The rise of emoji in digital marketing

I don’t really want to admit to this.

[one_half]But the other day I found myself envying someone’s use of emoji.

And just in case you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about, an emoji is a small icon that’s used to express an idea or emotion in digital communication.[/one_half]


Anyway, I’ll say that again: the other day I found myself envying someone’s use of emoji.

It’s as stupid as it sounds. A friend tweeted a four-emoji combo that described exactly how happy she was to have a rainy day off to spend in bed reading.

My response was:

1. Why didn’t I think of using those emojis?
2. I should really start using that graph emoji more often

I shouldn’t really care. It’s not really that important.

But here’s the thing though – it might just be (and here’s why…)

The growth of Emoji use

Somehow in the last couple of years, emoji have taken over digital culture.

Emoji are in the text conversations we have, they’re tacked onto the end of tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram captions, and they’re made into memes. They’re so pervasive that more than half of all Instagram captions contain emoji. They’re getting pretty hard to ignore…

So why are emoji so popular?

Emoji are used because on a screen, it’s very hard to communicate emotion or intended meaning.

Emoji are great because they add emotion, meaning, and context to what we’re saying online.

See how emoji make us better communicators or watch this video of Emoji’s used in everyday speech (warning – hilarious!)

Emoji are here to stay

Not only are emoji sticking around, they’re growing in importance.

Just this month, an update from Instagram has allowed users to include emoji in hashtags. Instagram HQ wrote: “Emoji have become part of a universal visual language. And just as we share photos and videos, we use emoji to communicate emotions and feelings in ways that anyone can understand, regardless of language or background.”

That’s exactly why emoji are such a big deal – emoji is its own language.

How are businesses are using emoji?

Businesses all over the world are embracing emoji across social media – but emoji are appearing offline too.

[one_half]2014 – Spark used emoji to create a virtual queue of people waiting for the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Anyone wanting a phone was invited to join an emoji queue and have a life-sized emoji character reserve their spot outside one of Spark’s launch stores.[/one_half]




2015 – Coca-Cola Puerto Rico registered URLs for every emoji that conveys happiness. Consumers could enter a smiley face followed by a .ws suffix in their mobile web browser, which would take them to (Where consumers could then sign up for a chance to get emoji web addresses of their very own.)[/one_half]



Pretty clever, right?

Should you care about emoji?

If you’re serious about having an online presence, then you need to know how to communicate. And if emoji is the language, now’s a good time to learn it.

Ready to take the first step?

Turn on the emoji keyboard on your smart phone.

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