You’ve probably already seen them when texting with friends or on one of your favorite social media sites. Emojis are small images depicting anything from a thumbs up to a steaming cup of coffee. Originally born on mobile, you can communicate with them on any platform: iOS, Android and now even your desktop keyboard. Here are five signs that emojis are something worth considering in your social media and communications strategy.
Emojis and Social Media. Emojis seemed to have their birth in instant messaging and one-to-one communication like text messaging. But emoji functionality is being reborn specifically for use on the most popular social media platforms. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram already allow the use of emojis and we are seeing widespread adoption, especially by younger users.
WordPress. Just last month, WordPress launched an update that allows you to use emojis throughout your blog or site (insert clapping hands emoji here). WordPress is one of the most widely used content management systems today and powers over 74 million sites and blogs. With its new ability to display emojis, you may start seeing them used more often in lieu of text on some of your favorite sites.
Instagram and Emoji Hashtags. Instagram has allowed the use emojis for a very long time, but in late April they announced something a little more revolutionary – emoji hashtags. Brands should take note because this adds a whole new layer to your hashtag strategy and what you use to get discovered by your target audience.
Emoji Analytics. With the rise in emoji use, it’s only natural someone would come out with trend data. Instagram is using its own data to notice trends, while the Wall Street Journal is jumping on the bandwagon with “what you probably didn’t know about emojis” including a by the numbers section. And tools like Emoji Tracker give you the shorthand definition of emojis and keep track of their frequency of use.
Emojis and The Downfall of Internet Slang. We already talked about analytics, and Instagram is pumping out some interesting data. It actually uncovered something quite interesting: “emoji usage is shifting the people’s vocabulary on Instagram and becoming an important means of expression: their use is anti-correlated with internet slang like ‘lol’ and ‘xoxo.'”
Before you start communicating only in emojis (there’s a social media site for that), know it’s not a ‘must’ just yet but do take note, the visual communication style won’t be disappearing anytime soon. If appropriate for your audience, it might be time to start using it periodically throughout your social media accounts.