Text speak, including emoji use, is most familiar to Generation Z, the generation loosely categorized as the one born after 2000. They’ve grown up in a digitally-connected world, using mobile technology from a young age, text messaging to communicate, and substituting words out for emojis to convey emotion.

The emoji is not just a fad.

To catch you up, emojis are…

Emojis are a graphic that can be incorporated into text, email, Twitter, Facebook, and other chat platforms. The pictures are somewhat of an emotional “shorthand,” conveying a feeling or emotion in a split second.

“The Shrug”

Emojis are different from emoticons in that they are actual graphics while emoticons are combinations of punctuation or keyboard characters, such as 🙂 😉 😮

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ “The shrug” in emoticon

The battle for customer attention is real

When it comes to marketing, your message has to overcome the other distractions your customers encounter every day on social media and elsewhere. Will the use of emojis in your digital marketing help you get noticed? Consider some of these statistics:

Also, when you’re limited to 140 characters in a post, emojis not only connect quickly to your audience on an emotional level, but they can help your message to be concise, and to eliminate extra words. And best yet, emojis can transcend language barriers, making them a universal language.

There’s always a however, though. This good read by Hootsuite reminds marketers about the dangers of using emojis poorly, including encrypting your message entirely in emojis, leaving a brain-busting puzzle for your audience to interpret, or using emojis to communicate a serious message. Because although the fun little pictures are widely used and well-liked, there’s a time to remain professional and serious.

Emojipedia — “the internet’s emoji almanac” — your comprehensive source for the meaning of every emoji that exists.

Tips for using emojis in marketing

Aside from the above what not to do with emojis,  here are a few things to consider when integrating emojis into your business message:

  • Know what they mean! Seriously, there are a lot of emojis out there, 845 supported on all platforms. Visit the internet’s “emoji almanac,” Emojipediato read up on them. Some of those vague emojis might alter the meaning of your message without you even realizing.
  • Test your emoji approach on a small focus group before you take it global. Of course if you’re updating your Twitter feed, you might use emojis on the fly, but if you’re building a campaign around a personalized emoji, run your ideas by a small group of customers first.
    Pair the emoji with the proper technology platform — stay up to date on what your audience is using, whether it’s snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms.
  • Be sure your marketing message connects on an emotional level. Research shows that 86% of  B2B buyers think that marketers are all selling basically the same stuff, whether it’s body butter, low-calorie drinks, financial services, or cars, advertisements are there to win your loyalty, and everyone wants it. You aren’t just up against competitors in your industry, you’re up against everyone else vying for your customer’s attention. Connect in a way that engages emotion and sets you apart.

Do you plan to launch an emoji-based marketing campaign?