I just ran across an article in my feed that grabbed my attention. It was about using emojis in marketing. At first I clicked passed it, but then went back. There was something about it that stuck with me and made me think: this matters. But why? The answer is demographics.

Currently, consumers between the ages of 16-34 comprise 32% of the U.S. population (growing to 34% by 2020), and these consumers communicate in the language of text and social media. Emojis have become an integral part of this communication. If you want to communicate in the language of your customers, you need to integrate emojis.  

Emojis transcend marketing channels. They can be used in print, email, or social or mobile media. Among the benefits?

Relatability: When used correctly, emojis connect with the Millennial and younger generations.  It makes you seem engaged and in touch with what they need.

Speed: Emojis communicate your message quickly. Putting a smiley face or thumbs up in a subject line communicates with an immediacy not possible with text or even other visual images.  

Engagement: Using emoji in tweets has shown to increase engagement by 25%, and using emojis in Facebook posts to increase the number of likes by 57% and comments and shares by 33% [1].

Personalizing your brand: Emojis are, after all, human. They started out as graphic expressions of human emotion, and with the thousands of emojis now available, they give your brand personality.  

All of these are good things, but in order for emojis to truly work for you (instead of against you), you must use them correctly. If you use emojis incorrectly, you come across as worse than an outsider. You come across as a goober. Not a good look in marketing.

To learn about using emojis in marketing, there are a plethora of resources available. Here, the point is simply that emojis have matured as a marketing tool. Even if using emojis is “not your thing,” like social media and mobile, you can no longer afford to ignore them.  

Here are five points of advice from the experts for using emojis:

  1. Fully understand the meaning of the emojis you plan to use.

Notes Dara Fontein in “The Emoji Guide for Social Media Marketers”:

You want to position your brand as an authority and in the know. Don’t put your company’s reputation at risk by posting an emoji that doesn’t mean what you think it means.

A great resource for understanding emojis is Emojipedia.

  1. Know what emojis are actually relevant to your brand.
  2. Know the emoji landscape. This means when and where to use emojis (not all situations will be appropriate), as well as the frequency that makes sense for your brand and your audience.
  3. Have a strategy. Just like QR Codes, don’t just throw emojis out there, hoping that they will work simply because they are emojis. Have a strategy. Will emojis actually improve the message you are trying to convey? If so, which ones? How should they be used?
  4. Make ample use of testing. Know which emojis work, with which audiences, how much, and when.

Are you using emojis in your marketing yet? If so what has your experience been?