I think it’s fair to say we live in a world in which you are likely to see more emojis than people holding a door open for someone else on any given day. That makes me 😢

Do you think we will ever see the end of emojis? They are hard-wired into our phones’ keyboard, the central focus of the dumbest movie of 2017 (ever?) and, above all, they have completely overrun our social media news feeds. Those cute, cartoon characters and images have even begun to invade our marketing!

Hopefully this comes as no big shock to you? Certainly you’ve seen emojis begin to migrate away from just your niece’s teen angst-fueled posts and into the Facebook ads that trickle through your feed.

It’s not just big brands either. Even smaller companies and mom-n-pops are trying out emojis in their advertising. We’ve even started using them for some of our clients, such as Sprouts Cooking School.

But, what’s the verdict on this stuff? Is it just a cutesy gimmick, a dumb little thing that’s on it’s way out? Or, are these small additions something that makes sense for your business’ Facebook advertising?

They may be dumb… but they work!

Like them or not, emojis in Facebook ads often actually pay off. I can only report from my first-hand experience, posts that include even one little smiley face tend to get far more reach, organic impressions and even viral impressions than those that don’t. 

If you need a little more substance than that, there have been trials run comparing ads side-by-side, exactly the same except for one little emoji. The ad that included the emoji had a click-thru rate of more than 200% compared to it’s emoji-less counterpart.

So, why do people like emojis in their advertising?

As grumpy and jaded as I sometimes feel about emojis, even I will admit – they are just fun. Their bright colors jump out in a monotonous news feed, drawing your attention and enticing you to click. It’s the same concept behind why hashtags work. The hashtag stands out and even highlights the entire phrase. 

Like many marketing tactics, it’s all about grabbing your attention. It’s the oldest trick in the book, really.

So, emojis work, yes, but does that mean your small business should jump the shark and start lacing your Facebook ads and posts with funny little yellow dudes and cartoons of pizza? Maybe. Here’s a few of the biggest things you need to consider before implementing emojis into your Facebook advertising. 

Who are you, what do you do and who do you do it for? 

Do they make sense for your brand?

Sure, it may be simple to just think that since they work for others Facebook emojis will work for you. But it’s not that simple. 

Have you developed a brand that is fun loving, laid back or even a little snarky? This may seem redundant, but if in your gut using emojis in your Facebook advertising doesn’t feel like something you would do, don’t do it. Chances are you’re right. You could risk alienating yourself or just straight up send conflicting messages based on your previously established brand, voice and tone on your website, blog and prior social media posts and interactions.

It should also go without saying, but what you do makes a big impact too. Daycares, cooking schools for kids, food companies, entertainment companies and so on lend themselves to emoji use. Do you really think it makes sense for your law firm to use a winky face in a Facebook post?

Do they make sense for your customers?

If you use Facebook emojis inappropriately, you run the risk of not just alienating yourself but your customers too. You have to take into consideration who your customer base is – existing and potential.

Do you offer a product or service that is typically consumed by a younger audience, families, moms or (dare I say) millennials? Then it may makes sense for you to use emojis. These kind of audiences will no doubt respond much more positively to their presence in their timeline.

Let’s flip it. Companies that focus B2B, middle-aged men or even grandma and grandpa may not get such a good reception and instead just be met with confusion.

Like most social media trends, it really comes down to who you are and who your audience is when making these kinds of decisions. If it makes sense from a brand perspective, I say run with it. People like them, they aren’t going anywhere soon so you might as well embrace them and maybe have a little bit of fun mixed into your marketing.

Oh, but do be careful. Like hashtags, use too many and you’ll wind up with something that is virtually unreadable. That will definitely make me 😠