Know your emojis

Life as we know it today forces us to be surrounded by screens and technology. Many of us cannot go a few minutes without looking at some sort of screen, whether that be a TV, laptop/desktop, tablet or mobile. When using our screens, it is more common than not nowadays, to see an emoji or two – they communicate sentiments and feelings that words sometimes cannot.

Emojis first entered the digital world in 2008 but didn’t rise to popularity until around 2012 when Apple released iOS 6, which included some of the most frequently used emojis. However, before the yellow animated faces we see on a daily basis arrived into our lives, we were using colons and brackets to create faces within text messages and personal emails, but not very often.

With the rise in popularity and user rates increasing, emoji designs have evolved to replicate trends and life experiences over the years, and now it is hard to go a day without spotting an emoji somewhere, but is there a danger of overusing emojis? In our opinion, yes.

When it comes to businesses on social media platforms, some brands overuse emojis as if they were going out of fashion, whereas others have tapped into the niche of when and what to use to suit their brand.

Using emojis and what types to use, depends on a few factors.

  1. Do the emojis link to your brand?
  2. Do the emojis suit the platform you’re going to post on?
  3. Will the use of emojis connect with your target audience?
  4. How many emojis is too many?

Do the emojis link to your brand?

If your chosen emoji(s) matches your brand’s tone of voice, the message you want to put out there and who you are, then yes. For example, a clothing brand posting on Instagram about a dress that has come back into stock, the best emoji to use would be a dress emoji (👗). However, if they were to post 🌸 🌼 🌻, this wouldn’t match the caption or message the brand wanted to put out to their audience.

Do the emojis suit the platform you’re going to post on?

This is something that many companies get wrong. Not all social media platforms suit the uses of emojis as they have different followings, audiences and tone of voices. For example, Instagram is completely different to those on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is more of a formal and professional platform, whereas Instagram is informal. Some of the content you want to post on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and sometimes Twitter, will be tailored towards your audience, whereas on your LinkedIn profile, you are often connected with work colleagues, associates or professionals you admire within the industry so content must remain balanced and informative; No abbreviations, slang and please do even limit exclamation marks.

Will the use of emojis connect with your target audience?

Every business and brand is different, with a range of target audiences. If you have a young customer base, then emojis may be part of the winning combination for your social posts. Whereas, if your audience is of the older generation, emojis might not be the right tool to use, however we would never write them off completely.  Our suggestion would encourage you where applicable, to use a heart or a star, nothing too complicated or overthought.

How many emojis is too many?

This is something many companies get wrong and there have been occasions where we’ve seen emojis being overused in social media posts. We would advise using up to three emojis per post, but make sure they are relevant to the content and the platform you are posting to as well as your target audience.

Our final tip for anyone wanting to know the right way to use emojis within their social media platforms, is to pick a small selection of what emojis complement your brand’s tone of voice and stick with them. That way you’re providing consistency and associating said emoji with your brand which is great for brand awareness.