Happy World Emoji Day! Today is the day to celebrate the small, expressive images that the world uses to communicate every single day. Whether we want to communicate that we want a fast food lunch, ? ? ?, or to remind your friend not to cry over spilled milk, ? ? ? ?, emojis are a simple and fun way to get your point across.
On Facebook alone, over 700 million emojis are used every day in Facebook posts. If you think that emojis are only exclusive to a few countries, think again. There’s a reason that today is World Emoji Day. In fact, in honor of World Emoji Day, Facebook has revealed the top emojis broken down by country.
Emojis were first invented in 1999, but not widely adopted until 2011, in part due to the increase in social media use. Emojis are so commonly used that linguistics experts in the United Kingdom claim that Emoji is now the fastest growing language in the UK!
World Emoji Day is celebrated annually on July 17 because this is the day displayed on the calendar emoji: ?
July 17 is used for the calendar emoji because that is the day that iCal premiered at the MacWorld conference in 2002, and Emoji Day has been celebrated on July 17 since 2014.
Since then, big names like Facebook, TIME Magazine, and even the Empire State Building have joined in on the fun and celebrated World Emoji Day.
According to Brandwatch’s recent report, The Emoji Report, the volume of tweets containing a brand name and an emoji has grown by 49% since September 2015. The biggest brands in the world have recognized that 95% of humans online have used emojis and implemented the language into their marketing efforts. Let’s take a look at some examples of these emoji campaigns and how you can use emojis in your digital marketing efforts to help appeal to the next generation of consumers.
Using Emojis to Appeal to Generation Z
Generation Z is the next generation of consumers and higher education students. Compared to Millennials, Generation Z has an even keener eye for advertising strategies that are trying a bit too hard to relate. Keep in mind here that Generation Z is projected to make up 40% of all consumers by 2020. That’s right, almost half of consumers will be made up of people born between 1995 and 2010. So how can you use emojis correctly to connect with this large chunk of the market?
Video is definitely the king of content. Pair video with the use of emojis (or Memojis in this case) to help get your point across and you may have a wildly successful piece of content. One of my favorite examples of using emojis in an entertaining and attention-grabbing way comes from Snoop Dogg and Hims.
Snoop Dogg is a top influencer himself, but his Memoji is even more attention-grabbing. Emojis are even used throughout the video when he refers to ‘playas’, ‘cribs’, and talking about how much money you’ll save.
Next time you create video content, especially for social media, consider how emojis might play a role. What topic can you use emojis to explain? They can be used as a modern version of the audience cue card to let your viewers know when to laugh ?, cry ?, or even ponder ? a topic you are discussing.
? Emails and Press Releases
While emojis are the most popular form of social media communication, they should be used wisely. One example of going overboard with emojis comes from a 2015 Chevrolet press release:
“Words alone can’t describe the new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze, so to celebrate its upcoming reveal, the media advisory is being issued in emoji, the small emotionally expressive digital images and icons in electronic communication. Try and decode this news or watch for the decoder at 2 p.m. EDT on Tuesday. #ChevyGoesEmoji”
Did you read the press release? Did you understand it?
The major takeaway from this PR blunder is that emojis, while they are used by almost everyone, should be used sparingly – especially when communicating your brand’s important messages.
Emails and press releases remain the more formal forms of today’s communication. That being said, emojis can positively impact your email marketing campaigns. According to The AppBoy Emoji Study, open rates for emails containing emojis in their subject line have increased 15% year-over-year.
As I’ve said, emails are a professional form of communication – meaning that less is more. Using an emoji can help your subject line and body copy cut through the dullness of an inbox. For example, using a ❤️ in the subject line of a Valentine’s Day campaign will help your email stand out from the rest.
It can be extremely easy to go overboard with emojis in the body copy of an email. Instead, pick one or two emojis to help highlight key points throughout your copy or drive attention to your call-to-action.
For example, Circa’s upcoming webinar email campaign could look like this:
What You’ll Learn:
✅ Understand the current and future opportunity of Artificial Intelligence and its place in higher education
✅ Learn why chatbots and AI-driven platforms are going to change the way we engage with prospective students
✅ See how you can scale your team with the help of intelligent engagement
✅ Understand the cost savings associated with leveraging this technology
✅Learn how AI can help connect with students on an emotional level
? Social Media
Social media was in fact the catalyst for the immense popularity of emojis. That being said, brands must be more creative than ever when using emojis in order to appeal to the largest audience possible.
One innovative use of emojis that I’ve witnessed is in Facebook and Instagram ads – especially in higher education. What better way to appeal to the next generation of students than by using emojis that inspire them to take the next step in furthering their education? ?? ?? ? ?
When Circa’s PPC and creative teams worked together to created a new paid social campaign for Tulane University’s Master of Social Work program, they wanted to implement a fresh and standout tactic: Emojis. In this case, they’ve followed the rule of less is more. By adding the ? emoji the ad not only catches their audience’s eye, but effectively emphasizes the feeling of empowerment and resilience – the exact emotions they are looking to coerce from their audience to inspire them to continue their education in social work.
When using emojis in social media ads it is important to follow the same rules as emails. Use emojis sparingly to highlight keywords and phrases or call-to-actions.
There are more than 2,800 emojis at your fingertips. What will you say? ? Share your emoji marketing ideas with me in the comments below! I’d love to hear how you or your agency is using this new form of communication to spice up commonplace marketing tactics.
Audrey is an account manager and Social Media Lead at Circa Interactive. She currently manages multiple high profile social media accounts, including Circa Interactive’s own social media presence. As a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and a past president of their Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter, her passion for innovation and connecting like-minded individuals is driving Circa’s social media strategy into the future. Connect with Audrey on Twitter: @audgepauge93