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9153762348_899ae178a3_mOxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year was the laughing-crying emoji. Like it or not, these expressive little images are here to stay. And as they’re one of your best social selling tools, that’s not a bad thing at all.

 

Social due diligence: Emojis aren’t just for kids

If you’re worried emojis might be too informal for communicating with your consumer base, you shouldn’t be. If anything, it looks weird if you don’t use them.

But it’s not just about using them – it’s about understanding what they represent. It’s easy enough to add a smiley face at the end of post to indicate humor, but the language of emojis is much more complex than that. Sometimes emojis are used simply to punctuate language, like this L’Oreal holiday tweet:

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Other times, emojis may replace words altogether. The way consumers use emojis also varies by native language. Even something simple like a heart emoji can have different meanings depending on the color of the icon.

Speaking emoji

These little “expressions of sentiment” are a crucial component of the social data equation. When words fail to capture how they feel (or would exceed the character count), social users rely on emojis to tell the story.

If you don’t “speak emoji” you’ll only get pieces of the conversation, and that could have you missing out on meaningful engagement with consumers ready to love your brand.

Luckily, our Slanguage Tracker understands over forty languages, including sarcasm, slang, and emojis.

Putting emojis to use in your messaging

Adding emojis to your messaging helps your brand more naturally participate in – and frame –  social conversation. This demonstrates how accessible you are as a brand. Domino’s Pizza shows us how it’s done here:

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Here’s why this tweet works:

  • It’s engaging, but not “salesy”
  • It shows a silly side to the brand – “Hey look, here’s a pizza made of pizza!”
  • It shows that Domino’s is in tune with social audiences and can speak their language

Emojis as a call to action

Emojis also make fantastic calls to action. Ask your fans to tweet with you using a certain – or better yet, custom – emoji. Toyota had some fun with this, repurposing popular emojis to stand in for the car brand’s model names for World Emoji Day last July:

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Promising a shout-out to social users who shared the emojis with the hashtag #WorldEmojiDay was a great way to engage consumers while participating in the day. Sometimes 15 minutes of social fame is all the inspiration consumers need to take action. And it couldn’t be easier.

Wrangling emojis comes down to understanding how your audiences talk amongst themselves and getting in on that conversation. It’s the difference between consumers “smh” (shaking my head) at your tweets or giving you the [hundred % emoji] (meaning you get it. But really need to get it.)

So the next time someone online laments emojis as the downfall of language, try not to “rme” (roll my eyes), but use it as an opportunity to educate them around the fantastic social selling opportunities emojis represent. With people saying LOL instead of laughing these days, it’s only a matter of time before they take over IRL (in real life), too!

Want to see our Slanguage Tracker in action? Reach out for a demo!

Image from Wicker Paradise

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