How to Use the Redesigned iOS Emojis to Engage With Women

Brands looking to connect with women would be wise to consider including emojis.

Sometimes words just aren’t enough–thank goodness for iOS emojis.

It’s hard to imagine communicating without the aid of these colorful little icons that so effortlessly convey tone and inject a little whimsy into everyday conversations. It’s no surprise, then, that nearly 37 percent of adults use emojis regularly.

Although emojis are normally relegated to text messages and other informal modes of communication, brands would be mistaken to ignore their potential for capturing consumers’ attention–particularly in the social media sphere.

A strategic tool for connecting with women

Brands looking to connect with women would be wise to consider including emojis. When it comes to reaching women, there’s plenty of room for improvement: Nearly 70 percent reportedly feel misunderstood by marketers.

Women increasingly demand that brands accurately represent and relate to the daily complexities and challenges they face. Job parity, domestic violence, motherhood and biases are a few of the many areas brands must recognize and spotlight.

In an effort to connect with and relate to female audiences, Apple’s iOS 10 update includes more inclusive emojis. The expanded options include women weight lifters, bikers, police officers, doctors and more–all activities previously illustrated only by males.

With nearly 1 billion of an estimated 6 billion emojis sent daily by young girls, the update is a welcome change in what many consider the “Fourth Wave of Feminism.”

4 ways marketers can use emojis in their social posts

Emojis offer a compelling method for reaching and engaging with women. Overall, those aged 14 and older think positively of brands using emojis, with women especially finding the tactic fun and relatable.

And the case for using emojis in social posts is even stronger. Including emojis in tweets has been shown to increase engagement by more than 25 percent. Similarly, including emojis in Facebook posts has been shown to boost likes by 57 percent, as well as comments and shares by just over 30 percent.

Before launching an emoji-centric campaign, consider these four simple strategies:

  1. Appreciate your customer: Using an emoji to connect with consumers on social media platforms adds personality to the conversation, makes your brand seem more relatable and increases your chances of engaging with audiences. Don’t be afraid to attach an emoji on Twitter in a reply message, but make sure you use it correctly. Steer clear of that eggplant emoji unless you know exactly what you’re doing.
  2. Add some excitement: Emojis can add an element of excitement to your messaging. Spotify used the medium to brilliant effect when The Beatles catalog was released on music streaming services–it gave people who used the #BeatlesSpotify hashtag an Abbey Road cover emoji. The company saw incredible interaction, resulting in four times as many Twitter posts as the less compelling #Beatles.
  3. Emphasize your call to action: Think beyond adding excitement and promoting engagement: Emojis can also be used to draw attention to your CTA. This is a unique way to get consumers to take the next step. The World Wildlife Fund flexed this tactic when it encouraged Twitter users to donate 10 cents for every tweet featuring an endangered animal emoji.
  4. Make it playful: Consumers are all too used to being bombarded with promotions, but a strategic use of emojis can give consumers extra enticement. Use the many options to your advantage, including nature emojis to reflect seasonal trends. Bud Light tweeted out a festive American flag built entirely out of emojis to commemorate Independence Day a few years ago, and it was retweeted nearly 150,000 times.

Emojis may seem fun and silly on the surface, but they can pack a big marketing punch, helping brands seem more relatable and text-centric marketing materials appear fun and vibrant. When deployed strategically, they’re a powerful shorthand for connecting with diverse audiences.

Sarah Clark is the president of Mitchell, an award-winning public relations firm that creates real conversations between people, businesses and brands.

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