Back in the 1990s, when instant and text messaging were in their early days, emoticons were used to convey some basic emotions such as a wink or a smile. Their primary role was to help people decode dehumanized lingo of text-based messaging and indicate more sophisticated and subtle cues, otherwise conveyed by the body language or prosodic elements of speech such as pitch or loudness. And then, in 2011, Apple introduced emojis, a more elaborate and versatile version of these simple pictograms, by adding emoji support to iPhone, and the rest is history.
Their popularity has been on the rise ever since, and they have even managed to find their way into conservative B2B communication. Another important milestone was marked when Facebook enabled its users to express their feelings and attitudes with more than just likes.
Feel the pulse of your audience
According to the latest statistic, 92% of the online population use emojis in their everyday communication. This means that a large portion of your audience does the same, so if you still haven’t embraced this trend, it’s time you jumped on the bandwagon and join other marketers who are successfully taking advantage of emoji. However, if you want to harness the power of these colorful symbols, you need to find out what your audience’s preferences are in order to be able to target them precisely.
Millennials and Gen-Zers are usually perceived as demographics that are fond of emojis, and that’s true because people between the ages of 25 and 29 are the most avid emoji users. On the other hand, gender seems to play a more important role than the age, as 78% of women use emojis frequently, while only 60% of men tend to jazz up their messages with these popular ideograms. Brands can, also, analyze conversations and connect emoji use to a particular emotion, which will help them realize when they can intensify their campaigns, and when it’s time to slow down.
Twitter introduced emoji targeting in 2016, which means that they can reach people who expressed their emotion by means of a specific emoji and connect with them.
Understand their meaning
One of the frequent mistakes that marketers make is using emojis in a wrong context. A survey has reported that 23% of consumers think that the use of emojis is inappropriate. So, it’s important to know not only the meaning of a particular emoji but also to understand the context in which you’re using it. Some of them are ambiguous, while some might be misunderstood because they display differently on each platform.
Before you spice up your social media posts with an emoji, check out Emojipedia and make sure that you understand its meaning, and see how it displays on each platform. Another rule of the netiquette says that it’s bad manners to overuse emojis and stuff your posts with them. Although emojis have entered even the world of B2B communication, meaning that almost any industry and business can use them, you should still be careful because there’s a danger that by trying to come off as friendly you might end up seeming too sappy. Finally, emojis don’t replace words, and you should combine them for the best results. Use them to make longer blocks of text more interesting and digestible.
Humanize your communication
The human brain recognizes emojis as nonverbal communication, meaning that when we see a happy emoji, our brain perceives it as a real smiling face. That’s not all, as we might even mimic the emotion expressed by the emoji we’re looking at. According to the University of Missouri – St. Louis, looking at an emoji is much more gratifying than reading a word from the Oxford Dictionary.
Clearly, emojis are reshaping the patterns of our mind. Brands can make the most of this by using them to connect with their audiences on a more personal level and to humanize their brand personality. Besides that, emojis can break down language barriers and help a message get through. When it comes to your social media efforts, using emojis in your Facebook statuses, comments, and replies will convince your audience that your company is not only listening to them but that it also cares.
Twitter users can highly benefit from the possibility of incorporating emojis in their tweets. 140 characters are not enough to let you have your say, so emojis are a welcome addition by means of which you can convey even some complex emotions. Instagram is a natural environment for emojis, and since users are in a way producing artistic content, their followers are prompted to react emotionally and use these expressive symbols. Together with a catchy slogan, emojis make up an effective synergy which will increase your conversion rates and improve your brand awareness.
Emojis have become an indispensable part of any effective social media marketing strategy, so don’t miss the opportunity to capitalize on them.
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