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Using Emojis In Your Marketing Comms :)

We all know that emojis are 💯. In other words, they’re very popular to use. That’s an undeniable fact. Many people believe emojis are infantile and show a lack of writing skills. Currently, 3,521 emojis are out in the wild.

There’s a lot we can learn from our use of emojis, such as how our use of positive emoji faces declined by 5.63% in the last year. No doubt, this is as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. Depressing as it may sound, it’s a proven fact that emojis are constantly evolving and changing.

The ability of emojis to communicate tone is more than just a matter of literacy. When using emojis, it’s important to understand the true meaning of the iconography and neural responses it causes.

The same can be said when using emojis in your marketing communication. There’s a time and a place for using them and that’s what we’re here to help with.

Where Emojis Come From

Emojis were born from Japanese text messages in the 1990s. The word ‘絵文字’ means picture character specifically designed to fill in emotional cues otherwise missing from typed conversation. The emoji was predated by the emoticon, which used text-based symbols such as 🙂 to replace language.

But emojis have evolved to be more than a set of clarifying marks. Over the years, their meanings have changed depending on context and cultural associations. Therefore when you message about a new recipe saying “get some 🍆 in your life” it’s going to be construed in a different way than intended.

This is why it’s more important than ever to be aware of emoji culture and how it can drastically change the tone of what you’re writing.

How Can Emojis Effect Us?

Humans often subconsciously mimic emotional states. This is called ‘emotional contagion’, and there’s studies done on other primates such as dogs, and even chickens. A number of theories look at how it may have evolved over the years. The main belief is mimicking emotions could be a response to another’s reactions when sensing a threat.

Nowadays, we less so worry about such a threat, however, reading emotions is a big factor in how we develop relationships. To read emotions is how we end up reading people. Therefore when text messaging became popular in the 2000s, the lack of emotional context became difficult to communicate our feelings.

Studies have been shown how we react to emojis and if their use actually conveys how we feel. In 2014, scientists showed twenty participants a number of images of a human face, as well as the text-based emoticon: “:-)”. They discovered that the same parts of our brain fired up when looking at both the human face and emojis.

It’s obvious that there’s a correlation to reading emojis and reading faces, but, can things still be misinterpreted? The answer is of course!

A Guide To Avoid Misinterpreting Emojis

In an ever changing world, it’s often difficult to keep up with the meaning behind a lot things. ‘Brb’ is still commonly used as ‘be right back’, however, some would complain that it’s already an outdated abbreviation. The same can be said for emojis as their meaning is often altered quickly and sometimes it’s not always obvious.

Someone who’s had a rough day, but still trying to put on a happy face, might reply with ‘🙃’. Although it’s just a regular smiley upside down, it expresses a whole different feeling.

A great tool to use in order to know the true meaning of an emoji is emojipedia. You’ll be able to search every emoji’s common use and true meaning. A good safety net so you don’t end up with a marketing scandal on your hands!

How Emojis Are Changing The Way We Speak

Evidence also shows that emojis have impacted our vocabulary. During a study done by Instagram, they monitored the text habits of four groups of new users chosen between late 2012 and early 2014. In these groups, Instagram observed the percentage of text posts using emojis and the number of posts using internet slang such as: “haha”, “omg” etc.

Initially, the number of posts containing slang or emojis were relatively close to each other. As the years went on, a strong negative correlation began. As users started using emojis, slang-use dropped dramatically. Emojis seem to be either the faster or maybe more “effective” way to convey our tone or feelings.

Why You Should Use Emojis in Your Marketing Strategy

So, you know how to use emojis … but why bother? Especially if you have the belief that emojis, like slang, isn’t a good fit for your brand voice. Well it might not be as simple of an argument as that…

There’s many reasons why a brand might choose to use emojis in their messaging. For one, emojis boost engagement on social platforms. You might disagree, but the truth is emojis have been proven to boost engagement levels, click-through rates and even open rates. For example, a study by Hubspot showed that push notifications with emojis saw 85% increase in open rates and 9% bump in conversions.

But if that still hasn’t convinced you, it’s important to remember that emojis give your brand personality. Especially in an age where consumers want to relate to the brands that they purchase from, it’s important to connect directly with people. Your brand needs to have a unique character to it and this ofter comes from using emojis in your brand’s marketing.

And before you say anything else, whether your brand is fun & youthful or professional & polished emojis can help humanise your brand’s identity. This is effective when trying to boost your brand awareness.

This has been our guide to using emojis in your marketing communication. If you have any questions or want more information about creating social media content for your business speak to us today!

One reply on “Using Emojis In Your Marketing Comms :)”

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