16.06.2016 Social advertising gets emoji-nal: Brands can now target by emoji on Twitter

2016 has certainly been emojinal, as brands keen to reach out to a younger, tech-savvy audience have embraced the power of a well-placed smiley face, or football, or flag.

Emojis, in case you’ve been living under a gigantic rock for some time now, are a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion. According to Twitter, its users have tweeted 110 billion emojis since 2014.

Here are some of our favourites:

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 13.10.31

Gradually, the written word has diminished in importance on social media as brands embrace the power of these small graphical devices to communicate messages or campaigns. We’ve seen brands come in for some derision for their use of emojis of course, as in this House of Fraser example from earlier this year.

We’ve previously blogged on the rise of the emoji in social campaigns by everything from soft drinks to software companies.

Now, emoji-ns are running even higher as Twitter announces that it is giving brands the ability to build entire campaigns targeted by emojis.

Introduced to celebrate World Emoji Day on July 17, the new function will allow, for example, a burger brand to target a twitter user who has previously tweeted a burger emoji.27ee5f9152eb5163b7487c8e2fb4c3d4

And it doesn’t stop at food or drink – brands can also target users based on facial expressions they have used or indeed any other kind of emoji.

Ray-Bans might target those who have tweeted the sunglasses emoji for example.Sun-Glasses

Twitter recommends targeting users “based on their expressed sentiment” and their “passions”.

Companies keen to trial the new targeting technique can work with one of Twitter’s partners, including  AdParlor, Amobee, HYFN, Perion, SocialCode, and 4C.

We’ll be watching this development with interest, and it will be interesting to see whether this function is rolled out so all brands can access the emoji targeting function in time.

Confused emoji