Emoji Analysis: 5 Ways to Crack the Consumer Code
With emojis, there’s the good 😀, the mad 😡, and the downright crazy 😵. They may not mean much at first glance, but with emoji analysis, these characters can give you deeper insights into what consumers are saying about your brand. All you need to do is decipher the code.
Why Is Emoji Analysis Important?
Emojis are everywhere. They’re on T-shirts, mugs and keyrings. They even have their own (terrible) movie.
In 2015, 92 percent of the online community used emojis in their conversations. And that number is growing. We detected 13 percent more posts containing emojis in March 2018 than in March 2017.
Emojis are a part of your consumers’ language, and whether you’re already using social media listening or not, it’s essential for you to use emoji analysis to fully understand what consumers are saying.
Take this tweet, for example ...
oh, happy #NationalGirlfriendsDay btw .. 😒
— Colby (@ColbyBrock) August 1, 2017
At first, you’d think this was a positive, celebratory tweet. But the addition of the 😒 emoji twists the meaning into something bitter and disappointed.
Using emoji analysis, you will get a better understanding of what consumers are really saying, whether that’s about a topic, a trend or your brand.
The History of Emojis
To understand emojis, it’s worth knowing a little about their history.
They originated as “emoticons” in 1982, when Scott Fahlman used 🙂 to help explain when something was a joke.
Their popularity grew in the ’90s and 2000s due to the character restrictions of text messaging (160) and Twitter (180), as they added useful emotional context in limited space.
As technology developed, they became pictorial, rather than text-based, with Shigetaka Kurita leading the way.
Finally, in October 2010, the modern emojis were incorporated into Unicode 6.0, offering a consistent standard used across all systems and devices.
As of the 2017 Unicode 10, there are now 2,666 emojis available, with an extra 157 due in 2018.
What You Can Do With Emoji Analysis
Brand Interaction and Buyer Intent
Emojis are also useful to get a quick overview of your consumers’ perceptions of your brand, and what they associate with it.
Our emoji cloud gives you an overview of the emojis related to the Apple HomePod.
It appears quite positive, with lots of happy emojis (😍😂😅😁😊❤️) associated with the brand.
It’s interesting that the second-most-used emoji was 🤓. It seems that people think that the HomePod is a particularly geeky object. It would be worthwhile for Apple to break that preconception if the HomePod is to become more mainstream and less niche.
The thinking face (🤔) is beneficial to look out for, often used in association with people considering their buying options. It could indicate that they’re comparing the product to a competitor (in this case the Google Home or Amazon Echo).
By monitoring mentions of this emoji with your brand, you can engage with consumers looking to buy, and nudge them in the right direction.
Just think what could have happened here if Apple, Amazon or Google had engaged this tweet with an offer ...
I’m thinking of getting a HomePod 🤔
— AxsisRosales (@AlexisPkGarcia) February 15, 2018
Find Hidden Mentions
When considering the topic you're searching for, think about searching for emojis, too.
In the last 13 months, there were 70.2 million mentions of pizza. But the 🍕emoji (without any mentions of the keyword pizza) had an extra 13.3 million mentions.
By using the search “pizza OR 🍕” as your topic, you would find an extra 18.9 percent mentions around pizza.
Not only do the number of mentions change, but the conversation does, too. For just pizza mentions, the most mentioned brands are Pizza Hut, Papa John’s and Domino’s, with Papa John’s receiving 12.4 perrcent more mentions than Domino’s.
Related story: Are Facebook Reactions Good for Marketers?