How to Make Emojis Work for You

By Tom V on 18 April 2019

How many languages can you speak? It’s time to add Emoji to the list. The first language born from the digital age might not be as sophisticated as French or Italian, but it’s so much fun – and an essential means of electronic communication to boot.

Our little friend’s journey from millennial fad to world domination has seen them come a long way since first appearing on Japanese mobiles in the 90s. So much so that the world’s two billion+ smartphone users are obsessed with them, sending six billion every day. They’ve even spawned their own Hollywood movie franchise and landed up in the Oxford Dictionary – 😂 was the 2015 Word of the Year. Funny, right!

Social Media Engagement

Far from being confined to people who say things like “lmao smh tbh fam”, talking Emoji has become a vital tool in social media marketing. Just look at the stats for Instagram: use of emojis increases engagement by a whopping 48%. So, how can you make these tiny, emotive characters work for you? Here are some top tips to give you a head start:

Make sure it makes sense: the job of the emoji is to complement your message; to give it that extra coat of visual gloss. But they can only achieve this if they make sense. If they aren’t relevant to your content, you’ll leave the reader scratching their head and uninterested.

Be creative: did you know there are over 2,800 emojis to choose from? So, don’t just rely on the bog-standard heart and smiley to convey your message. Channel your inner millennial – or perhaps you are one – and think outside the box. The more creative you are, the more engaged your target audience will be.

Don’t talk Emoji for the sake of it: literary legend George Orwell came up with some pretty handy rules of writing, like: never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. This concept of not using a word for the sake of it should also apply to your use of emojis. Otherwise, these extensions of your message will feel forced.

Avoid emoji overload: using this unique type of visual slang should always be fun. So, avoid death by a thousand emojis. As a general rule of thumb, don’t use more than four for each post. You don’t want to distract from your message and confuse your audience.

Make sure you know what they mean: some emojis have taken on a life of their own, so do your research before you hit "Send". Take the humble peach emoji (🍑) for example; it’s used to reference more things than you might think: from posterior and fitness to fruit – the latter probably being the least common use. Fear not, a quick visit to Emojipedia could save a lot of embarrassment.

Now you’re fully equipped to talk fluent Emoji, it’s time to put your new skills to the test and wow your social media audience.

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