We need to talk about Emojis….

Dan Dixon

Dan Dixon

February 21 • 4 minute read

Emojis ….a brief history 🙌 🙌 🙌 🙌

Over the last few years, Emojis have become ubiquitous with all forms of digital communication, with people expressing themselves through the use of little animated icons and faces.

Infact ‘Emoji’ is the fastest growing language in the UK ! With the rise in use of emojis by consumers, as you would expect, they have also crept into the way brands communicate with their customers. You can now even🍕order using the 🍕emoji!

Emojis are by no means a new phenomenon, dating as far back as 1999 when the first crude, 12px x 12px version were created as a means of visual communication between mobile phones in . The original set of 176 emoji characters have recently been added to the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) collection.

Emojis were adopted into Unicode in 2010, a year before the real emoji explosion 💥 when Apple added them to their iOs app keyboards .

Time & Place

Emojis have their time and place and do not suit every brand. The two main factors to consider before using emojis on behalf of your brand are your tone of voice and your audience. Do emojis fit your brand voice? If you are operating in a traditionally corporate industry and emailing the MD of a large organisation, or posting content to a platform like LinkedIn, then maybe hold back on the use of  🙈 or 😂 which could be pretty 👎 and might seem unprofessional to your clients. If you are engaging a more b2c focussed audience, certainly in a younger age bracket, then emojis can be a fantastic way of showing off your brand personality and grabbing the attention of your audience.

Grab attention  

Emojis are very varied in design and colour and can be a welcome visual break from monotonous paragraphs of black text on white background. They can also serve to draw the eye to specific pieces of information or content. Infact, a report by Mailjet found that Brits are 63% more likely to open an email if there is an emoji in the subject line. Further to this, in line with the rise in use of smartphones, on a mobile device you have approx 30 characters that will display on an email subject line. Using emojis to get the message across can not just grab attention in an eye catching way but also tell your story using less characters.

Brand personality

Using emoji’s in Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram captions or email subject lines is a great way of visually expressing yourself and showing your brand personality. They can add humour to your posts as well as showing there are people and personalities behind your brand.  Can you use a 😂 when you post humorous content to show how funny you think something is? Or how about a 😜 when you are teasing your audience about an upcoming product launch or announcement?

Virgin Trains are renowned for their light hearted social media presence, here using an emoji and a GIF.

Practical Uses

There are increasingly creative practical uses for emojis, my favourite at the moment being using emojis in place of bullet points. Perhaps the most effective use of emoji bullet points can be see in Instagram bio’s. Instead of using the bio as a paragraph style box, brand and individuals alike are using a different emoji on each line to break up their bio. Where it gets really clever though, they are not using one uniform emoji for each line, they are selecting the most relevant emoji to the contents of that specific line! See below for example :

To find out how to do this to your Instagram bio (it’s not quite as easy as you would expect, but definitely worth it!), check out our other blog on Instagram Marketing tips.

How are you using emojis? Where have you seen the successful use of emojis? I’d love to hear your thoughts on how emojis can be used to engage your audience!

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