At the first Hugoversity seminar of 2020, Prefects Natalie and Beth welcomed businesspeople who were eager to delve into the world of emoji and learn about how they can enhance a brand’s language, to Baldwins Accountants Durham.
For those of you who missed the seminar (or if the dog ate your notes, don’t worry, you won’t get detention! We have produced a summary for you…
History of the emoji
Emoji are more than a millennial messaging fad. Think of them more like a primitive language. The tiny, emotive characters represent the first language born of the digital world, designed to add emotion to otherwise flat text.
They were first created in 1998 by Japanese phone engineer Shigetaka Kurita, who named them after the Japanese words for “e” (picture) and “moji” (character). As the Japanese language lacks words in the plural form, the plural for emoji is emoji.
At first, they were simple but the emoji of 2020 now cover pretty much every human emotion imaginable, as well as animals, food, buildings and much more.
How we connect and react to emoji
Though we go through life mostly unaware of it, humans mimic each other’s expressions and emotions when we’re talking in person. Research suggests that when we look at emoji online, the same parts of our face are activated as when we look at a real human face, our mood changes and we even alter our own facial expressions to match that of the emoji.
This is something which our brains have developed, not something we’re born with, and it has become apparent that social media culture has essentially created a new brain pattern within us.
Is this a good thing?
There are many advantages to using emoji, as discussed they can convey emotions that sometimes words can’t, they personalise your content to make your brand feel more human to the consumer and they have been known to boost engagement levels and click through rates.
The concern with using emoji is that some of them may be misinterpreted and you could land yourself in a bit of hot water. You might think that you are innocently tweeting about your love of aubergines and peaches, but you may be perceived as being a little fruitier than you’d like! We would suggest that you check emoji meaning before you press send!
We have created a list of things to consider if you would like to use emoji in your marketing campaign:
How to use emoji like a pro:
- Know common emoji meaning
- Know when to avoid using emoji
- Put emoji after the punctuation in a sentence
- Use emoji to add a personal element to your marketing
- Use emoji to encourage engagement and start a conversation