Insights for Destination & Leisure Marketers

The Emoji Craze: How to Use Them for Social Media Marketing

September 5 | Posted by: | Marketing Strategy, Social Media

emojis in social media marketing

Emoji. Whether you love them or hate them, you probably come across them at least once a day. It might be in a text, on social media, or in the form of those scary-looking plush pillows your kids beg you to buy.

Several brands, like Starbucks and Goldman Sachs, have been using them to raise brand awareness, show their fun side, and even drive charitable donations. Still, many brands are wary of incorporating emoji into their social media strategy. Probably because they seem somewhat unprofessional. But with 92% of the online population using them, it’s worth taking a look at some emoji campaigns that have run on social media to see what might work for your brand.

WWF. Using Emoji to Raise Awareness of a Cause.

emojis in social media marketing

The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) created a great campaign to save 17 wild animals from extinction. After creating an emoji for each of the 17 endangered animals, the WWF captivated animal lovers of all kinds. To join the month-long campaign, all users had to do was retweet the WWF’s image (above). which would then allow the company to keep track of how many endangered emoji each user tweeted. Each emoji counted as an 11-cent donation. At the end of the campaign, WWF sent each user their suggested total donation based on of how many emoji they tweeted. The overall goal was to take a typically serious topic and make it more lighthearted, thereby appealing to a younger audience. The campaign resonated with Twitter users and made it easy for them to donate.

Starbucks. Inventing Their Very Own Emoji Keyboard.

starbucks emojis in social media marketing

Back in 2016, Starbucks invented their very own emoji keyboard and an app to download them. This is a way for the brand’s biggest fans to share their Starbucks experiences via text or on social media. After all, what better way is there to tell your friends that you’re drinking a coveted Unicorn Frappuccino?

Goldman Sachs. The All-Emoji Tweet That Spoke to Millennials.

goldman sachs emojis in social media

You don’t have to be a brand associated with things people are passionate about (i.e. animals and coffee) to use emoji in your social media efforts. Goldman Sachs used this clever all-emoji tweet to appeal to millennials. Business Insider was kind enough to do a translation.

Whether you use emoji to appeal to younger generations, to appear more exclusive, or simply to get the word out about a fundraiser or an event, your core users may be willing and even eager to use them. If you don’t have the resources to create your own emoji set, you might try brainstorming ways to use what’s currently available to creatively promote your brand. For destination and lifestyle brands, there is no shortage of emoticons you can use to tell your story. All you have to do is add them to your social media posts. They can be used in your brand’s everyday tweets, Facebook posts, and even Instagram posts to complement your message.

The possibilities are endless – so test a few, and have fun with it!