Monday morning in the Boutique office saw us revelling in emoji heaven when usually we’d be headfirst in a caffeine fix. I’m talking unicorns, turkeys, telescopes and even upside down smileys (but still no ‘fingers crossed’ – come on, Apple!) Nevertheless iOS 9.1 was blessed upon us over the weekend, bringing with it a whole host of colourful characters to keep us as far from the Queen’s English as possible.
2015 has truly been the host of the ’emoji boom’, with six billion emojis getting sent every day – we’re amidst a generation of sentence-hating, code-loving emoji fiends. Traditional linguists must be curling their toes, in fact Noam Chomsky himself told The Drum he had heard nothing of the emoji language, which only highlights it being a language lost on an older generation – and especially highlights the need for being selective when it comes to brands and their use of emojis (i.e. know your audience!). It doesn’t mean, however, that using emojis is a second-rate or ‘lazy’ form of communication. It simply spells out a development in the digital age, and quite frankly it’s fascinating to watch it progress.
Taking over the world, one brand at a time.
Aside from a bit of messaging fun, emojis are close to world domination (if only Pinky and the Brain knew!), having been adopted by big brands in strategic marketing campaigns. Dominos recently won awards for offering an express emoji pizza ordering service, and Coca-Cola became the first brand to get its own emoji as part of their #ShareaCoke Twitter campaign. And there’s no sign of ’emojification’ slowing down any time soon, with the rising need for brand loyalty, companies are constantly finding new ways to engage with and relate to their consumers on a different level – especially with generations Y and Z.
So why do we feel the need to communicate in this way? Psychologically speaking, people build relationships through the reciprocal act of sharing emotions. So, by sending each other a string of emotion-laden emojis, we’ve really just found a quicker, easier way of telling someone how we’re feeling and, at the same time, solidifying relationships and giving context to a conversation (much in the way gestures do for real life). In addition, the human brain responds positively to seeing faces, even more so when these faces are smiling (angry faces, not so much…). We are fundamentally wired to seek out faces in our environment, so with a continued stimulus throughout the day in the form of emojis, this is going to please our facial recognition centres to no end!
Don’t be a dad dancer…
But what about those brands that don’t appeal to the Millennials? Should they be using emojis to communicate with their audience? Such brands are at risk of being the mum that wears her daughter’s clothes, or the dad that thinks dad dancing is cool. Using emojis needs to feel like a natural extension of our expressions, not a forced use of advertising. Brands that can tap into this will be the most successful. Those that are marketing with emojis for the sake of the old bandwagon are going to devalue the sentiment and ruin it for everyone else, I mean, can you imagine a world without emojis?
Head over to The Drum to see how well you can really ‘read’ emoji… And in the meantime, translate this:
Share your emoji stories with us on twitter @WeAreBoutique and test our emoji-reading skills!
Twitter is the ‘big dog’ within the constantly evolving social media world, and these days you can search for almost any celeb or business and find their Twitter account. Whether it be breaking news, opinions on a TV show or social competitions, Twitter is the first point of call for many consumers- so it’s incredibly important for brands to stay active and ‘ahead of the game’.
In saying that, tweets about ‘niche’ products or services will, understandably, require more thought and ‘thinking-outside-of-the-box’. No one likes sales tweet, after sales tweet, after sale – you get where I’m going with this.
So I’ve decided to compile a list of brands that, I think, are killing it on Twitter.
Who said toilet roll was boring? With a following of 67k and engagement on every tweet, Charmin take toilet roll to another level.
The likes of leeks, sausages and other groceries could prove difficult to tweet about- but Tesco goes about this problem perfectly.
Who said aeroplanes don’t have a sense of humour?
This American sandwich chain knows how to throw humour into their posts while also spreading brand and product awareness.
1) Taco Bell
And finally, my winner. With 1.57m followers you know these guys are doing something right. Oh and their followers have become so loyal over the years, a three word tweet can rake up 4.3k favourites. The screenshots say it all…
At Boutique we strongly believe a little humour gets you a long way. Where it’s possible to instil this into social, it goes along way to people engaging with your brand. The above examples all portray how important social engagement is to a business, whether it be loo roll or tacos!
If you want media advice, we’ve an office full of comms champions bursting with ideas. Drop in for a cuppa and we’ll happily share our thoughts!