If you’re in your mid ’20s or older, you probably remember a time when all we had were “emoticons,” composed of parentheses and semicolons. Today, they’ve been overtaken by emojis, detailed images that are so popular that they’ve been added into Unicode.
You may also have noticed that people are using emojis a whole lot, in very different ways than how we used to use the “:)” smileys on AOL Instant Messenger back in the paleolithic era. People in their early 20s and younger, especially, are using these little pictures in surprisingly creative and richly expressive ways.
Text messages aren’t the only place where emojis are at home.
They’re also a hit on social media, where tons of young people emblazon their tweets and Facebook posts with a slew of meaningful emoji combinations.
For brands, emojis can be a great way to make your social media content more expressive, more fun, and more appealing.
In a recent article from HubSpot, the author makes a fantastic case for the power of emojis.
We all use emojis every day — in our texts to friends, work emails, social media posts, and so on.
But what happens when a marketer sends an emoji?
To find out, our data science team analyzed 2.6 billion push notifications containing emojis. We looked at every facet of engagement — opens, conversions, retention. And we found some interesting results.
We crunched the numbers to create a data-backed guide to using emojis, designed for mobile marketers.
Why Do We Love Emojis?
For one, emojis are great for conveying tone, facial expression, emotion — and in my case, even song. When you have a conversation with a friend face-to-face, it’s easy to express sarcasm. But on the internet, it’s a little tougher.
According to scientists, when a person sees an emoji in a message, their brain lights up the same way as when they see a human face. The brain recognizes emojis as nonverbal information, and as a result, emojis are then processed as emotions. Emojis have the power to change the mood of the reader.
If someone sends an emoji, it will spark the warm-and-fuzzies in whoever reads the notification. Naturally, more people will want to click on something that makes them feel good.
In our data, we found that the library of emojis that marketers can use has increased in size by 108%. This makes sense, considering hundreds of new emojis were added just last year. Now, it’s easier than ever to find an emoji that relates to you, and even looks like you.
The list of new emojis includes some of our all-time favorites, like the rainbow flag ️ , a David Bowie tribute , and new options for genders, races, and diverse family representation .
With this in mind, emoji use has increased dramatically across most communication channels, including advertising, social media, email, and mobile push notifications. Let’s take a look.
They also offer a great summary of how emoji use on social media has evolved in recent years, which can help give you some new ideas to spice up your tweets and Facebook posts.
Emojis in Social Media
Emoji usage has exploded across social media as well. Just check out this real-time tracker of emoji use on Twitter. Emojis are used every second, in astounding numbers.
Instagram and Twitter aren’t the only social channels seeing a rise in emoji use. In February 2016, Facebook revamped its “like” button to include emoji reactions. People have since been able to share how they feel about a particular post, without using any words.
Emoji usage in social media has risen, and engagement with emoji posts has seen a similar climb. According to Social Media Today:
- On Twitter, emojis result in 25.4% more engagement.
- On Facebook, emojis result in 57% more likes, 33% more comments, and 33% more shares.
- On Instagram, nearly 50% of all comments and captions contain emojis.
For a real-life example, check out Bud Light. The company tweeted an American flag comprised purely of emojis for the 4th of July, and it received nearly 140,000 retweets.
— Bud Light (@budlight) July 4, 2014
The takeaway for marketers: Love for emojis has increased use across all platforms. It’s a critical factor in garnering more brand engagement across media platforms.
To find out more about how emojis are making a splash in the digital marketing world, check out the full article over at HubSpot.