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Embrace the Emoji as a Viable Marketing Tool

Before I came to use an iPhone I was stuck using semicolons and parentheses to express my joy. The second I got that emoji keyboard, oh boy, did my texting game take off. Who doesn’t need to use an alien face in their everyday conversations? Or a wrench icon? These are surprisingly useful, people! (I jest, of course. I actually prefer the crying with laughter face and wine glass.)


Emojis have successfully infiltrated Earth; the little icons have integrated themselves into digital culture, especially among teens and young adults. The term emoji has been added to the dictionary, for pete’s sake. Every social network and messaging app supports them. And the UK’s fastest growing language in history is the emoji!

In all seriousness, there is something to be said for emoji use in a professional capacity. That’s right, emojis aren’t just for trying to outsmart your friends by making them decode song lyrics written out in only pictographs.

Emoji(s?) serve as a way to insert personality and bring a human element in branding messages. By using emotions to express emotions and thoughts, your brand can increase conversions and engagement.


How do you use emoji in a business context?

There are numerous tactics that have proven effective on various marketing channels – from social to email. Using emoji will personalize promotions, increase clarity, and convey emotions accurately.


Instagram: Use emoji in your company’s bio, in your call-to-actions, and when responding in the comments section on photos. Run a contest that is emoji-driven!

Snapchat: Slap a caption of only emoji on that behind-the-scenes snapshot. You can even stick emoji on moving objects in a video!

Twitter: Do you find yourself struggling to say everything you want to in 140 characters? Use emojis to be concise.

Facebook: In your status update, incorporating an emoji helps to set the tone and humanize your brand. Creating a richer response with emoji often results in more engagement.

Email: In something such as a business-related email, emoji can create a positive expectancy and actually won’t affect your brand’s credibility. Symbols in email subject lines have also been linked to higher open rates!


You might think that emojis are only useful if you want to target millenials but research has shown that people of all ages use them and, in fact, are used by 92% of the online population. Woman do use them more often then men. Clearly consumer’s prefer emoji so it’s a good idea to creatively capitalize on this and integrate the symbols into you brand’s communication.

It seems funny to call emoji a language, clearly they’re not words but emotions. They’re processed as a nonverbal information and there’s an interesting semantic similarity between English words and emoticons. Popular emojis such as the heart have meanings that are in-ins with popular Internet slang like xoxo.


NOT all audiences are ideal. That middle-aged B2B executive might not be impressed by your emoji-heavy press release.

Mix it up! Express positive, upbeat, happiness as well as more negative emotions periodically. Your audiences will appreciate seeing both sides of you and you brand.

Don’t overuse! Be judicial and use emoji naturally in your communications. If it doesn’t seem appropriate, simply don’t add an emoji just because someone has said it’s an easy win with the younger generation.

Use emoji purposefully. Leverage emoji to humanize your message and connect with audiences but do so appropriately (see above note :))


There are 1,851 emoji characters supported on current platforms but what do they all mean?? This Hubspot article from 2014 explains a few of the more confusing emoji.

Have you used emojis in your marketing campaigns? What are you favorite ones?

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