Emojis have emerged as a new language in digital media. The medium, once dominated by text, has moved more toward visual media, with emojis as the means of communicating tone and sentiment on messaging apps and social media among consumers.
This emoji communication creates actionable data for brands, including improving on-site customer service experiences in real time. According to Larry Kim, founder and CTO of online advertising agency WordStream, emojis also have applications for advertising on Twitter.
Kim conducted an experiment where he explored the impact of emojis on engagement. He used the Twitter ad platform to isolate the audience and A/B tested two ads: one with emojis and one without. The emoji version of the Tweet got 25.4 percent higher engagement than the non-emoji Tweet. What’s more, the Tweet with emojis had a lower cost per engagement, Kim said:
The cost to advertise on [Facebook or Twitter] is inversely related proportional to the engagement rate of the thing you’re looking to promote.
Based on his findings, Kim said brands should use emojis in every Tweet, paid advertisements or not. Here were some guidelines to consider:
- Learn the emoji characters. You can’t use emojis effectively if you don’t know what’s available to you. Kim recommended getting to know the emojis options and become fluent in the language.
- Make it relevant. Once you understand the language, you should have no problem selecting topically relevant emojis. The more relevant, the higher the engagement.
- Communicate like a real person. Brands can use emojis in much the same way as consumers, to communicate sentiment. This gives the brand’s online presence a more personable and human quality.
- Use emojis for response. Instead of just “liking” or “favoriting” a post on social media, respond with an emoji to communicate a specific emotion.
— Larry Kim (@larrykim) September 14, 2015