How to Use Emojis in Your Social Media Strategy

Phone with a curious face emoji on the screen
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Introduced to phone keyboards everywhere in 2010, emojis changed the way we communicate in the digital landscape. In those first few years, sometimes emojis were cool. Sometimes emojis were not cool. But now in 2021, emojis have gone past being a “trend” and have evolved into their own digital language. A language any user can tap into.

When creating your social media strategy for your business—especially when you’re developing your social voice and tone—we suggest incorporating emojis into your plan. By thoughtfully using emojis in your social media, you can not only have some fun, but you can become an effective virtual communicator.

We’ll show you what we mean.

Computer keyboard with a row of emoji keys

Use Emojis to Express Your Emotions

So, have you ever sent someone an email, DM, or text only to have them completely misunderstand your tone of voice? When writing quick, short, and fast-paced digital messages—or even social captions and comments—it can be easy for your meaning to be lost in translation.

And there’s a scientific reason for exactly why that happens.

Much of human communication is non-verbal. In two studies led by researcher Albert Mehrabian (and colleagues) in the 1960s, it was found that a stunning 93% of human communication is done through non-verbal methods. Mehrabian defined non-verbal as facial expressions, posture, mannerisms, gestures, eye contact, and tone of voice/the inflection of your voice. In fact, when broken down even further, it was discovered that about 55% of our meaning is conveyed through body language, 38% of meaning is demonstrated through tone of voice, and only 7% through what we are actually saying.

In, for example, a book, the author has room to describe the atmosphere of a scene, the body language of their character, and the tone of a conversation. With the room to write, meaning is effectively and artfully captured. But when you’re writing a social caption or a text, that room just isn’t there.

So what do you do when you don’t have those non-verbal cues or the room to write out your meaning? Well, when it comes to social media, you can use emojis.

Trying to make a joke? Use a laughing emoji 😆 to make that clear. Trying to convey that you’re curious about something? Use a curious face emoji 🤔 so your reader understands. Want to show that you love and appreciate something? Use a classic heart emoji ❤️ to show your compassion.

If you think the tone of a sentence in your social caption could be misinterpreted in any way, use emojis. Don’t leave room for doubt (especially when you only have so much time to capture the attention of your followers on social media). The last thing you want is for your followers to constantly misunderstand you, or even accidentally be offended by your words. By using an emoji or two, and by using the best words for your social captions, you can avoid that confused comment or DM.

A phone screen highlighting the heart-face emoji

Use Emojis to Create a Personality

While emojis can play a critical role in conveying your tone of voice in your social media captions, they can also be used to create a social persona.

Social media, at its core, is a place where people can form a community. When community building, it’s important to show who you are. By creating a clear personality on social media, you can:

  • Create a sense of honesty and build trust with your social media community
  • Develop a captivating voice that can work to attract new followers
  • Show off key aspects of your brand or business
  • Provide a sense of humanity to your business
  • Form real human relationships over the digital landscape

Emojis are, simply put, a stellar way to show off who you are. If you’re trying to create a happy personality, emojis like a blushing smile 😊, flowers 🌻, and even the sun ☀️ can showcase your unique personality. If you’re trying to create an excited or thrilling personality, the fire emoji 🔥 and the rocket emoji 🚀 can display your enthusiasm. If you’re trying to create an intellectual personality, the notebook emoji 📓, pencil and paper emoji 📝, and even the lightbulb emoji💡 can help you establish your intellectual persona.

If you use a consistent set of emojis that convey a similar tone, you can create a quick, easy-to-understand personality in your social captions.

Wood cut-outs of the heart-eyes emoji

Use Emojis to Evoke an Aesthetic

Finally, emojis can help you develop your social media brand aesthetic.

Social media aesthetics have become increasingly popular in the past few years, especially with the rise of TikTok. A social media aesthetic is a controlling visual theme or mood that runs through your social media content. It can be helpful to think of a social media aesthetic like wearing clothes to express yourself—such as someone dressing in only neon colors, or someone only dressing in pastel sweaters. It’s your visual style and mood. Aesthetics can not only make your social media more beautiful, but they can also establish a firm brand recognition, making your social media more memorable to your target audience.

So how do emojis come in?

Companies can establish their social media brand aesthetic right away in their bios using emojis. One of our social media clients, Allied Building Contractors, tries to capture a “homey Vermont” feeling with their social media. As seen in the image below, we included two emojis in their Instagram bio to capture that aesthetic: A maple leaf 🍁 to represent Vermont, and a home with greenery 🏡 to convey that homey feeling. Plus, both stay within the orange/red spectrum, which not only matches Allied’s brand colors, but evokes a sense of the fall colors Vermont is famous for with our foliage season.

A graphic showing Allied Building Contractor's Instagram Bio

Space is everything in a bio: You only have 150 characters to introduce yourself. By carefully using the right emojis, Allied is already establishing their aesthetic in the very first sentence. 

If done well, emojis can help you cement your social aesthetic from the moment someone lands on your profile, and they can help you become highly recognizable in the fast-paced world of the feed.

Phone with an emoji keyboard open showing face emojis

Bonus: Your Business Emoji Bank

So now that you know why you should be using emojis, you have to decide what emojis you’re going to use in your social media strategy.

Here at Eternity, we have an emoji bank full of emojis we use in specific situations to convey emotion, personality, and aesthetics in our captions. By having a bank, all we have to do when creating a social post is scan the rows and copy and paste the emoji we’re looking for. It saves time and keeps us on brand.

Check out our bank, and use it as a template to create your own emoji collection.

Emoji Bank:

Emojis to Use When Conveying a Happy Feeling: ☀️🌟💫😄 😁❤️

Emojis to Use When Making a Joke: 😆😂🤣

Emojis to Use When Conveying an Exciting Idea: 🙌👏💥🚀🎉💡

Emojis to Use When Asking a Question: 🔍💭🤔

Emojis to Use When Talking About Our Vermont Home: 🏞 🌅🍂 🍁🌲 🌳

Emojis to Use When Talking About Our Custom Websites: 💻 ⌨️ 🖥

Emojis to Use When Talking About our Digital Marketing Services: 📱📷 📨📬📝✏️🎯

Emojis to Use When Talking About Work Life: 📓💌🗓📎🖊

Just remember: When creating your bank, pick categories that cover your personality, the voice you’re trying to achieve, and your relevant industry topics. 

With your bank created, you’re ready to start using emojis in your social media. We can’t wait to see what you post. Plus, if you’re looking to build up your social community, we’re always ready to connect on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Onward and upward! 🚀

We have won the Best of Business (BoB) award for five years. W00t! 🎉 Read more