Although emojis originated from computer programs and then were later used on smartphones and tablets, they fit in so naturally on social media that they feel destined to be there.
As we’ve tried to prove with this series, marketers do not have to shy away from the use of emojis, especially when making social media posts.
No matter which social media platform you favor the most, it should support the use of emojis.
In this guide, we’ll share our top tips for using emojis in social media marketing to delight your target audience.
Emojis in Social Media Marketing: Some Useful Tips
Let’s look at seven fantastic tips to help you add a personal, human touch to your social posts using emojis.
There’s no particular order, so feel free to read as you see fit!
1. Know What the Emojis Mean
Nothing proves that you’re out of touch more than misusing an emoji in your social media marketing campaign.
We’ve recently decoded some of the most mystifying emojis in a post on the blog. You should definitely check that out if you’re still left scratching your head about what some emojis mean.
Keep in mind that perception can trump the true definition of an emoji.
Take, for example, the shooting star emoji. It’s technically supposed to represent being dizzy, but you can’t tell by looking at it alone.
Everyone uses it as a shooting star, so you should do the same. Otherwise, to the vast majority of your target audience, it will look like you’re misusing the emoji.
2. Use Emojis to Convey Emotion
Emoji usage can increase the credibility of a message and the likability of the person posting the message, which is something we’ve talked about in our emoji series.
The reason that emojis are so powerful is due to their ability to convey emotion in a way that your target audience connects with.
ZoomInfo states that more than 90% of the population uses emojis every day.
They know most emojis like the backs of their hand and feel strongly when they see them.
Use this emotional leverage to your advantage but don’t abuse the privilege.
3. Use Emojis in Place of Words Only When the Meaning is Crystal Clear
If you used a red emoji heart (or an emoji heart that’s any color you wish, really) instead of the word “love,” anyone reading your social media message is going to immediately understand what you mean.
Your social media posts can even use the happy smiley in lieu of the word happy or the crying smiley instead of the word sad.
Once you replace several words with emojis or use a group of emojis to replace one word, that’s when your meaning gets lost.
This isn’t Pictionary. You want to keep your messages short, sweet, and easy to understand. That’s how you use emojis to build a social media strategy.
4. Always Think of Your Brand
Wouldn’t it be funny if you posted the poop emoji in your latest post as part of your social media marketing campaign? It really would elicit some chuckles, you think.
Yes, but is your brand funny? Is using the poop emoji too crass for your brand messaging?
The answer will vary depending on the type of business you run. If you’ve long since established that you’re a lighter-hearted brand that doesn’t seem to take anything too seriously, then sure, you can have fun with the amusing emojis.
For brands that try to portray a mysterious aura or are more serious, then you have to use emojis that fit your brand.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is sacrificing your brand messaging to make an emoji work just because it’s trendy or someone in the marketing department thinks that emoji is a must-use.
You wouldn’t send an email to a customer that’s off-brand or use colors on your website that deviate from your brand. Don’t let emojis in social media marketing be your Achilles’ heel!
5. End the Post with an Emoji, Don’t Start With It
Although emojis have become a part of our everyday lives, some people love them more than others.
If you must use emojis, then add them to the end of your social media post as a nice little bookend.
This way, your readers can see your information front and center and then your accompanying emoji after.
6. Don’t Use Emojis in Every Post
Even if your audience responds well to your use of emojis on social media, that doesn’t mean there’s any need to go crazy.
Not every post requires an emoji. It’s that simple.
If you can think of an emoji that’s the perfect complement to a post, then fine, that’s one thing. Once you begin shoehorning emojis into your social media content just for the heck of it, that’s when you have a problem.
7. Skip the Emojis for Serious Subject Matter
Using emojis when talking about company security, recent layoffs or firings, a reduction in earnings over the last quarter, or a recalled product is never appropriate.
It’s like wearing colors to a funeral. It’s a bad look, and everyone will wonder why you’re trying to downplay a serious and upsetting event with something as lighthearted as emojis.
8. No Threatening-Looking Emojis Ever
We talked earlier about how crass emojis such as the poop emoji rarely slot into most social media marketing campaigns successfully.
There are some emojis that you will want to keep strictly off-limits because they can be perceived as threatening.
They include the knife, the bomb, the gun, and the stick of dynamite.
The pill and the syringe could be okay, depending on the context.
For example, if you’re a medical company, then you’ll probably use those types of emojis all the time.
That said, if you’re a clothing retailer, then even innocuous emojis like the pill or syringe could be interpreted as threatening.
Emojis in social media marketing are a great way to connect emotionally with your audience, make your posts stand out, and express some personality.
Above all else, remember these three takeaways: never compromise your brand image for an emoji; only use emojis in appropriate situations, and don’t force emojis into every social media post.