Every 17th of July, people celebrate “World Emoji Day” globally. It is an unofficial holiday where social media platforms commonly release new updates on their emoji features and tools. A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong notes that emojis help us communicate our hard-to-put expressions, feelings, reactions, and words into light graphic representations. Thus, they make it easier for everyone to connect to the world. Today, there are around 3,521 emojis. From a simple email icon, they have exploded as the world’s fastest-growing language. Emojis have also been used in social media marketing. Here’s how!
A BRIEF HISTORY OF EMOJIS
The concept of emojis can be traced way back to 1963. Harvey Ball, an American commercial artist, designed a smiley face for the buttons and cards of an insurance company. In 1979, Kevin MacKenzie, an English newspaper editor, used the “tongue in cheek” symbol on the internet message board of MSGGrop. He proposed to use it in e-mails to add some subtle humor. In 1982, Scott Fahlman, a computer scientist, used the first frown and smiley faces on the message board of Carnegie Mellon University. Finally, a Frenchman named Nicholas Loufrany made the first animated emoticons in 1998. He was the first one to apply for its patent and made it downloadable in the year 2000.
On the other side of the globe, Shigetaka Kurita, an interface designer, invented the first emoji in the same year in Japan. During that time, he worked at NTT DoCoMo, the company that made it possible to send emails via phone. Since sending emails via phone is limited to 250 characters, the company commissioned Shigetaka to translate 176 concepts into graphic symbols. Inspired by kanji and manga characters, he created the first emoticon. It was a humble smiley face with a box mouth and inverted “V” eyes. It was very different from today’s smiley faces.
During the 1990s, emojis became popularly used as social media networks began to rise. Around 92% of people used them on chats, emails, SMS, and texting. Top social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, etc. have integrated different sets of emojis for use in their platforms. A social media agency Hong Kong even attested that they have also greatly helped advertisers and marketers to boost their ads and campaigns on social media.
WHAT ARE EMOJIS AND EMOTICONS?
Emojis are an alternate way to convey body language and verbal tone. They are one of the two categories of hieroglyphics used online. The other one is called emoticons.
Emoticons are a combination of letters, numbers, and punctuation marks forming pictorial icons. They generally convey emotions and sentiments. This is why they are called emoticons. They are pictorial icons showing emotions. Most emoticons need to be read sideways because of the limits of a computer keyboard.
Emojis are a combination of faces, objects, and symbols to form pictographs. They consist of pixels, thus, their characters cannot be found or made using a computer keyboard. A Unicode system houses a variety of emojis for use among computers and mobile devices. The name emoji came from the Japanese words “E” for a picture, “Mo” for writing, and “Ji” for a character.
HOW TO USE EMOJIS IN SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING?
Using images in marketing campaigns can communicate a lot of messages authentically to the audiences. With a single keyboard click, social media marketers can deliver emotions to all types of online users. What we are talking about is “emojis.” Here’s how to use them in every aspect of your marketing campaigns.
- Consider your audience demographics and marketing channels first. There are two main factors that you need to consider first before you use emoji in social media marketing. First is your audience demographics. Not all people understand emojis. The older generation tends to disregard them. But among the younger generations, the use of emojis is established in pop culture. So, brands and businesses need to get to know their target personas first. Through analytics and research, they will know whether to use emojis to enhance their ads, campaigns, and messages. The second is the marketing channel. There are a lot of social media platforms that brands and businesses can use to promote their products and services. Among the most popular are Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, and Twitter. Each of these social media networks uses different formatting and mobile optimization tools. A line or space can create a variation in how posts are displayed. It is important to test and preview your messages before publishing to make sure that the emojis are properly displayed.
- Encourage your followers to use emojis in social media interactions. A great way to encourage engagement is to encourage your followers to use emojis creatively in their actions and responses. It can be a simple like or dislike sign to show if they agree or disagree with a statement. Or, you can also ask open-ended questions like, “what is your favorite animal?” They can use emojis representing common wild or zoo animals. These work perfectly on social media pages like Facebook and Instagram housing quick access keyboards to different types of emojis.
- Use emojis to add extra context to social media messaging. Emojis and social media messaging complement each other perfectly. Brands and businesses can use emojis to spice up their messaging content. With engagement in mind, they can use positive emojis to liven up their chat messages. It can be an authentic way to connect to their followers and target audiences. Emojis can also help to emphasize a point. For example, a “hand point” sign can display an urgency to click a call-to-action (CTA).
- Use emojis in your social media posts. Most social media platforms believe in the power of emojis. Facebook, for one, created different types of emojis to enhance ads, campaigns, feed posts, Stories, etc. These include customized reactions, and themed emojis. Recently, the platform is testing a different kind of audio emojis which they call soundmoji. Twitter also has its own version of tweemojis. While Snapchat patented its fashion bitmoji. Using emojis is a fun and engaging way to connect to your followers and target audiences on social media.
- Use emojis in paid social media advertising. According to a report, Facebook ads with emojis received a higher click-through rate than those ads without emojis. After a series of A/B experimentations on 2 identical ads, Facebook ads with emojis resulted in a 241% higher click-through rate than those without emojis. On Linked In, a variation of two content – one using emojis and the other without emojis – resulted in 84% more downloads for ads containing emojis. In general, social media ads containing emoji result in a 400% lower cost per lead. Brands and businesses can continuously use emojis to align their messaging and voice.