Using Emojis in Event Marketing: 5 Tips for Success

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Clearly, using emojis has grown bigger than just text messages and is here to stay.


Facebook recently rolled out their new “Reactions”. Users now can do more than just “like” a friend’s picture or a company’s post. They can react with five new emojis—love, haha, wow, sad and angry. The tech giant added these new emojis based on users’ feedback that they wanted more ways to express themselves. In fact, ninety two percent of the online population uses these cartoon-like images in texts and social media.


Created in the 1990’s by a Japanese communications firm, emojis are small, digital images or icons used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication. And to clarify, emojis are different than emoticons—smile :-) this wink ;-) and this OMG :-O.


Brands have even jumped on the emoji bandwagon and are using emojis more than ever in their marketing. Visual content makes up 93 percent of all human communication, so it makes sense that emojis have quickly become part of written language. Here are five ways to use these pictographs in your event marketing.


1. Communicate Concisely. Sometimes it’s hard to fit everything you want to say in words – especially within the 140 characters or less required by Twitter. A few select emojis can say it all simply and elegantly, helping cut your word count and maximizing what you can do with your limited communication real estate.


Early bird registration rate expiring? Send a tweet with the admission ticket emoji and final registration cut-off date. Welcome incoming international attendees with the arriving airplane emoji and flags from their home countries. Create a reminder tweet that there’s still time to vote for this year’s awards that includes the ballot box emoji.


2. Provide Instant Understanding. Information overload makes the battle for customer attention fierce. But with the brain processing visual information 60,000 times faster than it takes to decode text, emojis convey meaning faster and quicker. The iconic images also replace facial expressions normally used in in-person conversations to clarify or emphasize your point.


Specific to events, using emojis can be used for real-time polling. Rather complete a lengthy survey, how about asking attendees for a quick emoji reaction within your event app? Or place simple feedback kiosks (like those seen at airports and other federal agencies) to gather real-time information.


3. Elicit Emotion. Scientists have discovered that when we look at a smiley face online, it’s similar to looking at a happy face in real life. Other studies have shown that emotion is more effective than promotion by a factor of two to one.


Use emojis to craft marketing messages that your audience can relate to in a more human way. After all, who doesn’t want to use a smiley face emoji to elicit an IRL smile from an event attendee?


4. Transcend Language Barriers. Is a global audience attending your event? Instead of creating multiple versions of translated communications or feedback forms, use emojis to enable multi-lingual communication. A smiley face is a universal signal for approval, and there are many other emojis you can use to transcend language barriers.


5. Educate and Tell Stories. Emojis can also be used to help educate attendees and explain complex concepts.


At your next technical training event, take a page from General Electric. The company launched EmojiScience and the Emoji Table of Experiments to use pictures to explain complicated science concepts. An approach like this can enhance existing event communications in a way that is delightful and educational for all.


One caveat: As you think about incorporating emojis into your event marketing, we recommend that you take it easy. Rather than going overboard and confusing attendees with emoji-heavy messages, communicate as you normally would – punctuated with a few fun, appropriate and well-placed emojis. Observe how your audience responds and use those insights to determine the right amount of emojis to use in your messaging as you go forward.


Posted by Jen Marano | Request as a Speaker

Pale yet fiery redheaded mom of twin maniacs, I mean boys. RFP and event marketing ninja. Country gal with a boating obsession – hey ya’ll! Reality TV junkie.