New emojis pave the way for improved social media marketing

If you use the popular symbols in Facebook, Twitter or Instagram efforts, prepare for a wider array of digital faces and figures. Here’s what’s coming—along with tips for using them.

Emojis are an increasingly popular way for brand managers to reach consumers—especially millennials.

Though there isn’t an emoji for everything, social media managers should be pleased to learn that emoji brand Unicode will release nearly 75 new images this month.

For brands like Domino’s—whose managers have made great use of the pizza emoji in various marketing campaigns—the additional imagery could intensify competition in the emoji realm.

Unicode shared a list of 72 icons, their names and corresponding keywords that have been added to the most recent version of the Unicode Standard. The emoticons will go live June 21, the Chicago Tribune’s millennial-friendly publication Red Eye reports.

Here’s a snippet of Red Eye’s list of users’ most anticipated images—and why:

    • The shrug: When you get tired of typing ¯_(¿)_/¯ every time you want to convey your cluelessness.

    • Pancake: To let your friends know you’re an hour and a half into your wait for a table at [brunch] and are slowly losing your ability to communicate with words.

    • Pregnant woman: Because normal pregnancy announcements are so old-school. Just send your friends and family a simple text and call it a day.

    • Shark: When you want to visit the Shedd Aquarium but are too excited to type words.

    • Salad: When you’re signing a pact to give up Shake Shack for a week.

    • Tumbler glass: Because you always deserve a drink.

For social media managers of National Hockey League teams, mobile phone carriers and big-box retailers such as Target or Wal-Mart, access to net/goal, cellphone selfie or shopping cart emojis could prompt expanded use of the new emoticons in campaigns.

For Cision social media manager Michelle Dziuban, the new images present a unique opportunity for her and others in her role—but they shouldn’t be the focus.

“Emojis should not be seen as a marketer’s meat and potatoes, instead, consider them the side dish,” she says. “Emojis [run the risk of] replacing strong writing skills—there’s a great efficacy balance. If marketers are going to use emojis to increase engagement, but don’t rely on strong writing first, they could tarnish their brand’s image.”

Though some of the new emojis such as gold, silver and bronze medals might have a clear meaning—and present a specific opportunity for marketers (think Olympics 2016)—Dziuban says not all images should be treated so literally.

“Like anything, emojis must be used at the right place and time,” she advises. “Remember, not all emojis convey a definitive expression or emotion. One person’s interpretation of an emoji’s meaning may be different from someone else’s.” WHITE PAPER: How to communicate with a millennial workforce.

From Dziuban, here are three reasons to use emojis in your marketing efforts:

  • Your product or service is targeted for millennials or even Generation Z.

  • There is a special/custom emoji created for a specific event you will be sharing content or messaging around, such as Twitter’s custom emojis for events like Election Day or the pope visiting the United States.

  • An emoticon suitably fits your brand’s “voice.”

Before these hot items hit users’ devices worldwide, consult Unicode’s full list to find out how your brand might benefit.

What do you think, PR Daily readers? How will you use these 72 new emoticons to engage audiences and broaden your reach on social media?

(Image via)

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