The Rise of the Emojis

Emojis were invented in Japan in 1999, but it’s only now they’ve become part of our everyday lives, with 72% of 18 – 25 year olds finding it easier to convey emotion using emojis rather than text. We’ve done a bit of research to discover how and why brands are using emojis.

Social Media

Brands have been using emojis, or even just plain-text smiley faces, in social posts for a long time now. They’re really useful for evoking a rainbow of feelings including humour, happiness, pride, sadness and even ‘swag.’ Take a look at Paddy Power’s comment under its own video of  Euro 2016:
Paddy Power
The comment alone received many likes and replies – demonstrating that Paddy Power engages its audience through the power of humour. The sunglasses emoji just adds that extra level of lolz.
Personally, we think emojis work extremely well for customer service. For example, if a customer complains on a company’s social media page, the company could reply with a helpful solution and an emoji.  That one little smiley face single-handedly provides awesome customer service and improves brand reputation. But it does all depend on your brand’s tone of voice in the first place…
Who could forget House of Fraser’s #EMOJINAL Twitter campaign? The century-old upscale brand decided to hijack emojis and photoshop them onto celebrities.  The company’s target age isn’t exactly the 18 – 25 year olds, so it may not have been the best choice. But the campaign went viral so it gave the brand plenty of coverage!

Emojis in emails

Have you noticed anything peculiar about the subject lines of some of the emails hitting your inbox lately? Almost as if it’s looking at you? Well it’s probably because email clients such as Outlook and the iPhone email app now support emojis in subject lines. According to research from Mailjet, British people are 63% more likely to open an email with an emoji lurking in the subject line.
Whether it’s because emojis are relatable or just very eye-catching, people seem to be enjoying them. The emojis that generate the highest open rates are the ‘tears of joy’ emoji at 41% and the ‘loudly crying’ emoji at 39%. But over the channel, our French neighbours aren’t all that impressed with email emojis…average open rates fell by 11%!

Laughing Emoji

” I can’t believe you just opened this email because of me.”

"Je ne suis pas impressionné!"

“Je ne suis pas impressionné!”

Emoji Targeting

Twitter has recently revealed a feature which allows advertisers to target users who tweet specific emojis. The targeting can be accessed through Twitter’s ad partners such as AdParlor and SocialCode. Neil Shah, Twitter’s Product Manager, revealed that 100 billion emojis have been tweeted in the last 2 years. The targeting will be used to connect with people who use food emojis and emojis based on their hobbies. We’re intrigued to see how it works out!

Page Titles & Domain Names

Climbing up the SERPs is still one of the top priorities for businesses worldwide, but increasing click-through rates (CTRs) are another story. Enter emojis. Companies started to use the little faces and symbols as part of page titles on desktop search engine results, however, Google put a stop to that last year as more and more people were adding emojis to their pages and the search results were starting to flood with domain names. Companies such as Expedia tested this out but found no real increase in CTRs.
Norwegian Air is famed for using a strange combination of emojis for its domain name to promote flights on a new route from Oslo to Las Vegas. The airline announced that about 1,600 people visited the site in one day to work out the mystery riddle. As it stands, the URL actually looked like this: www.xn— which, if the user worked it out correctly, should look like this:
It got a lot of attention on Instagram and made it into the press such as Ad Week, Business Insider and The Drum. So although 1,600 website visits isn’t much to shout about, the sheer reach of the domain name was incredible.

Impulse purchases

The introduction of Domino’s Pizza’s new ‘Easy Order’ button meant customers can order their favourite pizza in one tap on their phone. It’s only available in the USA at the moment but Easy Order customers can tweet the ???? emoji to @Dominos and a fresh pizza will be sent to their door straight away. While it’s great for marketers targeting those prone to impulse purchases, it might be too easy. Children might accidentally ’emoji a pizza’ on their parent’s phone and 40 minutes later there’s a knock on the door and an unexpected bill. We’re definitely keeping an eye on this one – it would be interesting to see if it makes it to the UK.

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Written by Shannon May