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How brands can use emojis


By: Helen Griffiths

A new whitepaper titled “How brands should use emojis”, produced by Internet provider Plusnet, has shed some light on the ways brands can and should use emojis within their marketing material and on social media platforms.

Emojis have permeated the worldwide psyche, with an estimated 92% of the total online population using emojis according to a study by online messaging brand Emogi. With emojis becoming such a staple of online communication, how can brands capitalise?

Humanise your brand

Firstly, brands can use emojis to humanise their messages, mirroring the communication medium of its audience. There is currently a mismatch between what ordinary people and brands are posting – the public predominantly opting for emojis like facial expressions, hearts, and praying hands, while brands are more likely to use icons like party poppers, sparkles, and fire (potentially to make their posts stand out on crowded newsfeeds).

Tapping into the conversational style of ordinary people can help personify a social media tone of voice, making brands sound more human and relatable. To keep up to date with the most commonly used emojis across Twitter, check Emoji Tracker for real-time updates.

Target a wide range of demographics

The whitepaper showed that while emojis are stereotypically used by teenagers and young adults, users who post emojis the most frequently actually fall into the 35+ age bracket.

In terms of demographics, the same study found that almost 60% of women reported using emojis frequently, compared to just 41% of men. This discrepancy is a good indicator that brands focused towards women should try to use emojis more freely than male-focused companies.

Turn emojis into a service

Domino’s Pizza used emojis to create an innovative ordering system. Customers could repeat a previous order simply by sending the pizza emoji to the Domino’s phone number. This simple but effective campaign won numerous awards and marketing accolades, as well as binding the commonly used pizza emoji to the brand in the minds of certain users for the foreseeable future.

Brands can create their own emojis

As well as using the existing set of modern icons, brands can create their own personalised set of emojis via the emoji overlords Unicode. Plusnet created a special range of Yorkshire-based emojis, including a flap cap, a white rose, and a terrier, then petitioned their online audience to vote for their favourites. This gained plenty of positive press and took full advantage of their proud Yorkshire roots.

Creating a unique range of emojis can be an effective way of engaging a younger audience, explained here by Christian Brucculeri, CEO of Snaps: “Good emojis personify the brand. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words – and a good emoji does just that.

For example, Kevin Hart’s hyper-popular emojis portrayed his larger than life personality and iconic facial expressions to make an app that would truly resonate with his fans. Kevin was extremely involved in the process and together, we were able to create an emoji that resonated with his fans.

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