Updated: Feb 20
It has been just twenty years since the first emoji was introduced into our vocabulary. Japanese artist Shigetaka Kurita is credited with creating the first emojis, as part of the development of an interface for an early mobile internet platform by cell-phone carrier DOCOMO. The word emoji itself originates from Japanese, combining the words for “picture” and “character”. Since their inception in 1999, emojis have been widely adopted across various social platforms for their ability to convey what words cannot.
In fact, 95% of internet users have used emojis at some point in their life. Many brands have begun to realize an appreciation for emojis as they’re humanizing - giving a brand personality. On top of this, emojis have been shown to massively increase engagement. For example, including emojis in posts has shown to increase Facebook likes by up to 57% and Twitter engagement up to 25.4%. With so many emojis to choose from (3,019 in the Unicode Standard to be exact!), though, it’s easy to get stuck when deciding which are the right ones to use for your messaging. For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten emojis to use in marketing.
But before we get into the list, let’s take a look at…
Some pro tips:
It’s best to leave emojis in the subject line. Many email publishers were created when words were enough. Due to the way Mailchimp’s HTML code is set up, it doesn’t always properly support emojis in the body of text. Take a close look at your email publisher when considering the emoji-load you plan to employ.
Emojis do not render universally. In order to prevent miscommunications in your copy, avoid replacing actual words with emojis. Instead, opt to use them as accessories to your messaging.
Don’t overload on emojis. You’ve likely seen instances online where too many emojis result in an overwhelming eyesore. It’s better to be selective with what you choose to use.
Make sure you understand the context. Some emojis are relatively ambiguous in their meaning. For example the sign of horns emoji (🤘), often associated with rock culture in North America, is actually an offensive gesture in some Mediterranean and Latin cultures.
World’sTop-Ten Marketing Emojis.
1. 🔥 FIRE!!
The flame emoji is a great way to emphasize that something is hot or trending. It also works well when paired with slang, as in when people state that something is “flames” or “lit”. One of the top emojis on Emojipedia in 2018, it is also great for expressing warmth in a literal sense, such as when describing a product that will keep you warm in chillier months.
Example: “We’re loving these neon sneakers from our new collection 🔥. What do you guys think?”
2. 🚨 I think they have these things on the top of hockey nets
While often described as a police siren light, flashing light emoji can be used to capture users’ attention (without needing to break any laws!). You might consider using this bold, red emoji when making a big announcement.
Example: “🚨Our biggest sale of the year is on right now! 🚨 No better time to grab things at 40% off!”
3. 🙌 If this emoji made a noise it would sound like a church choir
The raised hands emoji typically denotes success, approval or appreciation. It can be useful for showing that you appreciate something, whether it be a comment from a follower or a new product your company is launching.
Example: “Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us @sarah! It means a lot 🙌”
4. 💥 A firework?¿?
With its bright colors and jagged edges, the explosion emoji aka the collision emoji, is perfect for showing that an exciting event is happening (ex. a sale), or to reveal a surprise.
Example: 💥💥💥Come check out our pop-up this week! We’ve got a giveaway for the first 100 people that show up.”
5. 🚀 Oh the rocket ship
An emoji that was available in the first IOS version in 2008, the rocket emoji has the ability to emphasize that a new product or campaign is about to launch or has launched. This emoji is also great for expressing excitement (ie you’re ready to go).
Example: “We just launched 🚀our initial crowdfunding campaign. Check it out!”
6. ⏰ No one under 25 has ever seen one of these in real life
The clock emoji can be used as a reminder that a campaign/sale is about to end, or that a product is almost out of stock. A version of this existed as part of Kurita’s 176 original emojis.
Example: “Time is running out to get your limited edition eyeshadow palette ⏰! Grab one now before they’re gone.”
7. 🙀 Be better than the cat.
The shocked cat face emoji can be used to indicate surprise, shock or awe. Try using it when you’re dropping a big announcement, like a sale, or new product/service.
Example: “🙀We’re moving! That’s right, we’ve got a new, bigger and better location at Westerfield mall. Hope to see you there!”
8. 🎉 A party popper!
The party popper emoji is commonly used in relation to a celebration. It may be useful when discussing a milestone or big event. More specifically, it can be used to express excitement for a particular holiday.
Example: 🎉We just turned 10. Happy birthday to us! We’re celebrating by giving all new members a 10% discount!”
9. 😍 This is what I send my girlfriend when I don’t feel like telling her I don’t care what color her nails are
Whether it be to show a great appreciation for a user promoting your products, or as a way to show your excitement for an upcoming event, the heart eyes emoji has many uses. One of the top 20 emojis on Twitter, this emoji is popular with apparel, payment card, fast food, and alcohol brands according to Brandwatch.com.
Example: “ 😍😍😍We love seeing people use our products. Share a picture with us for a chance to be featured on our page!”
10. 👇 *Boop*
A great tool for increasing engagement, the hand pointing down can be used to indicate that you want users to watch a video, click a link or comment below a post. This emoji is also great to include in calls-to-action.
Example: “Want to learn how to get the most out of our product? Take a look the video below to find out! 👇”
As you can see from the list above, there are a multitude of ways to include emojis in your messaging. The colorful images break up bodies of text and make what you’re saying more visually appealing. Whether it be at the beginning, middle, end of a sentence or including multiple in a row, emojis can add some extra flair. Of course, it goes without being said that the above emojis are not a comprehensive list of all the possibilities you can use to enhance your content and copy.
While the emojis listed provide some great options for communicating with your audience, it’s important to experiment with what works best for your brand’s voice and the context of the writing. It’s also important to keep in mind that emojis show up differently on different platforms (ex. IOS vs Android vs Facebook vs Twitter all show different versions). Be sure to make sure that the message you’re trying to convey still translates properly across different platforms.
If you get it right - by using emojis that suit your brand and the message you are trying to convey - you could see fantastic payoffs for your engagement. Now that’s something to get excited about. 👏🥂🎉