World Emoji Day was just yesterday.

Some of you might be thinking, So what – who cares about emojis?

Turns out, quite a few people do plus major brands as well. We tracked Twitter stats for World Emoji Day and analyzed the spectrum of emoji reactions to gauge the impact of the event. Here’s what we found:

  • – The top story was Apple’s announcement of the 56 new emoji it will launch later this year, including T-Rex, Zombie, Breastfeeding, Woman with a Headscarf, Bearded Person and more. Tim Cook’s tweet was the most retweeted for World Emoji Day.
  • – The hashtag #worldemojiday was used more than 341K times on Twitter yesterday alone.
  • – At one point, it earned over 28K mentions per hour, peaking around 1 pm ET.
  • – People apparently felt celebratory about the virtual event: The “party popper” emoji was used the most (23K times).
  • – Also popular: globes and the happy face, perhaps reflecting the playful, global nature of emojis.


Popularity aside, there are some valid reasons for brands to dial up their use of emojis (with the usual caveats: in the right context, in line with your brand, inoffensively, etc).

They’re fun! Kidding…to an extent. At the most basic level, using emojis can add that little something extra, a bit of snap, that elevates social copy from noticeable to noteworthy. But at its most sophisticated, a brand’s clever deployment of emojis can reflect the cultural zeitgeist, serve as a sly wink or inside joke, and suggest a likeable cool factor that appeals to customers.

They’re practical. Brands are generally laser-focused on assessing their reputations among the audiences they care most about. Emojis help you calibrate stakeholder sentiment in a different way. In fact, they can actually refine a company’s ability to correctly identify the sentiment of a tweet. For example, “Way to go, @Delta!” might be positive – but coupled with the eyeroll and clapping emojis, and you have clear sarcasm (in short, not a win for the brand). Generally speaking, you can and should monitor the use of emojis to get a better handle on how customers view your brand.

They offer opportunity. Analyze emojis not just to understand the perceptions of your own brand – but those of your competitors too. See lots of sad faces, the red angry face, thumbs down? Might be an opportunity to dig in and see why customers are expressing dissatisfaction with that competing product or service – and then offer something more appealing. That’s easy, low-cost lead generation. Similarly, if you’re on the receiving end, consider these negative emojis as a collective “canary in the coalmine” – an early warning about a problem with your product or issue with your service. Nip it in the bud fast and you can respond proactively to these customers with the good news. Better still: it won’t become a larger issue that affects more people – or your bottom line.

Emojis are more than cute and fun visuals. They provide an instant snapshot of a brand’s perception, resonance and relevance in the marketplace so much so that they amount to a global, pictographic language.

The question brands should ask themselves is, “Are we speaking it fluently?”