Emoji HistoryBack in 1999 when cellphones were kicking off it took a lot of effort for mobile operators to send messages when people were constantly trying to send images. Japanese mobile phone provider NTT Docomo's (and Shifetaka Kurita who invented emojis) i-mode allowed users to add pictures of commonly used emoticons to texts. These images were 'single character' and as such, in a time when there were 140 or 60 character limits, this meant endless texting possibilities for users! Then obviously Steve Jobs took over and got down to business with Apple and now we have 100s of emojis, with new ones being added every year. Emojis are available on basically any app or platform where you can use text. The word emoji is even used because in Japanese it means "picture word"-plus it sounds way better than emoticon! Emojis have totally taken over the world both in general communications, social networks and on ALL levels of platform marketing. According to Search Engine Journal about 6 billion emojis are sent every day, meaning there’s no possible way you could ignore their existence-I mean we DO have a World Emoji Day on July 17th..
Leveraging Emojis to humanize messages & connect with customersEmojis are effective in improving happiness, enjoyment in interactions and enhances the information richness of our communications. Looking at emojis is gratifying and an online smiley face can be just as effective as a smiley face of a person in real life! They're friendly, emotional and personal-regardless of if you think they "fit your brand" or not. In purely written messages there are psychological, contextual, and social cues missing and emojis help bridge those gaps. The effect of negativity can be reduced in email/text by using emojis. I mean, how much worse does it sound when someone sends you a text that says "ok." versus one that says"ok😀". The smiley makes it sound a lot more positive. We also “use” emojis in real life. I mean imagine how creepy it’d be if you had a conversation IRL with someone without showing any emotion at all? If you have a limited word count you can convey more using less with emojis. But don't overdo it either. Emojis aren't words, rather they're the emotional part of communications. Always respect your customers and try to use emojis naturally and with flow, otherwise you'll confuse & irritate your audience!
Strategies to integrate emojis naturallyUsing emojis on Twitter has shown to increase engagement by 25.4% over messages without emojis. Using them in Facebook posts can increase your number of Likes by 57%, and comments and shares by 33%. We know that people process visuals 60,000 times faster than plain text, meaning emojis are a great skill to leverage in getting your message across, especially when character limits exist or the attention of your consumers is limited!
Understanding your Audience and Adding Context
You need to understand how your audience communicates with emojis and how they relate to them so that you can leverage them in the best way possible for your business and your brand. They can fulfill the missing context of emotion and help to increase your social engagement. In turn, this will help sales and get your brand out there. But again, don't overdo it & understand your customer base. You want to make your brand seem like they’re in-the-know and as an authority figure. Posting emojis that don’t mean what you think they do can risk that and hurt your brand. You can check out Emoji Tracker to see realtime emoji use on Twitter if you want to see what some of the most used/most popular emojis currently are.
You can even use emojis in titles or subject lines in an email. For people who receive lots of emails in their inboxes, every day-an emoji can make yours stand out from the rest. Consider the following subject lines:
- Save 20% this Valentine's Day
- 2-for-1 on all Pizzas this Friday
- Win a free gift if you subscribe to our newsletter!
- Win a trip to Europe
- Congrats! You've just won…
- ❤️ Save 20% this Valentine's Day
- 🍕 2-for-1 on all Pizzas this Friday
- 🎁 Win a free gift if you subscribe to our newsletter!
- ✈️ Win a trip to Europe
- 🌟 Congrats! You've just won…