emojiGone are the days when brands would chase the millennial market for their insatiable appetite for digital media; today, the brands are shifting their attention towards Generation. This target audience was born after the turn of century, and communicates through text messages, especially emoji – a single image that convey emotions in elegantly simple ways, such as a smile, heart, hug or a wink. It is interesting to note that the primary reason why emoji has become popular is because of its informal nature and how it has helped numerous businesses connect with their consumers on social platforms.

Emoji tactics used by big players

In the recent times emojis have found their place and gained rapid popularity in social media marketing with companies using them liberally in their ad campaigns. World Wildlife Fund, the leading orgnisation working in wildlife conservation and protection of endangered species, was widely applauded for its #EndangeredEmoji campaign. It was a donation drive which made use of emojis to reach out to the younger tech savvy crowd. This campaign gained wild popularity and generated immense engagement among the target crowd. Last year Domino’s Pizza launched its Emoji Ordering Campaign which promised that one can order pizza, even if he or she is feeling too lazy, simply by texting a pizza emoji. This carefully planned strategy was an enormously successful campaign as emojis not only made the ad fun, but also served a purpose. However, there are a few factors that need to be considered before jumping on the emoji bandwagon.

Zooming the lens towards the past

The popularity of emojis dates to the era of old non-smart phones in the 2000s. Back then, text was the primary mode of electronic communication and emojis were popular in an attempt to bring an element of emotion in the otherwise dehumanized text conversation. With the advent of smartphones, there was a small slump in the use of emojis which was promptly improved with the advent of a wide range of new and more realistic emojis. With SnapChat and WhatsApp status features, emojis are a huge rage again. In fact, they have come a long way in the last two decades to become a popular tool used in social media marketing.

Demographic

You need to do a thorough study on the target audience of your social media marketing campaign. While it is true that the percentage of emoji users is incredibly high, it is also to be kept in mind that this is a trend primarily among a certain age group. Do a thorough study on the age group, sex, place, economic background, access to internet etc. to zero in on the focus group. Check if your target demographic is same as this group or at least has a huge chunk in common for the best results.

Brand Image

A marketing campaign can make or mar a brand image so you must be extremely careful with your use of emojis. They are seen as fun and flippant and hence, must be used with caution. If your brand has a serious image, you need to give it a lot of thought before using emojis in your campaign. It is true that an organisation like WWF did incorporate emojis and got immense success but that might not work out for everyone. Hence it is an innovative idea to consult your marketing team and work out a foolproof plan if you want to use emojis.

Use

The key to a successful social media emoji marketing is using your emojis right. Firstly, you have to take into consideration that emojis come out differently on different platforms and operating systems. Hence, for an unambiguous approach, you must be well acquainted with all the different versions of it. You also need to understand various cultural and otherwise implication of particular emojis to create a campaign which is not offensive. It is important to know what and how to use in your campaign else it might lead to disastrous effects.

Balance

Emojis give a fun and quirky twist to your marketing. They are creative, cool and have a huge appeal. But the biggest problem is that one too many will ruin the intended effect and hence it is important to find the right balance. As a thumb rule, emojis should not exceed the number of words. But there is no hard and fast rule yet.

Emojis are fun and interesting and when used rightly, can spell out enormous success for your brand.