Our recent blog discussing the reasoning behind brands using emoji had us thinking about this trend. We opened up the floor to this topic during our most recent #MarketingMinds chat.

Q1. Emoji has taken the world by storm because?

@megan_j_hughes explains that the emoji phenomenon has truly taken off as individuals have more emotions tied to the visuals than compared to text. @Richard_Y points out that we can find brands using emoji on platforms such as Twitter to combat the character limit. Evoking emotions is made that much easier for brands using emoji as they are able to add nonverbal communication to digital messages. @AdotIdotspace explains that brands using emoji is great for when words just aren’t enough.

@sambibby believes emoji has replaced the use of abbreviations, for example instead of writing ‘lol’ certain audiences may now be more inclined to send a crying with laughter emoji. On the other hand @c0Sabrina suggests that the audience may use emoji because they may not be able to accurately explain how they feel with words. This had @Animatedgiff thinking, while texting has had a negative knock on effect in terms of spelling and grammar, could emoji reduce the younger generation’s vocabulary? What do you think? Pop your thoughts in the box below.

Q2. What are the benefits to brands using emoji in their communications?

Brands using emoji are able to show their personable side and humanise the company; moreover as @sambibby comments emoji can increase brand value due to the emotional connections they trigger.

@c0Sabrina and @Richard_Y both agree that the benefit of brands using emoji in their communications really comes down to the brand itself and its target audience. If emoji doesn’t fit with the brand’s tone of voice or isn’t the kind of language the audience use then in this circumstance emoji can do more harm than good.

Q3. What should brands using emoji be cautious of?

We briefly touched upon the dangers of brand using emoji above. In addition to this, @megan_j_hughe states that we should be cautious of the different meanings attached to emoji- as not to offend the audience. @c0Sabrina comments that brands should look to differentiate themselves wherever possible; this can be achieved through brands using emoji that are unique to their campaigns so that they can have a sense of ownership over the visual, but use more regular emoji for tweets etc.

Q4. How do you know if it’s appropriate for a brand to be using emoji?

@megan_j_hughes suggests that we use social listening to understand whether using emoji sits well with the audience or alienates them. @Richard_Y explains that we can also gain a good indication of whether we should be using emoji from the age of our audience. Research found that 54% of over 40s struggle with emoticons and emoji, whilst this figure is great to keep in mind it’s worth backing up with additional research to avoid failure by assumption. With that being said, @sambibby proposes a trial and error format to test whether a brand should be using emoji. We can test and learn from the use of emoji by analysing campaigns featuring them so that we can assess which are most effective at engaging our audience.

Q5. Offer your best examples of brands using emoji.

Chat conversation seemed to die down after this question was asked, prompting @simonlp to question whether the lack of responses is an indication of a lack of brands using emoji or whether the brands that do are simply not standing out. Having said that, @KatarinaWright’s top example is Bud Light’s 4th of July tweet; and with over 150k retweets this may well be many other peoples favourite example of brands using emoji.