When it Comes to Paid Social, Give Emojis a Chance
When social ads are done well, they can be highly effective in driving high return on investment for retailers. Those that are most impactful often have video or images, a strong call to action, neutral sentiment and are delivered for the right amount of time. However, there’s another element that successful social ads have that many retail marketers aren't yet capitalizing on — emojis.
Emojis have been proven to boost ad effectiveness. According to a 2016 study by Twitter, using branded emoji in social ads increased engagement by 10 percent. Instagram, a social channel built around visuals, reported that nearly 50 percent of its comments included an emoji.
The emotion-carrying symbols are especially popular with millennial audiences, who sometimes prefer to communicate using emoji in place of written words.
Emojis are kind of a big deal for paid social.
Data included in the Pattern89 Data Co-op, which contains millions of anonymous data points from hundreds of brands and hundreds of millions in advertising spend, corroborates those earlier studies. The data shows that, across goal objectives, Facebook ads including emojis are noticeably more successful than ads without.
For example, return on ad spend (ROAS) for social ads with emojis for all conversion campaigns was 8.81 for Facebook and 7.80 for Instagram. Conversely, ROAS for social ads without emojis was 6.96 for Facebook and 5.66 for Instagram.
Bonus tip! In addition to emojis, tagging topics with a hashtag on Instagram, or mentioning other pages and profiles on Facebook can also boost ROAS. Using “@” on Facebook drove a 7.6 boost in ROAS, and using “#” on Instagram generated a 5.9 boost in ROAS.
What About the Use of Emojis and Other Images Around the Holidays?
With holiday season planning already underway, what should retailers keep in mind when it comes to using emojis and other images in their holiday social ads? This infographic provides helpful insight:
So what should you do about emojis? If you’re new to "emojiland," given them a chance. If you’re concerned that your target audience won’t respond favorably to emojis, put those fears to rest and experiment with them. With just 6 percent of Facebook and Instagram advertisers using emoji, it’s safe to call emoji use in ads new. But with a ROAS boost like the ones noted above, it’s an experiment that retail marketers can’t afford not to try.
A successful investment in creative requires both diversity and curiosity. A diverse set of images, videos and special characters gives retail marketers the opportunity to try an almost endless combination of visual cues. And those that integrate visual experimentation into their social ad strategies will always learn something new to help craft more effective campaigns in the future.
R.J. Talyor is the CEO and Founder of Pattern89, which offers a data science platform that combines AI with industry benchmark data to help brands discover the ad elements that most impact paid social performance.
R. J. Talyor is founder and CEO of Pattern89, an artificial intelligence-based software company that optimizes paid social media advertising campaigns. Previously, R.J. was the driver behind ExactTarget’s mobile strategy, including the launch of SMS marketing in 2002 and spearheading mobile marketing during the launch of the iPhone. His leadership was also instrumental when Salesforce acquired ExactTarget for $2.5 billion in 2013, where he became the vice president of mobile products.