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Emojis improve communication and engagement 🧐📈

Updated: May 4, 2022

Research has shown that a picture is really worth a thousand words 🎨

Studies have found a positive trend between emoji use and brand engagement. A team of US researchers created two Facebook adverts. One contained emojis and the other didn’t. Two groups of people either saw the advert with or without. No matter the age, gender, or native language of the groups, those who saw the emoji ad were much more likely to feel connected to the brand, and therefore engage with the post.

Brain analysis shows that emojis trigger automatic processes 🧠

  • Visual and cognitive processing

  • Emotional reactions

  • Facial recognition

Naturally, this captures our attention. As a result, emojis make content easier to understand and more memorable, whilst also creating positive associations towards the brand.

Using emojis in customer surveys has also been found to improve response rate, leading to more reliable and enriched data.

💭 Implications:

  • adding emojis to help centre articles

  • using emojis in CSAT surveys

But there are some things to bear in mind 🐻

  • The trend isn't exponential. More emojis doesn't equal more engagement all the time📈

  • Research has found that the benefits of emoji use come from the interplay between the emojis and text. Too many can lead to “Emoji fatigue” (yes, a real thing) 😴

  • So, make sure they’re relevant. Use emojis to add value - context, colour and fun 🎉

  • Don’t force it - emojis may not fit in with every brand

  • Don’t use them to replace words - some people might not understand what they mean!

Overall, emojis can make communication more effective and enhance the messages that we are sending out to customers in various ways 🙌

References 📚

We scrolled through a bunch of research papers to summarise these interesting findings. Ironically, none contained emojis. But here they are, if you fancy a read:

  1. Danesi, M. (2016). The semiotics of emoji: The rise of visual language in the age of the internet. Bloomsbury Publishing.

  2. McShane, L., Pancer, E., Poole, M., & Deng, Q. (2021). Emoji, playfulness, and brand engagement on twitter. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 53, 96-110.

  3. Yassin, A. K. (2020). Emojis as a new Visual Language in Advertising Creativity.

  4. Deng, Q. (2019). Three Essays on Understanding Consumer Engagement with Brand Posts on Social Media (Doctoral dissertation, Carleton University).

  5. Bacon, C., Barias, F. M., Dowling, Z., & Thomas, R. K. (2017). How Effective Are Emojis In Surveys Taken on Mobile Devices?. Journal of Advertising Research.

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