Inspired by World Emoji Day on July 17, Twitter recently announced a new function for advertisers on its blog: Emoji keyboard targeting. It brings the possibility to tailor ads based on a simple action; using emojis as substitutes for words to convey a messages or feelings. Essentially, they are a form of communication, and a popular one at that.
According to Swyft Media, “74 percent of people in the U.S. regularly use stickers and emoji in their online communication, sending an average of 96 emoji or stickers per day.”
I remember when Facebook announced Reactions. I was so happy, I jumped all over the place, did like two whole Periscope live streaming shows about it, and thought that would really meet the engagement mark. It only seemed logical to give us marketers a more specific tool to measure how our audience interacts with us. It only seemed like the right thing to do, so we can tailor our future content to how our audience feels about what we post.
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However, almost 3 months after Facebook Reactions launched, we have learned that people still use the like button more; much more. In other words, those reactions were not embraced by users as we all thought. In People Aren’t Feeling Facebook Reactions on E-Marketer, it is mentioned that, based on an analysis by Quintly of 130,000 Facebook posts worldwide, likes still account for 97% of reactions. Thus, the potential for marketers to use that information to divide positive from negative feedback and to establish “likes” as a point of comparison among other emotions is vanishing. My inner “nerd” was so happy with having new metrics, and thus, users are not responding.
Why do I bring Facebook Reactions into this discussion about Twitter’s new feature? Well, the excitement that I have about it is basically the same as I had with Facebook. Why? Because the company is giving marketers – not users – the choice of whether or not to use it. It capitalises on the aggressive use of emoji, so it is us marketers who must embrace the practice of listening carefully, in order to interact with our audiences by advertising to them. Unlike Facebook Reactions, marketers will be able to control the use of this tool. We’ll see how that goes.