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Three reasons why…emojis are important

I bet you didn’t know that the first emoji was created back in the 90’s and that the ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji was the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015. This emoji beat ‘Brexit’ and ‘sharing economy’ to the top spot, but why are emojis SO important?

Wait! Before you think this isn’t relevant for corporate communications we have some emoji facts for you. We could talk about emoji’s until the cows come home but the top facts are; emojis can save marketers time, add personality to social media plans and speak to new audiences. These are the emoji facts but I hope the following three reasons explain these in more detail.

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1.) An emoji is worth 1,000 words

Can’t express in writing how you feel or what you’re doing? Struggling with the Twitter character limit? Try using an emoji. I think you know where I am going with this. Emojis can save you important characters on social media. However, more importantly, they allow us to talk to our audiences with emotion and we can be more visual with our actions. The rise of emojis, whether it is use to substitute words or the latest Twitter branded hashtags, has taken social media platforms from communities that simply allow freedom of speech, to communities that react and feel emotion. This shift towards a more behavioural social media platforms was also highlighted when Facebook changed its like button to include six different emotions. This change was to allow users to be more expressive and reactive to Facebook updates

2.) It’s an international language

Brands can now speak to everyone around the world via emojis! Which isn’t just fun, it’s convenient. Like others, languages aren’t my forte but emojis allow us to find common ground and help us communicate. We all know what a pizza slice looks like or even a martini glass, brands can use this to their advantage and speak the language of emoji. WWF is a great example of a brand that has done exactly this and in two months has sparked 559,000 social mentions and 59,000 website signups.

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Whole Foods also thinks it has the answer to utilising the emoji language with its new chatbot for Facebook Messenger. Whole Foods lets you incorporate emojis into your quest to discover new recipes. All you have to do to interact with the AI is to seek out Whole Foods on Facebook and begin a Messenger conversation, or search for the company on Messenger itself. The bot initiates the chat by explaining that it can “help you find some delicious recipes”. You don’t need to resort to using text, instead you can use an emoji to represent what you want to cook and in response you will receive a recipe. This innovative use of emojis is a fantastic example of bringing together social media updates and emojis to engage your audiences.

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3.) We can reach millennials

Emojis aren’t just an international language; they are the language of millennials. At Lansons we’ve seen a recent increase in clients wanting to reach millennials and sometimes you’ve got to think outside the ‘communitions’ box and move your focus towards personalised communications. However, we as marketers must learn to walk before we begin to fly the millennial flag. Emojis mixed with strategic thinking and precise corporate messaging might be the missing secret ingredient to communicating with a younger audience.

For me social media is a continual learning experience, one of the best ways of learning is taking a step back and looking at a mixture of brands and what they are doing. Above we’ve highlighted the success of WWF and Whole Foods but we also know that the FT also uses emojis in its every daily news alert WhatsApp message to reach and engage with new audiences. If the FT uses them I don’t see why you can’t.

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If you’re a big fan of an emoji, or two (or even three) then you can celebrate and follow World Emoji Day this Sunday, 17th July, #WorldEmojiDay.

Follow #3ReasonsWhy and the Lansons Twitter feed, @LansonsLatest, for regular updates from the Lansons digital team