The Power of Using Emojis in Tweets

The Power of Using Emojis in Tweets - #TwitterSmarter chat with Jignesh Thakkar - September 24, 2020

Ah, emojis. You either love them or you love them. From text messages and instant chat to even work emails, emojis have slowly crept into our existence. Whether or not you agree with using emojis in the work sense, the grin-inducing little image is now undeniably a major part of our everyday communications. So now that we can no longer ignore its ubiquity, how can we use them effectively? We invited social media strategist and emoji advocate, Jignesh Thakkar, to talk about all things emoji. Needless to say, our #TwitterSmarter hour overflowed with emojis. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Jignesh Thakkar
Topic: The power of using emojis in tweets
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: An emoji is worth a thousand words. Is this true?

If you’re still clinging to “An image is worth a thousand words”, you need to wake up my friend. This is the Snapchat era. A fleeting feed of felines say more than a static image ever can.

Interestingly, however’s it’s that saying that gave birth to the tradition of using visual elements to convey meaningful messages. What once a static image did, now GIFs and emojis do.

As our guest pointed out, emojis are essentially tiny images that solve issues we often encounter with regular images like loading times, pixelation, and improper sizing. In a comforting and yet weird way, emojis are evolved images. And that’s why they’ll play an integral part in the future of business communication and customer interactions.

Joana put it so well. Emojis are so effective because they communicate symbols, make us smile, and convey tone—all in one.

Q2: How do emojis play an important role in communication?

We all have favorite emojis, yes? Think about why we like them so much—they reflect us and our emotions without us having to physically express it. That’s why emojis are so powerful.

A common scenario that emojis are used nowadays is when people want to convey unpleasant news. For instance, if your friend texts you “Our dog is sick,” that sounds cold, distant, and even ruthless. As if your friend is upset that the dog’s illness is preventing them from meeting you. (Calm down, no one would think or say that, of course. This is just an example.)

Whereas, when you get a message from your friend that reads, “Our dog is sick! 😭 😰 🙏” You instantly resonate with your friend and their distress.

Zen also reminded us how important emojis have become in the social media context. So many of us use emojis in our name and descriptions, and some people are even recognized by and because of their emojis.

Q3: How do emojis increase your Twitter engagements?

Jignesh mentioned a study conducted by Word Stream and that they found tweets with emojis in them get 25% more engagements that those without. And the reason is that emojis are so visual and attention grabbing. What’s more, because they can effectively convey emotion, they help your audience connect with you.

Megan also mentioned that emojis give brands and businesses a personality. Using emojis makes you more approachable and shows the lighter side of whoever’s behind the handle. And that’s essential on social media to build a successful community.

Q4: What are the most popular emojis used on social media?

Jignesh shared an image that beautifully illustrated some of the most-used emojis on social media. And of course, it included all the usual suspects.

Gary told us about Emojitracker. It’s a live feed that updates the number of times each emoji is used on Twitter. Be careful, though, they change so quickly that it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed.

It’s also worth remembering that some of the most popular emojis are also seasonal and based on current events. For instance, since the outbreak of you-know-what, the 😷 emoji has gained more traction that ever. Similarly, we have ♻️, 🖖, and more.

Q5: What are ways to increase your Twitter engagement using emojis?

A great way to use emojis to increase your engagement is to use relevant emojis so that they convey your message easily. Sometimes, this means using symbols or numbers, and other times it refers to using human-like emojis that perform specific actions. All of this, as our guest pointed out, make your tweets original and help your audience recognize you.

Jim demonstrated how he uses the check box emoji to effectively share his short messages. It’s a great way to list out your points as bullets.

And of course, a catchy image is always better than a plain old dot. I mean, which is more eye-catching, a • or a ✴️?

Q6: What are some things to consider when using emojis on Twitter?

Firstly, and most importantly, understand what the emojis you want to use mean. Just as is with hashtags and GIFs, emojis can have various underlying and seasonal meanings. The last thing you want to do is to send an inappropriate message.

Another important thing to remember is that if you choose to include emojis as part of your social media branding, then make sure you remain consistent. If you have other team members managing your handle, make sure you inform them what emojis you stand by. Being consistent in your content is an essential part of social media success, and that includes emojis as well.

You can also explore the idea of making your own emojis. There are plenty of tools online, such as Emoji Maker, that let you design personal emojis.

Be warned, though, some of these tools are like going down a rabbit hole. They pull you in, and before you know it, you’ve spent three hours playing with emojis. (That’s ok, though, call it research. ;))

Alexa shared an excellent point: accessibility matters. When you use emojis, make sure that they don’t disturb your text. This means you should consider using them before your text or after. That way, you make your tweet more legible.

She also mentioned Emojipedia, a great website that lists all (pretty much) emojis and their meanings. Browse through that database for variations of the emoji and explanations. This is a great resource for when you’re learning about your emojis as well—which ties in nicely with our next question.

Q7: How do you pick the right emoji(s)? What resources do you use?

Emojis are so emotion driven. And that’s why our guest recommended following your gut feeling when it comes to choosing the right emojis. That said, you should always double check to make sure you’re saying what you want to say.

Aside from the usual social media libraries, like Twitter, Facebook, Apple, and Android, there are also plenty of other apps that include unique and quirky emojis.

Janet also mentioned how important context is to whatever you share. To have that level of context, you should be constantly monitoring your audience and your market so that you inherently know when to use emojis and when to avoid them.

Q8: Which emojis do you use the most?

Oh, my, who has just one favorite, huh?

Our friend from Marketing Stable shared a couple of emojis they use most and why. The blue diamond is a great way to illustrate bullet points. It also works well on both the light and the dark theme of Twitter. That is a great point—whenever you choose emojis for emphasis, take a moment to think if it’ll work on both themes.

Their second most common emoji, the thumbsup, is a universal symbol of positivity and encouragement. It’s great that they shared their reasoning with us. It help us all to stop and think before we choose emojis to represent us.

Well folks, that’s all from me. Thanks for reading and for more great insight from our chat with Jignesh, have a look at this Twitter Moment that Joana put together. And if you have time to spare next Thursday, join us at 1pm ET for our #TwitterSmarter chat. Until then, 🖖.


About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

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