It’s no secret that emojis have become a well-established part of our digital culture. Heck, there’s even an animated movie about emojis coming out this summer. Businesses are also using emojis in their social media marketing, but is that a good idea? Do emojis make their content more entertaining or more cringeworthy?
The team behind quintly, a professional social media analytics platform, decided to explore this very question. They analyzed the Instagram accounts of 20,000 businesses and studied their 2016 emoji usage across 6.2 million posts. Here are the highlights of the study:
Are They Popular?
quintly confirmed the popularity of emojis in the marketing world, as they found that 56% of profiles used emojis in December 2016. The use of emojis rose by 20% during 2016, and it looks like they will become even more abundant this year.
Interestingly, the use of emojis varies significantly across profiles of different sizes (i.e. number of followers). Profiles with larger followings are more likely to use emojis than smaller profiles. For example, at the end of 2016, 75% of profiles with +10 million followers used emojis in their posts, compared to 26% of profiles with 1-1,000 followers.
There’s also a pattern guiding how businesses use emojis in their posts. The Instagram accounts used emojis in image-based posts just as much as they did in video-based posts. They also had some favorites from the 1,851 emoji out there. The ???? “camera with flash” icon was the most frequently used emoji amongst these accounts, followed by the ???? “OK hand” icon.
Are They Worth It?
So now that we’ve established that businesses on Instagram like to use emojis, are they actually useful? Since more popular accounts are more likely to use emojis, you’d think that was the case. Indeed quintly’s data supports this idea. They found that posts with emojis earn a 17% higher interaction rate. So it seems that sprinkling some emojis in your social media posts can positively impact your metrics. But please don’t go overboard. If the public’s less-than-stellar reception of The Emoji Movie can teach us anything, it’s that it is very possible to have too much of a good thing.