Getting someone’s attention in our content-saturated world is challenging. Getting someone to actually click on one of your social media posts is even harder.
That’s why visuals are so important. While beautifully created graphics are great, another kind of image—the emoji—can be just as effective in certain settings. Of course, emojis may not be appropriate to include in every major communication, but they are often a useful form of shorthand for quick updates.
The bright folks of our #SproutChat community shared their thoughts on how these tiny popular graphics can have a big impact in engaging different audiences. Below are their suggestions.
Show Some Personality
Emojis have become their own sort of language. They began as a fun addition to a text message, but they can now be used to replace actual words and phrases, conveying an entire range of emotions. Frequent emoji users have set a standard for what each character means. Brands should test which ones resonate with their audiences while closely monitoring which emojis don’t get the intended reaction. Still, for the most part, emojis are a great way to foster a more personal connection.
— Lydia Nicoll (@LydiaNicoll) November 18, 2015
— Michael Mckelvey (@mckelvey92) November 18, 2015
A1 Emotional connection is key to a brand. Emoji’s can help — or hurt (by being dumb or overused.) #sproutchat
— John Zebell (@JohnnyZ1959) November 18, 2015
A1: Rather than saying “high five” or “fist bump” you can use the emoji. For sports you can use ? for a player who’s doing well. #SproutChat
— Zach Solomon-Beloin (@ZachSB) November 18, 2015
— Morgan Wright (@morgganwright) November 18, 2015
— Sherrie Rohde (@sherrierohde) November 18, 2015
Learn the Language
The list of emojis keeps growing, opening up the opportunity for brands to be more creative. While most may use emojis playfully, they can also be used seriously. What’s more, combining several emojis in one post can take on an entirely new meaning. Look into what emojis your community is already using to guide your brand’s overall approach and tone.
A3: Don’t think there’s any single emotion… that’s why there are so MANY FREAKIN EMOJIs! #sproutchat
— Andrew Wasyluk (@socialeyze) November 18, 2015
A3: For me they only work with humorous/light situations. Sounds weird but sad emojis feel so much more personal #sproutchat
— Tate Dimech (@tatedimech) November 18, 2015
A3 I think in terms of marketing, positive emojis are the best to use ? #Sproutchat
— Erik Maag (@Erik_Maag) November 18, 2015
Don’t Force It
While emojis can resonate with a range of audiences, some people may find them off putting. Remember: Emojis aren’t just for a younger audience, but they do tend to resonate better with millennials and Gen X. That said, there are certain situations where an emoji just isn’t acceptable at all.
If my doctor starting sending me emojis on my reminders for appointments I may think twice about him, but my dogwalker? Sure #sproutchat
— Chris Desadoy (@EliteYouTubePro) November 18, 2015
A4. Not any industry. Your audience has to be emoji savvy/emoji ready. I.e. don’t use them to target seniors. #sproutchat
— Reva Minkoff (@revaminkoff) November 18, 2015
— LexBeresfordJurowscy (@lexberju) November 18, 2015
Embrace the Emoji
Let’s face it, emojis aren’t going anywhere. They have become accepted as a normal part of everyday communication. Seeing that the language has also evolved to incorporate different skin colors, as well as various foods and sports from a wider range of cultures, we predict that brands will start using emojis with even greater frequency.
A6. Branded Emojis are the future of messaging marketing. Might even be a big factor in SEO very soon! #sproutchat
— Pratik Mohapatra (@mohapatrapratik) November 18, 2015
— Amanda Nelson (@MandaVision) November 18, 2015
A6: It looks bright. I think more & more brands will stop to adopt them as they become more accepted among the lexicon ? #SproutChat
— Aaron Lumnah (@aaronlumnah) November 18, 2015
A6 I’m betting little video emojis, like bursting stars, fluttering hearts. Also a central standardized system to register. #Sproutchat
— Terry Lo (@calgarydreamer) November 18, 2015
— Ayesha Ambreen (@AyeshaAmbreen) November 18, 2015
Thanks for Your Support!
With Thanksgiving just around the corner in the US, we have a lot to be grateful for this year—including our awesome #SproutChat community. On that note, we’re also thrilled to share that Social Media Examiner recently included us in its roundup of the best Twitter chats for marketers, thanks to the feedback from people like you.
Of course, if you’re new to #SproutChat, don’t be shy; feel free to stop by every Wednesday at 2 p.m. CST, and/or tune into our Facebook community for weekly discussion topics. We’ll see you next time, as we discuss supplementing data and analytics to prove the impact of social media today.
Sarah Nagel: Sarah Nagel is the Senior Manager, Brand Advocacy & Community at Sprout Social. She heads community building initiatives as well as Sprout’s advocacy program, Sprout All Stars. Sarah is a champion for empowering passionate and enthusiastic customers and believes in the huge impact an engaged community can have on an organization’s bottom line. Outside of work, she loves taking on home renovation projects, spending time with her husband and two rescue dogs and making the best guacamole you’ve ever had.