Follow Mike Linkedin Twitter Facebook
Email Mike Email
Marketing & Sales
Aug 5, 2015

So You Want to Use Emojis In Your Marketing Strategy?

Sponsored Content provided by Mike Duncan - CEO and Creative Director, Sage Island

We’ve recently shared how emojis are coming into play on the Internet (sadly, Google officially removed them from its search results), and briefly touched on a few brands placing them in their page titles. Since then, this latest marketing tactic has blown up overnight into a whirlwind of emoji-mania.
Emojis have become a solution for when words are simply not enough. They’re a key element in our text messages – helping us describe our feelings and ideas, and making exchanges amusing and colorful. Now that they’ve spread on to social media platforms (did you see the response to #WorldEmojiDay on Twitter?), companies have taken the hint. To continue communicating and exciting fans in the most effective way, they turn to emoji-speak to tell a brand’s story.
Keep it Short and Sweet Starting Out

The world loves emojis, but too much of a good thing can lead to less-than-enthused audiences. If you’ve never used emojis before, start with social media. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts are the most common areas you’ll see them. Keep it simple and use one or two relevant emojis for your posts. Tacking on more can make messages appear spammy and distracting. It could even make your audience forget what the post was about! If your business sends out emails, try incorporating an emoji in the headline to call attention to your message. According to MailChimp, more than 214,000 email campaigns have used emojis in the subject line. Do emoji headers deliver results? Blog resource  shared that 56 percent of brands that they tested experienced an increase in open rates when emojis were used. If you’re not sure which ones to try, this graphic below from MailChimp provides the top 15 emojis used by businesses in their subject lines.

If you think you’ve mastered the basics of emojis and are ready for more, keep reading. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite ideas that brands have used so far.
Try Building a Campaign Around Your Website
Before you object to displaying emojis on your website, hear me out. It’s certainly not a good idea for just any business, especially if used carelessly or too often. However, if you can make it work for your services and business goals, your marketing efforts will certainly be one-of-a-kind. One brand that did a fantastic job of featuring emojis on its website is Miracle-Gro. To celebrate the first day of Spring, Miracle-Gro launched a campaign that included an interactive emoji garden. They asked consumers to tweet one of the 12 garden emojis using the hashtag #springemoji, which began to populate on their website. About 1.6 billion flowers were planted, which created the world’s biggest crowd-sourced community garden. Now that’s creative!  

Make a Single Emoji Your Brand’s Identity
If you haven’t heard, Domino's Pizza has done something pretty amazing. It took the ordering process to the next level by allowing customers to text message their orders using the pizza slice emoji. How is it that simple? Customers must first add their cellphone numbers to their Pizza Profiles on Domino’s website. Once they do, they’re able to continue reordering their pre-programmed “Easy Orders.” Domino’s wanted an innovative way to get their pies to homes really quickly, and they delivered (100 percent pun intended).
Design Your Own Emojis

The latest batch of emojis came out in June 2015, but no matter how many Apple releases in their iOS updates, we’ll always want more. That’s why some brands have developed their own emojis for users to download and go crazy about. In celebration of Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary back in February, NBC Entertainment released its first SNL app, which includes 60 emojis depicting some of the show's classic skits. These emojis are fun, people are using them, and everyone loves them. Not only did NBC Entertainment make something people can use as a way to connect as a community, it’s also driving relentless traffic back to the SNL app. By continuing to produce more of their fan favorites, their emojis are adding value to the conversations people are already having. Burger King is another big brand that created custom emojis, which celebrate the return of the company's Chicken Fries. The burger chain explained in its release, “While Chicken Fries may be timeless, it is 2015 and who uses words anymore? Emojis rule the roost today, especially for Chicken Fries fanatics.”  

Whatever You Do, Don’t Go All-Emoji

Automotive brand Chevrolet published a press release written entirely in emoji. Not sure where to begin? You’re not alone. Emojis might be the big trend right now, but there’s such a thing as going overboard. Use emojis to connect with your audience, not confuse them.
Continue using emojis in your social media strategy and you’ll soon develop good relationships with your audience and create better brand recognition. Make it original and a value-add in your conversation. Emoji-mania is still new, so you’re right on time to start incorporating them in your own unique way.
If you’re still trying to wrap your mind around emoji marketing, we understand. It’s a brand-new way of speaking and it takes some time to get comfortable with the idea. If you’d rather leave emojis to the professionals, or are looking for new ways to attract your audience on social media, we’re here to help. Contact Sage Island today and we’ll make sure the way you speak to your audiences is engaging, informative and most importantly, gaining a loyal following.
Mike Duncan co-founded Sage Island in 1997, and since then has evolved the agency’s scope to include marketing strategy, creative design, technical development and a wide range of digital marketing services. With an integrated approach that leverages the power and measurability of the internet, the savvy Sage Island team develops strategies, builds brands, writes killer copy and delivers to clients all over the world. And they have an awesome time doing it. Sage’s collaborative working environment keeps creativity and innovation at the heart of the concept. With a 17-year history in Wilmington and beyond, Sage Island shows no signs of slowing down. To learn how Sage Island can grow your business, check us out at To stay updated on the latest in digital marketing, follow Sage Island on Facebook at, and on Twitter at

Other Posts from Mike Duncan

Sage island social ad 5916105915
Ico insights


Chris coudriet

Purpose-Designed Government Center and Redeveloped Land Will Benefit the Community

Chris Coudriet - New Hanover County Government
Mike stonestreet 300x300

HOA Meetings are for More Than Board Members

Mike Stonestreet - CAMS (Community Association Management Services)
Dallas headshot 300x300

How Long Does Planning for Your Business’ Future Take?

Dallas Romanowski - Cornerstone Business Advisors

Trending News

Contractor's Wilmington Division Grows With Downtown Projects, Office Space Updates

Cece Nunn - Oct 21, 2019

Local Leaders: Recent Opioid Settlements A Good Bellwether

Christina Haley O'Neal - Oct 21, 2019

In The Current Issue

Health Care Heroes: Community Outreach

The Community Outreach category honors an individual or team who communicated to the community about a health issue, including treatments an...

Health Care Heroes: Health Care Professional

The Health Care Professional category honors any health care providers other than physicians or nurses whose performance is considered exemp...

How Beach Businesses Survive Off-season

Once again, summer’s high travel season is in the rearview, but that doesn’t mean beach businesses shutter....

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
WILMA's Leadership Accelerator
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`