Emoji use in a professional setting seems to be continuously up for debate.
Some think they are harmless fun, others think that they are unprofessional and childish. But whatever your personal thoughts, it may be time to incorporate them into your marketing.
Or your social media marketing at least.
Research into emojis (yep, people research these things!) found that they can boost your engagement rate on social media.
How To Boost Your Engagement Rates Using Emoji’s
If we’re going to start with the obvious, using emoji’s is a simple but effective way to help your text grab attention by sprinkling it with a bit of colour.
But more importantly, emoji’s affect us in a sub-conscious way, which in turn helps us to feel more connected to the person, or brand that posted them.
Whilst words are important when we communicate with another human 93% of the ‘language’ we pick up on is nonverbal. This comes to us through ways such as facial expressions, tone of voice & gestures.
And now, research shows that when we see a facial emoji on-screen our brain identifies the face and reacts the same way as it does to an actual human face.
In essence, emoji’s trigger an ’emotional cognition’ in our brains, which in turn makes us feel seen by the person/brand and thus more connected to them.
By helping customers feel connected to your brand, they are more likely to support you through engaging with your content.
As you post regularly and build on that initial connection, this will also help to build trust in your brand, which over time will encourage conversions.
The use of faces has long been studied in relation to marketing and has been proven that including a photo of a face (preferably your own!) on a landing page can increase conversions by a huge 95%
Given how our brains react to emojis, there is no reason why they too couldn’t help with your conversions. However, it must be noted that context will play a part in this – with emojis being seen as more appropriate on social media than on websites.
How To Choose The Right Emoji’s For Your Social Media Marketing
Not all emojis have the same effect. Our brains only begin an emotional cognition when presented with an emoji that replicates a human face.
However, other emojis can be useful for transmitting the tone of voice and communicating your brand’s personality.
For example, if your brand has a cheeky style and targets millennials using the peach emoji as a byword for ‘bum’ will help humanise your brand. It will show the millennials reading that you don’t take things too seriously, that you are similar to them, and so are likely to be of interest to them.
If however, you work in corporate finance, for example, a peach emoji would seem totally irrelevant if not a bit crass.
When choosing your emoji’s, always remember that context is key.
They have to be relevant to the point you are making.
They have to fit with the style of your brand/your brand voice.
They have to be universally understood. If you use emojis to convey full sentences or key points, you risk them being lost on the audience as interpretations vary.
What The Data Says
Instagram – Social media analytics provider Quintly believes that Instagram posts that contain emojis see between 15-48% more engagement.
Twitter – Online advertising agent Wordstream conducted a study that showed tweets with emojis had a 25% increase in engagement rates compared to those tweets without emojis.
Facebook – Social media management tool Sprout, experimented with paid advertising on Facebook. They ran adverts with and without emojis in them and found ads containing emojis accounted for 84% of the clicks overall. This also meant that they had a 400% lower cost per click than the ads without emojis.