The Scientific Case for Using Emoticons for Social Media Marketing

The Scientific Case for Using Emoticons for Social Media Marketing

January 6, 2017 0 By Koehler Home Decor

scientist-smileyIf you make use of social media marketing as a part of your business promotion strategy – which you really should – you will probably have noticed that an increasing number of companies and brands – even the big boys – are making use of emoticons in their everyday messaging.

If you’re still not sure whether the use of emoticons is a good fit for your brand’s social media voice and tone, here’s a little about three serious scientific studies that have found that using emoticons in business communications can make you appear friendlier, more trustworthy and grow your popularity on social media.



1. People React to Emoticons Like They Would a Real Face

Have you ever wished you could actually enhance the ‘voice’ of your brand by talking face to face with your fans and followers on social media? According to a study conducted by researchers at Flinders University in Australia when people see an emoticon online the same sections of the brain are activated as they are when a person sees a real face. According to the study’s leading author, Owen Churches: “Emoticons are a new form of language that we’re producing, and to decode that language we’ve produced a new pattern of brain activity”.

How does this help on social media? According to Churches “Human faces are particularly effective attention-grabbing mechanisms. Most of us pay more attention to faces than we do to anything else. We know experimentally that people respond differently to faces than they do to other object categories.”

2. Emoticons Have Been Demonstrated to Improve Social Media Popularity

A group of researchers from Cambridge University in England analyzed over 31 million tweets, a million Facebook posts and their poster’s associated Klout scores to access the impact of emoticons.

And according to Dr Simo Tchokni ” The emoticon features achieved high performance, suggesting that there is a strong link between emoticon use and social power. Powerful users tend to use emoticons often and high Klout is strongly associated with positive emoticons.”

3. Emoticons Make You – or Your Brand – Appear Friendlier and More Competent

Would you like to make your brand appear a little friendlier and credible? Researchers from UCLA found that emoticons can be helpful there too.

During the study participants were asked to chat online with “health experts” and “film experts” who either used or avoided emoticons. The participants rated the experts in both topics friendlier and more competent when they communicated with emoticons. And as an added ‘bonus’ the participants recalled more of what the emoticon using expert had to say than they did the anti-emoticon specialists.

Convinced? Ready to start making better and more frequent use of emoticons in your social media communications but need to brush up on just what’s available and how you create each one across the various social media platforms? Then, as so often is the case, Wikipedia is a great place to start, as they have a very comprehensive list of emoticons, their meanings and how they are created here.

Koehler Home Decor is a wholesaler of home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.

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