When words fail us, you can always count on there being an emoji to help convey the message or evoke an emotion. While emojis are most commonly associated with informal text messaging, more and more businesses are beginning to use them in their own marketing strategies. How did the emoji come to be such a digital phenomenon, and just how can companies start using emojis for business in their own social media and email marketing campaigns?
The History of the Emoji
Before the birth of emojis, we had emoticons. The very first emoticon found its way to the digital world in 1982, when Carnegie Mellon computer scientist Scott Fahlman came up with a way to signal to his colleagues when his emails were said in a joking manner ( “: – )” for sarcasm, “: – (“ for serious). What started as a colon-dash-parenthesis combination eventually turned into a whole other language using punctuation as a way of signaling an emotional reaction.
While emoticons were great for conveying simple emotions such as joy and sadness, the emoji made way for more complex symbols. In the late 1990s, Japanese tech designer Shigetaka Kurita designed the first emoji keyboard featuring 180 expressions of people he observed and common objects he saw in Japan. Since then, the emoji keyboard has grown to over 700 characters across various mobile devices, and ? (face with tears of joy) was even named the 2015 Word of the Year by the Oxford Dictionary.
Emojis by the Numbers
We see emojis every day, but just how impactful are they in the way we communicate online?
According to a 2015 study done by AdWeek:
- 92% of people use emojis online
- 78% of women
- 60% of men
- 63% of emoji users use them several times per week
- 3 most common reasons for using emojis
- Helps the user be better understood
- Builds personal connections
- Easy to use
Using Emojis for Business
Needless to say, emojis have become something bigger than just a little picture in a text message, and this new digital language is something for businesses to consider incorporating into their own marketing tactics. Here are some quick, easy and innovative ways you can use emojis for business:
Stand Out in Your Reader’s Inbox
Scrolling through your emails first thing in the morning can feel like staring at a wall of text, so using emojis in your subject line can add a little kick of interest and make your email campaign stand out. In addition, using emojis in an email marketing subject line can give your readers a quick glimpse as to what the email itself is promoting. For example, think about a shoe emoji promoting a shoe sale, or a thumbs up emoji signifying good news ahead.
“Is your email marketing campaign mobile-friendly? ?”
Showcase Your Business on Social Media
Emojis have already proven to have a huge impact on the way we use Facebook through their new emoji reaction buttons, but they have an even bigger impact on Twitter. Twitter currently limits users to 140 characters per tweet, which can be a challenge if you have trouble condensing your message without losing the meaning. Using carefully selected emojis in place of words can help you get your point across without going over your character limit, while also injecting a little humor and personality into your social media campaign.
“Its ? Day! Fries are buy one get one FREE all day, bring your friends! #HappyFriday”
Properly Convey Tone through Messages
How often have you sent out an email to a client or colleague and found yourself thinking “I really hope that didn’t sound too harsh”? With emojis, this doesn’t have to be the case anymore. Like Scott Fahlman suggested, it’s very easy to misinterpret the meaning of a message online because you’re losing the tone of voice you would get from a face-to-face conversation. Facial expressions are universal, and using emojis in place of the expressions you would get from an in-person discussion will help to make sure your message does not get lost in digital translation. Even something as simple as adding in a smiley face at the end of a message could be the difference between coming off playful and coming off negative.
With that being said, it’s also important to know just exactly what each emoji means before you send them out to avoid confusing your message even more. Emojipedia does a great job explaining what each emoji is supposed to be so you won’t have to worry about using them incorrectly. Here’s their definition for “?” :
Ready to Join the Emoji Empire?
From a smiley face with a wink ? to a smiley face with heart shaped eyes ?, the simplicity of these images can help break down barriers and connect with a wider audience. Marketing experts say emojis allow customers to fully comprehend the intentions and personality of the brand, and the emoji keyboard will only continue to grow in size and complexity. If you’re looking to begin using emojis for business, now’s the time to get started. Here at Creative Click Media, our team of digital marketing experts can help you build a successful marketing campaign from social media to emails. Contact us today to get started.
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