Using emojis to increase engagement, or: how an octopus will increase your click-through rate

In honour of World Emoji Day, we thought it was only fair to pay homage to this unique online language – and give you some tips and tricks on using emojis to increase engagement.

And as for the octopus 🐙 – read on to find out why you might want to try and come up with some fishy ideas for your social content!

Are emojis really that big a deal?

In a word: yes.

The emoji’s ancestors, emoticons, first came on the scene back in 1982 – but it’s the age of smartphones and social media that has really paved the way for the modern emoji.

From texts and social media posts to toys and other merchandise, in 2019 emojis are part of our daily life – there’s even a film about them – so it makes sense for brands to get involved.

And the stats on their use make for interesting reading. Research has shown that emojis can help boost memory – meaning your customers are more likely to remember your messaging if it features them. It’s also been reported that consumers have more positive opinions of businesses which use emojis – perceiving them to be friendlier and more competent.

Do emojis really increase engagement?

From the stats, it certainly seems that way.

How to use emojis the right way

Convinced of the effectiveness of emojis? Before you rush out to add them to every social post, there are a few golden rules to bear in mind. Just like your current social media strategy, your approach needs to be careful and considered to get the best results (and avoid turning off your audience).

Before you post, we recommend asking yourself four key questions:

Is it relevant?

While I was researching this blog I discovered that the top emoji for encouraging click-through is the octopus. As desperate as I am to test this for myself, shoehorning it into a tweet for our trampoline park client Jump Rush probably isn’t the best idea unless it launches an under the sea-themed session anytime soon.

Context is key for successful emoji use – so make sure the ones you’re using are relevant to your both your brand and your audience.

Is it appropriate?

Emojis aren’t appropriate for every message or even every brand.

Consider the content of your post – if it’s sensitive or serious it’s safest to give the emojis a miss.

It’s also a good idea to double check that the emoji you’re using doesn’t have any double meanings. You might already know the significance of the infamous aubergine, but there might be other, more nuanced, connotations to consider. For example, the lobster emoji has been adopted by #ClawsOutForTrans, a campaign lobbying for the introduction of a trans flag emoji.      

Does it make sense?

It might seem obvious but it’s crucial that your post makes sense.

Before hitting ‘schedule’, double check that your audience is going to understand the message you’re trying to convey.

Don’t make the mistake Chevy made when it issued a press release written entirely in emojis. Your emoji use should complement your messaging, not replace it all together.

Is it original?

Old favourites like Face With Tears of Joy and Smiling Face With Heart-Eyes have their place but for maximum effect originality is key.

Try identifying a few eye-catching emojis that fit with your brand and aren’t being used by lots of other businesses and avoid over-using the more popular ones.

And if you’re an aquarium or seafood restaurant then congratulations, the octopus is all yours!