Do you know what the fastest growing language is the world is? With Oman, Lebanon, Kuwait and Qatar being the four countries experiencing the biggest population booms, you might think it was Arabic, or perhaps even English as the world becomes more Westernised and British and American films and websites are made available around the world.
According to Bangor University Professor Vyv Evans, however, the language gathering pace at the fastest rate is emoji. This is one of several facts about the popular ideograms that we highlighted three years ago in a blog to coincide with the release of the universally panned ‘The Emoji Movie’.
It’s clear that emojis have changed the way we communicate, but aren’t they just a gimmick? There’s no use for them in a respectable business’s social media campaign, is there?
Well, yes there is. July 17th is World Emoji Day (for no other reason than because it’s the date displayed on the calendar emoji 📅 on Apple and Google devices), and if you’re not already using them, now’s the time to change that.
Studies show that use of emojis in tweets can lead to 25.4% more engagement. On Facebook, they can be even more effective, potentially leading to 57% more likes and 33% more comments and shares.
That doesn’t mean you should put them in your posts for the sake of it though. Use them appropriately and in moderation. For example, the downward-pointing hand 👇 can be used to encourage people to leave a comment. People like to be spoken to directly on social media with words like “you”, so consider the value of the left and right pointing fingers too 👈👉, and remember that they like to see representations of themselves, which is why face emojis like these – 😃😂😍😜 – are so popular.
You can change the skin tone of face and hand emojis, but unless there’s a particular reason to do so, it’s best to use the neutral Simpsons-style yellow.
Emojis have also made us all amateur vexillologists (students of flags), so if you’re looking to target people from a particular country, the flag is an instant visual indicator that may grab attention more quickly than the name of a country. The flag emojis have become increasingly used to report on sporting events as a shorthand version of a country’s name, with Twitter-era World Cups seeing us become familiar with the flags of nations like Panama , Senegal and Bosnia-Herzegovina .
It’s clear that emojis have their place in business, but use them sparingly and relevantly. At Engage Web, we’re big on adding visual appeal to social media, so speak to us if you’d like to drive more engagement.