Marketers Should Use Emoji With Care

Emojis are finding their way into marketing. Smart marketers can use emoji to increase the impact of messages, but caution is needed. It is important to understand the meaning of emoji – both intended and in practice.

Some can have racist or sexual connotations, others have been adopted as symbols for cultural movements. Marketers need to be aware of what these seemingly innocent images mean and how context fits into that understanding.

Emoji in Marketing

Emoji are increasingly being used in messaging and branding because they have impact. According to a study by WordStream, using an emoji in a Tweet can increase engagement by 25% compared to messages without emoji. Using an emoji in your Facebook posts can increase shares by 33% and interactions with your post by 57%. Similar effect has been documented when emoji are used in email marketing subject lines.

Emoji can help to make a brand relatable, add context to your messaging, and appeal to the emotions of your audience on a deeper level. That is, when the right emoji are used.

Emoji meanings vary, and marketers need to exercise caution with them.

How to Avoid Mistakes

If you use emoji in your marketing, take steps to ensure that you are not unintentionally conveying the wrong meaning.

First, verify the meaning of the emoji. Sites like emojipedia define each one so you can be sure that you are making a proper selection.

Next, do a search to make sure your desired emoji doesn’t have any unwanted meaning in the context you plan to use it. Prepare to be amazed!

Some examples:

  • The rose emoji is tied to anti-authoritarian labor movements going back to the 18th century
  • The frog emoji has been adopted by the alt right in the US
  • Various iterations of ape and monkey emoji have been used in racist contexts

Refresh Your Research Often

Just as language changes over time, so does the visual language of emoji. Meanings change over time and new emoji are added to reflect changes in culture as well.

Marketers need to be aware of these shifts in emoji use to use them effectively and to understand what is being said about their brand. Today, a credible brand voice includes a fluency in the language of emoji.

Clubhouse Is the Latest Online Platform

Should you be considering where Clubhouse might fit into your social media marketing efforts? The Clubhouse social platform was launched in April 2020. It has recently exited beta, taking away the invite-only restriction and making it available to all.

Clubhouse Opportunities for Marketers

Clubhouse is a social platform for real-time audio. It is too early to know if the platform will thrive once the novelty wears off, and as COVID restrictions lift and in-person conversations become viable again. However, it is interesting to consider where the app might be of value as a marketing and brand communication channel.

Clubhouse is an audio only social media app that allows users to create, host and join chatrooms and clubs (recurring rooms.) There are 2 million active users.

Opportunities for businesses include:

  • Connect with relevant people, chatrooms and clubs
  • Participate with valuable input and information
  • Share relevant stories and test ideas – make sure the conversations you are part of are interesting to everyone in the room

Clubhouse Tools

Several tools are available to support using Clubhouse for marketing. These third-party tools and apps can help you streamline and use Clubhouse for your business in ways not yet available on the app.

Below are just some of the apps available:

  • Find Clubhouse helps you find clubs to join and follow. If you have a club, you can submit it to be listed.
  • The Clubhouse Bio Builder is a rich text editor that allows you to create and write up your bio using formatted text.
  • CHpic and Border for Clubhouse: Clubring let you add a pop of color in the form of a ring around your profile photo.
  • ClubLink and Clubly are free link shorteners that allow you to generate and save links to your Clubhouse events.
  • Clubhouse DB gives you an at-a-glance view of yourself, other Clubhouse members, and a brief glimpse of the Clubs available.

Website Home Page Best Practices

We’ve moved well beyond the “welcome to my website” version of home pages. Users expect more.  By following home page best practices you make clear what people can find on your website. It should focus on your unique selling point. And, it should guide your visitors to your most important pages.

Make Clear Who You Are, What You Do

Be sure to clearly state who you are and what you do. If you have a local service area, make that clear, too. You need to accomplish all that in a few scannable words.

If visitors land on your site and they can’t tell what you do and where you do it, they move on.

Make sure your home page answers these common questions:

  • What is your main product or service?
  • What can be found on your products and on your company itself on the website?
  • What is the main benefit for the visitor?

Highlight Your Value

There is a lot of information online. What makes you the right service for someone. Make this very clear.

It is not easy to be absolutely clear about what your company brings the customer, but it is essential if you want to convert a website hit to a lead or customer. Make sure your introductory content is about the key benefits you offer.

Don’t be vague or use buzzwords or hyperbole. Do be memorable and stand out. Offer easy to understand content that flows the visitor to where they want to be.

Make sure that your site comes across as trustworthy. Visitors want to know that you aren’t just trying to get them to subscribe to something they don’t want or give up personal information. Make your reputation and value clear. Testimonials, reviews, and client lists all help.

Offer Simple and Clear Navigation

Helping visitors get to the information they need is also essential. Make sure your navigation is easy to find and offers clear choices. Use the words your customer uses, not internal jargon for navigation labels.

Less is more when it comes to navigation. A general rule of thumb is no more than 7 options.

Guide the Visitor

Another purpose of your homepage is to guide your visitor to your best content and the items you know are most important to them. Here are some elements to use to help guide visitors.

  • A hero image is a large banner image, prominently placed on a web page, generally in the front and center. It often has a core message or offering and links to more information.
  • Sliders are similar but are a series of messages, and often links. These are harder for users, so they aren’t a great choice for all home pages.
  • Product and service call outs can offer brief explanations with links to more information.
  • Call to action buttons stand out from text with their often colored backgrounds and help users get to information with just a few words and a click.

Help People Connect

Contact information is also very valuable. Many sites offer this in the footer of the page so it is available at every page of the website. Let people call and email, give them the name of the person who they can connect with.

Make sure your home page is focused on the top one or two things visitors need. Help them get to your best information and services quickly and easily.