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Posted on 06.28.2016

Do Emojis Have a Place in your Social Media Strategy?

Mobile marketing is no longer optional for most brands, as smartphone usage has increased to 54% of all digital media consumption in the U.S.  Because of this growth in mobile usage, it seems the emoji is here to stay. Last year, Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year was not a word at all, but rather, the “Face with Tears of Joy” emoji. World Emoji Day, now in its third year of celebration, is a day dedicated to celebrating the tiny pictographs we use to communicate in text messages and social media every day. Here are a few things to consider if you are interested in incorporating emojis into your social media strategy.

Are emoji appropriate for your audience?

An emoji conveys a fun, casual tone that is not appropriate for every brand or audience. Before you incorporate emojis into your social media strategy, think about the tone of your brand and the messages on your social platforms. The worst thing a business can do is use an emoji that feels forced or seems to be a gimmick just to appeal to a younger generation.

When is it okay to use an emoji?

Evaluate your use of emojis on a case-by-case basis. While some brands have already embraced the emoji craze and created sweepstakes and ad campaigns around them, using too many emojis may fatigue or frustrate your audience. Brands that want to use emojis in their campaigns should research usage trends and the meaning behind individual emojis. Some emojis are easier to understand than others, but don’t assume that the meaning you are trying to convey will come across clearly. It’s best for brands to play it safe and use emoji as a supplement to written text, not a substitute.

Twitter recently announced emoji targeting, a new segmenting capability for brand marketers. Twitter now allows brands to target ads based on the emojis people use in their tweets. If you’re thinking your brand may not be ready to use emojis in posts, targeting could be an alternative that allows you to become familiar with them while working to reach your audience.

How often should you use emoji in your social media posts?

If you analyze your brand’s tone and decide there is a place for emojis in your social media strategy, make sure not to go overboard. It’s not a good idea to include an emoji in every post across every platform. Twitter seems to be the most engaging social media property for emoji use, and also the most popular, with 59% of top brands worldwide using emojis in their posts during Q4 2015 compared to 28% on Facebook during the same time period. Make sure you are considering the platform and audience with every emoji you decide to post.

As a whole, the best advice for brands looking to experiment with emojis is to observe audience behavior and consider brand identity above all. Does using emojis align with your business goals? Does it enhance or hinder your credibility with your audience? After you have evaluated all of these answers, you can make an informed decision about how to incorporate emojis in your strategy.

Kristy Lucero is an Account Executive at Lovell Communications. Connect with Kristy at Kristy@lovell.com.

 

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