, and typically upload to text messages as pictures. They won't show up in text boxes online, but still create a fun experience for fans or customers to use when communicating!
It's not all 🌹 and 🌈.
While more platforms are recognizing emojis as an identifiable way to communicate, there are a few things to keep in mind as you jump in and test emojis with your community.
First, think about your audience. Are they using emojis? Do they connect with them? Make sure to avoid any emojis that could offend or relay a message that is off brand. Simple smileys, objects, travel & locations and activity emojis are generally safe, but take extra precaution to ensure your emoji can't be misconstrued in any way.
Also, take time to understand emojis and any slang references that could skew your message. While they add a fun touch of personality, they could also give off an unintended meaning.
Third, make sure your emojis translates to all platforms in the right way! Unicode has a chart that identifies how your emoji will look across platforms.
Lastly, adding an emoji to every few posts is perfectly acceptable, but going overboard will become confusing, especially to customers who are new to the world of emojis. Before launching your brand into heavy emoji use, test a few different ways to leverage emojis and compare how effective they are against your other posts.
As with any new trend, finding out what works for your brand is the most important way to keep high engagement and encourage communication with your customers. Our digital marketing team works with clients in a variety of industries and often incorporates emojis into our work. To learn more about how emojis might be good for your business, contact us.
Let's Talk Emojis