Though older generations might grumble, emojis are here to stay.
In 2015, Oxford Dictionaries gave its Word of the Year title to the “tears of joy” emoji—and social analytics platform Talkwalker reported that emojis were in 13 percent more tweets in March 2018 as compared to last year.
“Emojis are a part of your consumers’ language, and whether you’re already using social media listening or not, it’s essential for you to use emoji analysis to fully understand what consumers are saying,” Talkwalker says.
Beyond using emojis to cater your messages to younger audiences on Twitter, PR and marketing pros can analyze emojis online to gain insights that can help them hone their communications efforts.
Consider these insights that you can get from emojis:
1. Unearth additional consumer mentions.
Domino’s made headlines in 2015 for announcing that hungry consumers could tweet pizza orders :
— Domino’s Pizza (@dominos) May 20, 2015
However, many social media users tweet the pizza emoji without also including the keyword in their tweets’ text.
Talkwalker reported that “pizza” was mentioned 70.2 million times in the past 13 months on Twitter. However, there were 13.3 million tweets with the pizza emoji (ð) and no mention of the keyword, meaning that marketing and PR pros who searched “pizza OR ð” would find 18.9 percent more mentions on the subject.
Just had my first Papa John’s.
— Kurtis Norman (@KurtisNorman_) July 8, 2017
ððð @ Pizza Hut Sm Downtown https://t.co/YpoM1RckWB
— cringay ð¸ (@crixaiikeism) March 13, 2018
2. Evaluate the strength of your brand.
Emojis can not only surface additional consumer conversations, but they can also show how strong your brand is in comparison to your competitors.
Consider the 83.5 million tweets about pizza (whether using keywords or just emojis). Talkwalker found that Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza and Papa John’s are the most-mentioned companies—but the latter receives 12.4 percent more emoji-only mentions than Domino’s.
Talkwalker also reported:
The hamburger (ð) fries (ð) emojis are most commonly associated with McDonald’s.
Consumers use the car emoji (ð ) most when talking about BMW.
The Philadelphia Eagles is the team to rack up the most mentions when people use the football emoji (ð).
Collecting data around emoji use can help you measure how your organization ranks against the competition—and it can help you better interact with customers.
Who could use the surge of joy only a free calzone can provide? #FREEtweet ððð¸
— D.P. Dough (@dpdough) March 29, 2018
“It’s like one big Rorschach test,” Talkwalker says. “If the wider population associate a specific brand with certain emojis, it demonstrates how well that brand has diffused into the consumer psyche.”
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3. Further understand consumer sentiment.
Many digital marketing and PR pros use sentiment analysis to monitor how their organizations’ reputation is faring online. Analyzing emojis can offer additional data and context to what you’ve already gathered.
Talkwalker reported that Netflix received more than 15 million negative mentions in the last 13 months, which represented 19 percent of the company’s overall sentiment.
Talkwalker then explains:
But that only highlights them as negative, without any emotional context. By looking at the emojis included in those mentions, we can get a better idea what negative emotion is driving those conversations.
Take, for example, the angry-face emoji (ð¡). These tweets are most likely to be counted among an organization’s negative sentiment, but there are several reasons why consumers would use it in tweets about the streaming service.
Some social media users complained that Netflix took off the shows and movies that they wanted to watch:
WHY has mamma mia been taken off of netflix i am LIVID ð¡ð¡ð¡
— ð (@izzyharrrison) March 18, 2018
I’m still so mad that Netflix took workaholics & it’s sunny off ððð¡ð¡
— gabi (@gabimami_) March 27, 2018
The search results for angry-face emoji tweets about Netflix also surfaces a plethora of tweets criticizing the company for hiring Ambassador Susan Rice, who previously served as former President Barack Obama’s national security advisor. Many are calling for a boycott of the company:
I need to cancel Netflix right away! Susan Rice should not be anywhere near it, let alone in a leadership position at Netflix!!!!!ð¡ð¡ð¡ð¡ð¡ð¡ð¡
— JRog (@JosephR00722293) March 29, 2018
Patriots: time to leave Netflix….ð¡ð¡ð¡
— Ivesmaria (@michelangelo153) March 28, 2018
— Diana Colacicco (@dianaanicolee) March 29, 2018
However, tweets with the angry-face emoji don’t necessarily represent a problem with Netflix—nor are all of them negative. Take, for example, these tweets:
Whichever BROKE weirdo thinks it’s okay to keep using my Netflix ITS NOT ð¡ it’s literally £6 a month
— elese (@EleseKilgariff) January 5, 2018
Netflix The Confession tapes has my blood boiling ð¡ I should stop watching it but I’m slyly enjoying it
— Storm Te’kari ð¬ (@shanicecooperxx) March 29, 2018
Cannot believe James watched the whole series of the show we were watching on Netflix whilst I was at work ð¡ð
— Jenny fromtheblock (@jennyx55) March 27, 2018
This additional context is seen with more than just the angry-face emoji.
The sad ð emoji often relates to either an emotional ending or incident in a show, or to a popular series being taken off Netflix. Both are worth monitoring to see which show their consumers are engaging with.
… Though not in the top 50 emojis, three of the ones related to sickness (ð·ð¤ð¤§) were linked to numerous mentions. These were due to people choosing Netflix when sick. It appears “Netflix and ill” is a trend.