‘Emoji’ was once described as the fastest growing language and it’s usage on social media and in marketing in general has certainly seen an increase over the past few years. But there a few things to consider before you start to throw a ? or ? into your brand’s social media updates. Be warned, this blog post is full of emojis, naturally.

Are Emojis Right for your Audience

The simple answer is yes.

Unlike what most people think, emojis aren’t just for millennials. Emogi, a real-time emotional intelligence platform that decodes sentiment, conducted a study at the end of 2015 into emoji usage.

They found 72% of people under 25, 76% of people between 25 and 29, 68% of people between 30 and 35 and 62% of people over 35 used emojis frequently and 92% of the online population use emojis at some point.

So simply put, your audience probably understands and appreciates emojis and it can be a great way to humanise your brand on social media.

Are Emojis Right for your Brand

If you’re an LA based juice bar then using ???? in your latest social media update is going to work quite well. Your brand is fun and chilled out.

However, if you’re a personal injury lawyer then emojis might trivialise a serious situation: “Been in a ? accident lately? Needed an ?? Make a claim! ???”

It’s not that difficult to work out where and when to use emojis. Generally speaking if you’re dealing with a fun, laid back business that doesn’t deal with emotional subjects then you can get away with using emojis.

Understanding Emojis ??

If you’re questioning why I’ve throw a peach and eggplant on the end of the subheading above then you’ve fallen for a trap set by the hip, cool kids.

What may appear to be an innocent peach actually represents a bum, that eggplant is in fact part of the male body and it doesn’t end there. You’ve got ? which could represent breasts. And don’t ignore the ? which hang just below the ?.

And no, ?, that is not a chocolate ice cream!

What I’m getting at here is when it comes to using emojis just be careful not to give anyone the opportunity to turn your marketing around on you.

Incredible Uses of Emojis by Brands

Some brands have taken emoji to a whole new level. These examples will only work in the rarest of occasions but they certainly need to be shared simply for their creativity:

Macmillan Cancer Support on World Emoji Day

This is by far my favourite use of emojis by a brand. Macmillan Cancer Support tweeted the following on World Emoji Day:

???????????????➡???????➡?????????☕???????????????1⃣0⃣0⃣???????????????⛳??????2⃣5⃣☕?????‍?‍?‍??

Believe it or not, but this long list of 70 emojis represents the full history of Macmillan. They even published a full explanation which you can check out here. Perhaps not the clearest use of emojis but certainly one of the most creative uses.

Taco Bello and the Taco Emoji Engine

This was a very clever marketing strategy employed by Taco Bell to increase engagement on their Twitter account. People could send @TacoBell a taco emoji followed by any other emoji to receive a tailored reply.

Over 800 retweets later and I think it’s safe to say it went down pretty well.

McDonald’s UK

Mcdonald’s are actually avid emoji users. Just take a look through their Twitter feed to see how frequently they throw emojis into their tweets and customer service replies.

This another great use of emojis, but encouraging social media followers to also use emojis in their response.

Do you currently use emojis in your social media marketing? If you are using them, how?