The Psychology Behind Using Emojis in Digital Marketing


Looking to get more creative and liven up your digital content? ?

Yes, the funny, quirky and, at times, misread little faces can make all the difference to your digital marketing efforts. We’re not just saying that because we’re very “pro-emoji” here at Revive.Digital, they really can take you to the next level, so we’re going to share just why! ?️

The challenge with the worldwide web (especially social media) is there’s a huge amount of it. It’s filled with content, making it saturated and increasingly difficult to stand out. ?

With the constant bombardment of content, most users simply skip over copy and are now more in favour of a dash of colour and an injection of wit. ?? This is exactly why emojis have proven to be gamechanger in the past few years.???

man holding a phone making emoji

The Psychology of Emojis ?

Although we get on with our daily lives mostly unaware of it, we all mimic each other’s emotions and facial expressions when we talk in person. ?‍?‍?

This emotion-driven contagion has been a big part of how we build relationships and express empathy. However, online, we miss this element of emotion and empathy. Or, we did until the emojis that we’ve come to love came along…??‍♂️??‍♀️

In 2014, a team of scientists published a study that found that when we look at smiley faces online, the same areas of our brains are stimulated in exactly the same way as when we look at a smiley face in person. ?

What’s incredibly interesting is that this is something we weren’t born with. This is something that our brains have developed with the growing use of emojis. In other words, Internet culture has created a new cognitive pattern in all of us. ?

They’re Also Changing Our Speech Patterns

Our brains now process emojis as nonverbal information which means we read them as emotional information, not words. Essentially, emojis are now doing what voice does on the phone and what facial gestures do in direct communication. In fact, Instagram actually has proof that emojis are shifting our vocabulary. ?

In 2015, the social media giant discovered that as the use of emojis continues to rise, popular slang like LOL, LMAO and ROFL has gone down. ? ?

phone with settings for emoji

Why You Should Use Emojis in Digital Marketing ?

If you engage with businesses on social media, you’ll have noticed that a lot more of them are now using emojis in their messaging and for good reason too! In 2018, Wordstream conducted a study which discovered that using emojis in a Tweet increases engagement by 25% and can increase post shares on Facebook by 33%. 

Beyond these statistics, using emojis in digital marketing can help brands become more relatable to their customers.

They Add Emotional Context to Messages 

Using emojis in marketing copy adds extra emotional context to messaging. In the same way that an exclamation mark can change the tone of a message, using an emoji instead can convey an emotion that text can’t do on its own. A good example would be on Twitter where brands are limited to 280 characters. Using emojis can add an element of emotion when extras words can’t be used. ?

They’re Great For Increasing Engagement

Why do you think that friends and family use emojis to communicate❓ They’re amusing and engaging❗. The same applies when used by brands. ?? 

Emojis make people want to engage more because they stand out more than text and have a compelling appearance. Plus, many of the social media networks now support in-app emoji search meaning they’re more accessible than images. This allows brands and users to tap into themed conversations just like you can with hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. ?

They Add a Dash of Brand Personality 

When users trust a particular brand, they’re far more likely to recommend them to friends and family and become long-term customers. 

Using emojis in messaging can add a dash of personality to a brand. Its a way of relating to users be using emojis they use when sending WhatsApp messages and posting on their social media. ?

However, if you’re thinking about using emojis in your marketing messages, you need to identify who you plan to target. ? While emojis are a creative way of humanising your brand, using too many or a select few that don’t resonate with a target audience can alienate them. ?

man holding his phone

Our Tips For Using Emojis In Digital Marketing ?

At this point, you might be tempted to scrap your existing content and rewrite it to include emojis but remember, you need to understand your target audience. Demographics play a massive role in how and when you use emojis in your digital marketing campaigns. ??‍?‍????‍?‍????‍?‍??

Therefore, you need to do some thorough research and get to know your target audience. It’s the only way to be sure that the emojis you want to use align with what they want to see and engage with. ?

Your preferred marketing channels will also influence what type of emojis you use in your messaging. Things like line returns and spacing can create different variations on how they display on mobile and desktop.

Plus, different mobile devices have their own display styles for emojis. This means an emoji could have its own connotation when viewed on different devices. ???️

tips in using emojis

Emojis for Social Media Marketing ?

Emojis and social media go hand in hand. Millions of people use emojis to liven up their social media posts and interact with their followers every day. ??

There’s no reason your brand can’t do the same thing. When using emojis in your social media posts, you must do it with engagement in mind. ?

We know it’s easy to throw an emoji or two into a tweet or Instagram post, and you definitely should. But, there’s another way you can intentionally drive engagement; encourage your followers to use them too❗.

This can be as simple as asking followers to agree or disagree with your content by responding with ? or ?. You could also ask a question like, “what sports do you like to watch? ???⚽???”, then wait for the creative responses to roll in.

Emojis For Email Marketing ?

By no means are emojis just suited for social media, Yes, they’re more prevalent and widely used on those channels but they can also increase user engagement and open rates when it comes to email marketing. ?

When using emojis in email content, use them to highlight particular points; not to replace copy. Different content management systems (CMS) like MailChimp or Campaign Monitor might display emojis differently so you shouldn’t rely on them to communicate a key marketing message. 

Some of your subscribers will also use varying email providers (Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo etc.) that display emojis differently. Therefore, it imperative that you test your emails before sending them out to the masses just to be safe. ?

Emojis for Paid Advertising ?

Paid advertising is public-facing, highly-targeted and a lot more expensive compared to social media and email marketing. It’s for this really why so many brands have been reluctant to include emojis in their paid advertising strategies.

But in today’s modern world, consumers respond better to personalised and emotional messages. So as a business owner, how can you deploy emojis in your next paid advertising campaign❓ Here’s some tips! ??

Make Sure Your Emojis Have Purpose

When writing your ads, don’t leave any room for misinterpretation. Sometimes emojis are used outside of their purpose which is totally fine. ?

You just need to know why you’re using them.  A good idea is to A/B test your ads with a sample audience to see whether you get the engage/actions you want.

Just be sure that your ads communicate exactly what you want them to. ✔️

Be Creative

If you know that your emojis resonate with your target audience and can’t be misinterpreted, be creative and have fun with them. We know emojis are great for increasing engagement, so the more creative you are with them, the more your target audience are going to engage and interact with them. ?

They Must Fit With Your Brand Identity

To use emojis effectively in paid advertising, don’t force them if they’re not relevant to your brand identity. In other words, you’ll find they’ll be easier to include in your copy if they’re a natural fit.

Emojis in Online Customer Service ?

Customer service is, of course, a critical component of running a business. It’s a way of forging relationships, answering queries or resolving complaints and a way of solving consumers’ problems. 

Emojis are incredibly effective and can help you do this creatively. They can help convey authentic customer service simply because they communicate emotion. When interacting with customers, it’s helpful to include relevant emojis (i.e, ? for “hello”, ? for “sorry” or ? for “we’re glad we could help”.  

Emoji Resources We Recommend ?

There’s a ton of resources out there on the worldwide web where you can learn more about emojis and source them for your own marketing messages. Here’s some of the ones we like here at Revive.Digital. ?

emoji resources


Emojipedia is the biggest resource of emojis and is used by millions of people. It’s where we got all of our emojis for this blog post❗It includes every emoji you can possibly think of and provides a really handy preview of how each emoji looks on different operating systems and devices. ?️??

Get Emoji

Get Emoji is very similar to Emojipedia and has an extensive library that you can simply copy and paste. All the emojis work on multiple devices and can be used for social media and website content. ?


OpenMoji is an open-source library that anyone can use although it’s a hit with web developers and designers. This is due to the number of resources it has when it comes to including emojis in web design. Need to know what Hex code an emoji is or what typography to use with a particular set❓ OpenMoji has you covered. ?

Take Your Digital Marketing to The Next Level ?

Emojis are far more than a millennial and Generation Z messaging fad. They’re a great way of injecting more emotion into your marketing messages. They’re also creative, visually compelling and highly effective at increasing engagement rates.

You can add a dash of personality and colour to any email, social media post, paid ad and landing page you like. Use them strategically in your marketing and communications and you’ll reap the benefits.

If you’ve been looking for ways to get more creative and inject more emotion into your digital marketing efforts, you’ve found your answer❗????