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3 reasons brand managers should use emojis

Emojis are here to stay, and brand managers are moving to embrace the newest mobile mode of communication.

“Emojis are doing what the tone of voice did on the telephone and what gestures, tones and facial expressions did in interpersonal communication,” New York University journalism professor Mitchell Stephens told Digiday.

Brands including Chevy, Domino’s and Budweiser and JCPenney have used emojis in tweets, Facebook posts and even press releases. In May, 30 brands—including Peanuts, 1-800-Flowers, the Baltimore Ravens and Dark Horse Comics—introduced emoji keyboards to Apple App Store and Google Play through Swyft Media.

Still not sure what the big deal is behind emojis? Here are three reasons why you should consider using them:

1. You can better relate to young audience members.

Language is becoming shorter and more visual, especially if your audience demographics skew toward younger age groups.

Brands have turned to social media platforms such as Snapchat, Kik, Instagram and WhatsApp to interact with fans and increase brand loyalty, and emoticons can make those efforts more effective.

Janda Lukin, Oreo’s senior director over North America, told Digiday that it’s “important to speak the language of [your] fans.”

“So much meaning can be communicated with a single emoji,” Lukin said, “and we’ve been able to tap into that by using emojis to share our message of seeing the world with openness and curiosity.”

[RELATED: Boost followers, buzz and the bottom line.]

2. Offer something fun along with subtle branding.

Consumers will ignore many marketing messages, but organizations that give their audiences something of value—whether it’s a download, contest opportunity or the ability to order pizza via emoji —can draw both attention and favor from fans.

The Baltimore Ravens emoji keyboard was downloaded roughly 53,000 times the weekend it was released. It received about 901,000 interactions from fans using the team-centric emojis, including the team’s logo and an emoji cheering on the players—two of the most popular items from its set.

PR and marketing pros should make emoji use relevant through timely content users can relate to and should ask how consumers might receive the message.

Doing so can increase your content’s popularity. It can also help you avoid an emoji-related backlash, such as the one Clorox’s social media team had to manage.

3. Give your content a boost.

Data from eMarketer estimate that 4.55 billion people throughout the world used mobile phones in 2014 and that roughly 25 percent of those devices were smartphones.

By 2017, eMarketer predicts that 5.13 billion people will use mobile phones and that almost 50 percent of them will be smartphones.

With the increasing amount of content, along with an upward trend in the use of mobile devices, brand managers will have to be more savvy about gaining—and keeping—audience attention.

Using emojis within content can increase its popularity through fans’ sharing and interacting with it, but it can also create buzz that consumers and reporters notice. When Chevy issued a press release in all emojis—the first of its kind—the brand made headlines in a variety of publications.


Vivian Li

PR Manager

Tel: +86 010 8390 7451

Mobile: +86 13041030670