Knowing Where and When to Use Emoji
People are using emoji more than ever. Emoji are ideograms and smileys used in electronic communication. They are used to express emotion or replace lines of text. Most standard keyboards on phones and tablets support emoji, Apple added support to OS 10.7, and Microsoft added them to Windows 8.1. Social media platforms like Snapchat include them and Facebook had an update within the year adding them as reactions to posts. With the tech and social giants making them native on their platforms, should you use them to market?
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Using Emoji in Social Media
You should be using emoji to market and communicate. The English language has changed a lot over the last 1,000 years (have you tried to read original Chaucer?), and it will continue to change in the 21st century. Communication is changing at an exponential rate with technology. The Japanese have been using emoji since the 1990s, but the Western World is quickly adopting them as well.
I’m a big believer in conversational social media. Depending on your product, platform, motivation, and audience, using emoji could work really well. I’ve been impressed with Facebook pages polling their viewers. Your customers are already using them to communicate and you need to do the same, but how?
Do’s and Don’ts of Emoji
Audience and Platform
Knowing your audience and platform is crucial when marketing with emoji. Using emoji still skew to younger demographics. Middle age and older are picking it up a surprising rate, but it’s the youngsters who dominate. If you design jewelry for teenage girls, then emoji should be your best friend.
The platform is important too. Right now, Snapchat has the youngest demographic and emoji support. On the other side, email marketing tends to be received by an older crowd. Not the best bet using emoji in emails.
Know everything about the emoji you want to use. Know its history, how it’s being used, and if other companies have used it. You may think an emoji caricature looks happy, but it could have been used in middle school bully culture. You never know. Make sure to do your research.
Keep the context of your message clear and concise. Using emoji can help get your point across, but it could also make it appear ambiguous. Use only as many emoji or text as you need. Always have someone else read what you’re about to post to ensure it makes sense.
The way we communicate with each other and our customers. Contribute to the conversation with emoji and engage those one-to-one relationships.
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