Emoji Marketing — Dos and Don’ts

You’ve probably seen them everywhere — small digital images of facial expressions and objects splashed across social media. They’re called emoji, and they’re everywhere. Since designer Shigetaka Kurita, known as the Father of Emoji, created them, their usage has spread worldwide. They even have a special day: World Emoji Day on July 17! What’s more, the Global Language Monitor named the heart emoji as the top word of 2014, and emoji have eclipsed Egyptian hieroglyphics as a visual language.

Watermoji     hearmoji

Emoji are here to stay. Ninety-two percent of the online population used emoji in 2015, especially millennials, for whom the quirky images have become a second language. They’re even used for marketing, like Pepsico’s “Say It With Pepsi” campaign, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and to order pizza, courtesy of Domino’s Easy Order text-emoji system.

Emoji can boost a brand’s engagement in a way that plain text can’t. While a perfectly placed emoji can make a status update, a poorly placed one can break a status update. Keep these tips in mind when incorporating emoji into your brand’s marketing.


  • Keep an emoji library handy for accuracy, easy access and quick posting.
  • Get to the point. Space is precious on social media platforms, so keep messages short and sweet!
  • Be genuine; show your brand’s human side. Your audience wants to feel understood.
  • Keep emojis purposeful and relevant to the conversation to boost interaction.
  • Use simple emojis when interacting with customers.
  • Use emoji to convey a lighthearted and humorous tone.
  • Keep in mind what is appropriate for your brand and audience.
  • Take advantage of emojis for real-time engagement.  


  • Try not to overuse emojis. More than five in one Tweet or Facebook post is usually overkill.
  • Don’t complicate things. Using emojis to spell out a code or sentence can be a turn-off.
  • Never use threatening or violent emojis.
  • Don’t force customers to use emoji to communicate with you.
  • Avoid mixed messages. Don’t use emoji in a way that could be misinterpreted.
  • Don’t use an emoji that doesn’t make sense for your target audience.
  • Don’t use emojis that may have a double meaning. Do your research!
  • Avoid using emojis for serious topics. It can seem  flippant and disconnected.
  • Don’t force it. Do what feels right for the message you’re trying to convey.

The takeaway

Emoji are the spice of digital life. Studies show that 63 percent of social media is made up of images, and our brains process visual data 60,000 times faster than text. Use emoji in your social media marketing to reach audiences in a fresh way, inspire emotion and join the conversation.


Need some inspiration? Click here to see what 7 top brands did with emoji marketing.

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