With images becoming a prevalent part of mobile communications, emojis have become all the rage. Not only do I love using them in all my texts (if you’re looking for a fun time-suck, challenge yourself to text your friend a message using only emojis), but companies have also started to make emojis part of their branding strategies. Before we get into how these brands are using emojis, here’s a quick distinction that may make the emoji-talk a little clearer: emojis are pictures (everything from a bowl of ramen to a saxophone) created by a Japanese communications firm whereas an emoticon is a “typographic display of a facial representation” (like :-D). Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference, and we’ll be talking about emojis in this post.
Emojis have become a language, and brands are catching on to this. Ready to learn about the awesome ways a social marketer can incorporate emojis into your strategies? Here are four best practices.
1. Communicating with their audiences through social media
— Bud Light (@budlight) July 4, 2014
Many brands, including Bud Light, General Electric and Oreo, have used emojis on their social media channels to appeal to their large audiences. The chief strategy officer for the brand consulting firm Landor, Thomas Ordahl, commented on the use of emojis in social media saying, “It will create new opportunities to communicate and relate to people that are important for you to engage as a brand.”
2. Getting their message across in a succinct and accessible way
You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? Well the use of emojis is the perfect example of this statement. Not only can emojis be used to communicate across language barriers, but they can also convey thoughts and emotions that would take many words to describe: “A smiley face is universal, and now there are literally thousands of [emojis] that are gaining worldwide acceptance and allowing an entire generation to communicate across borders.”
3. Making themselves memorable
— Domino’s Pizza (@dominos) August 1, 2015
What better way to become a part of your customers’ every day conversations than by making a fun, branded emoji? Emojis have become an essential part of mobile communication, and seeing as young adults (including myself) adore texting, people constantly see emojis. In terms of advertising purposes, creating branded emojis or stickers makes brands more memorable. Take Domino’s Pizza for example. The pizza chain made it possible to order a pizza through tweeting a pizza emoji, and this business move gave Domino’s a huge amount of attention. After all, pizza on demand is a dream come true.
4. Encouraging donations
WWF and PETA have both used emojis in an effort to increase donations to their respective organizations. Through their #EndangeredEmoji campaign, WWF asks that those who join the campaign donate 0.10 euros every time they tweet one of the 17 endangered emojis. PETA began an initiative to protect animals, so when you text the heart emoji to 73822, you will get one to two texts per week with actions you can take to help animals in need. What’s better than using emojis to make the world a better place?