At TrekkSoft we love to use emojis when we talk to one another, especially in our conversations on Slack. However, when it comes to using it on our social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (yes, we’ve got an Instagram account too!), the lines are a little blurry.Here are a few facts about emojis for the less tech savvy:
- Emojis are more sophisticated depictions of emoticons, where once upon a time, punctuation marks were used to denote a facial expressions like :) or :(
- Research has shown that emojis or emoticons elicit responses akin to a real face. So reading :) or looking at a real person smiling triggers the same positive reactions.
- Research has also shown that there are 3 main functions of an emoticon, namely:
- to mark a statement as positive
- to mark a statement as funny or ironic
- to soften negative comments or uncomfortable interactions
When I decided to write this article, I began to notice how my colleagues used emojis and how others responded to them, which is the key to upping your emoji game - thinking about how others will respond to your emojis.
Here are a few questions to help you figure out if using emojis is right for your brand:
1. Who is your target audience?Are they mostly Gen X or Y? Or are they millennials?
- There seems to be an unspoken understanding amongst marketers that emojis are the new way to connect with millennials, and that folks of the older generation might find such interactions flippant.
- Whether or not this is true, it is always good to tread carefully when exploring uncharted territories, especially on social media.
2. What is your company’s brand about?Do you pride yourself on providing a professional and sophisticated experience or are you about delivering personal adventures?
- In 2014, the White House released a report on millennials and included emojis in an attempt to "connect" with the younger group. They later had to remove the emojis because millennials found it unprofessional and gimmicky. Think about whether emojis match what you want your brand to convey.
3. What is your message about?
- Are you sharing an important notice with your followers or responding to an enquiry on social media? An emoji might not be the best idea.
- If you’re posting up a picture to promote your tours, could the message be more effectively communicated with an emoji? This could work.
- Regardless of what it is, make sure to think twice before adding 😜 to your posts.
Now that I've gotten all the important pre-cautions out of the way, it's time for the really good stuff.
Here are 6 ways to up your company's emoji game!
1. Less is more
Emojis are often used to convey the non-verbal elements of a message, for example your reaction to how much you love pizza 🍕😍. It adds a tone that could otherwise be interpreted very differently by your reader.
In small quantities, emojis can very effectively convey a message with all it’s intended non-verbal cues. But having too many can confuse your followers or worse, make you seem like you’ve just discovered it and that is so not cool. 🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓
2. But more can also be a lot of fun
It’s a great way to get noticed, especially since people are quickly drawn to images and colour. Emojis can also help deliver a message more accurately within a 140 characters. Take this great example by the Barbican.
How else could you explain Hamlet in less than 140 characters? Be creative when using emojis. It could be a great way to draw some publicity to your brand.
3. Use the right hashtags
What’s the point in having great content on your social media platforms if they remain undiscovered by your target audience? Using appropriate hashtags can really help you gain more visibility, grow your audience and hopefully, help you grow your business. Read this article about using social media to grow your business.
Of course, having a great website with an even better online booking and payment system (like the one our developers dedicate their time and energy to create 😉) can also help your business.
4. Don’t be afraid to show your brand’s personality
Why do I say so?
Simply because they are quick to respond, incredibly witty, and most importantly, genuine. The best example of this was when Slack went down for a few hours in November 2015. Their social media team went on overdrive and responded to everyone within seconds, with impressive emoji use too.
This is a great example of how, when very carefully done, emojis can sometimes soften the blow when releasing negative statements and even make apologies seem a bit more sincere.
5. Encourage action and interaction from followers
Dominos recently launched a campaign that allowed followers to order a pizza by simply tweeting 🍕. The idea even won an award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity because of its potential to “impact a big advertiser’s business model”.
The idea was great because Dominos used an emoji to fully capture what the brand was about, both online and offline: that great pizza that can be delivered to your doorstep without any hassle.
6. Never use the eggplant emoji.
Are you interested in growing your business with an online booking and payment systems?
Written by Nicole Kow
Having graduated from the UK, Nicole travelled around Europe before joining TrekkSoft's marketing team. She is now based in KL and regularly blogs about her travels at Next Train Out.