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Emoji Marketing: A Communication Panacea 

In today’s graphic-centric world where almost everyone is connected to a digital device, it is difficult to fathom a world devoid of emojis. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, it is a Japanese word for picture letter. These graphic representations have become a fundamental aspect of how we communicate with each other daily. There is a wide array of emojis to express every possible emotion, action, or event, you name it and I am certain there is an emoji to express it.

These tiny, cute expressions that we commonly exchange on messaging apps and emails are now more than ever immensely popular and some may argue that it is the way forward in terms of communication. According to Unicode, as many as 92% of the world’s internet population use emojis. Needless to say, words hardly suffice in the contemporary digital marketing space. The power of graphics cannot be denied and it would be remiss of any great marketer not to use this communication tool.  

The use of emojis can provide a myriad of benefits to marketers who are desirous of personalizing their brands. Emojis are an ingenious way to add that human touch to a brand’s communication with its target audience and they can even help to convert customers. Undoubtedly, building a personal connection with your customer base and using visual elements that will distinguish your brand from the rest are pivotal in today’s competitive business environment.

Many consider emojis universal symbols. Expressions of joy, sadness, anger, and even surprise are comparable in most cultures. Therefore, using emojis can help break the communication barriers experienced by some brands in their foreign markets. Small businesses looking to expand globally and even world famous brands like Coca-Cola would be able to standardize all visual communication, which would help reduce marketing costs and ultimately, increase a company’s financial bottom line.

Additionally, it is documented that the use of emojis can boost engagement on social media platforms. According to HubSpot: 25.4% of tweets with emojis get better engagement. 57% of Facebook posts get more likes while 33% get shares and comments if they include emojis in them. Instagram content with emojis sees an engagement increase of 48%. Greater engagement on various platforms has the potential to be beneficial for brands to build equity and for customer retention.

Finally, emojis can be used in marketing to communicate succinctly. An article published in The Hindu on March 20, 2021, argues that as technology increases, the human attention span decreases.  A study done claims that the attention span of a human has decreased from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. This information suggests that marketers need to be precise in their brand’s communication. Emojis can replace many of the characters used in messages and this can augur well for a brand to stand out and quickly capture the attention of its targeted audience.

However, some argue about the cons of using emojis. They contend that some emojis are not clear and can be misleading and they may not translate to all generations. The wrong message could be sent which may offend some people and dissuade them from interacting with a specific brand. Some believe the use of emojis is unprofessional and it may retard a brand’s equity, especially luxury brands. In addition, emojis are visual and they do not work well in communicating with persons who are visually impaired. That segment of the market would feel excluded from interacting with the brand and may opt for a brand that communicates in a manner pleasing to them. Despite the negatives associated with emoji marketing, it is firmly believed that the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. The data ratifies that the way forward for marketers is through the use of emojis in their brand’s communication. Emojis have revolutionized the way we communicate and without a doubt, it is an indispensable tool for brands to better communicate with their customers and gain greater visibility.

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