How Big Brands Are Using Emojis & How You Can, Too

Emojis – they’re everywhere. I would comfortably wager that over 60% of my texts and social media postings use them. In fact, 78% of internet-using women and 60% of internet-using men use them. Emojis add a certain “je ne sais quoi” to our messages. How could you ever post a message about your new kicks without using a 👟, or eating an amazing dish at a restaurant without 😍 or 🤤… I mean, they both work so well, right?

Even more interesting, there are emojis that resonate with particular people more than others. There are some that you can always count on to really boost the personalization factor. For example, my staple is the flamenco dancer 💃🏽 (don’t judge). This is where branding comes in. Sure, when making the effort to emphasize via emoji, should use the most relevant symbol. But what about post strictly about your brand? This is where you need to identify what’s sets you apart, but remain genuine and natural.

Here are 3 examples of how brands use emojis:

Starbucks Twitter Green Heart


Starbucks has obvious emojis to pick from (☕️?) and they’re active emoji users. But, where they’ve narrowed in on emoji for brand-use, is with their Veterans support program and other positive movements, such as their “Do Good” campaign. These special causes are always marked with a ?.



whole foods twitter praise handsWhole Foods

Whole Foods has the lucky disposition of being brand that has many applicable emojis. However, if you follow the brand, you’ll see they are big fans of ?. While celebration hands might not scream “grocery store”, it serves a bigger brand initiative. One that says, “we got you, count on quality food sources from us”.


Under Armor Twitter Strong and Punch emoji

Under Armor – Women

Under Armor hasn’t committed to a single emoji, but they do consistently use 2 strong emojis: 💪and 👊.  Seeing strength-suggestive emojis next to body-positive imagery really amps up their message.



Start thinking about how your brand can utilize emojis

So, what steps can you take to establish a more cohesive brand identity when using emojis in your social media? Pick 1 -3 emojis that speak to your brand and use them consistently when talking about organizational updates, offers, or special initiatives. You can still accentuate expressions with appropriate emojis, but be consistent to your brand-focused messaging. Not only will it help your audience associate you with particular images, but it’ll help them navigate your feed to identify specific posts.

And if you’re ever not sure if the emoji you want to use is appropriate, we’ve got you covered:

  • There’s the Emojipedia, the emoji search engine. Use it to browse every emoji by name, category, or platform. You can also use it to copy and paste emojis into other applications or text spaces (like WordPress!).
  • Another user-friendly option is, the Emoji Dictionary. Here you can click images and get multiple levels of information.
  • And here’s a shortcode cheat sheet if you ever want to use an emoji in one of their listed properties (Ex. YouTube, Slack, Basecamp, etc.)

Emojis are a great way to humanize your message, evoke immediate emotion, and bring an element a fun to a text-heavy world.  Take advantage of emoji communication in your social posts! Extend your brand and make your messages more consumable. After all, humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than text!

Instagram Facts & Should You Be Using It?

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There’s no denying that Facebook is by far the Social world’s industry leader. Its user base is about 3 times larger than Instagram, who’s the 3rd most used Social platform (YouTube is 2nd, but we don’t consider YouTube a social platform- it’s a video search engine in our opinion). The growth Instagram has experienced this past year is enormous and not to be taken lightly. It’s amazing that despite it’s 600 million Instagrammers, we still run into organizations who don’t know (or care) what it is.

We thought it’d be inspirational and helpful to outline some fun Instagram facts. Use this information to not only be informed, but determine if Instagram is a space your business should be participating in.

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Instagram Usage

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  • Instagram officially passed the 1 billion user mark in June of 2018. It adds about 200 million new users each year.
  • The average post engagement is 1.1% and there is 38% more engagement with photos that feature a face.
  • 30% of IG accounts are considered inactive and 8% of accounts are fake.

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  • 60% of users log in daily, 2nd most engaged network with Facebook being 1st.
  • Images with a single dominant color generate 17% more “Likes” than images with multiple dominant colors.
  • 50% of post captions contain an 50% of post captions contain an emoji.

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Audience Statistics

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  • The US is by far the highest user of IG
  • Nearly 60% of the users are 18-29
  • Active users are highest among women (60%), and
    50% of active users are under age 25
  • The household income of US users is relatively even,
    all falling with the 30-something percent range for
    each category (see chart to right)

[/mk_custom_list][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_round_chart stroke_width=”0″ values=”%5B%7B%22title%22%3A%22%3E%2430k%22%2C%22value%22%3A%2238%25%22%2C%22color%22%3A%22blue%22%7D%2C%7B%22title%22%3A%22%2430K%20-%20%2449K%22%2C%22value%22%3A%2232%25%22%2C%22color%22%3A%22pink%22%7D%2C%7B%22title%22%3A%22%2450K%20-%20%2474.9K%22%2C%22value%22%3A%2232%25%22%2C%22color%22%3A%22juicy-pink%22%2C%22custom_color%22%3A%22%230088cc%22%7D%2C%7B%22title%22%3A%22%3E%2475K%22%2C%22value%22%3A%2231%25%22%2C%22color%22%3A%22purple%22%2C%22custom_color%22%3A%22%23f4524d%22%7D%5D” title=”HH Income of Regular Users” css=”.vc_custom_1552415970034{padding-top: 0px !important;}”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552416389516{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

Instagram Business Insight

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  • 75 percent of Instagram users take the desired action (shop now or visiting website)
  • Top brands now post about 5 times per week on Instagram and approximately 60% of them use a consistent filter
  • 48% of US brands use Instagram
  • The average sales order value from an Instagram-referred conversion is $66.75
  • Retail 50% of retailers are active on and Nike is the most popular brand on Instagram
  • 50 percent of Instagram users follow at least one business and 60 percent of users say that they learn about a product or service on Instagram
  • Examples of brands you wouldn’t expect to be on IG, but are and doing it well are: NFLFedExReynolds WrapGeneral ElectricMicrosoftUS MarinesState FarmAlfred TeaGlad Products

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Instagram History

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  • Launched 10/6/2010, the first photo posted was by the CEO and co-founder who took a picture of a dog in Mexico near a taco stand (the foot belongs to his girlfriend).
  • When filters were first released in September of 2011, there were only four: Amaro, Rise, Hudson, and Valencia. The app now offers more than 20
  • April 9, 2012, Instagram sold to Facebook 18 months after its launch for $1 billion
  • The company is projected to generate nearly $14billion in revenue in 2019 alone

[/mk_custom_list][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][mk_divider style=”thin_solid” divider_width=”one_half” thin_single_color=”#f06781″ margin_bottom=”0″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1488416139792{margin-top: 20px !important;}”][vc_empty_space height=”40px”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552420782144{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]While Instagram’s account is the most followed, Selena Gomez held the title of most followed person for quite some time. However, she was recently bumped to third at 147 million followers, closely trailing Cristiano Ronaldo (157 million followers) and Ariana Grande (148 million followers).[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”870″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1552421866781{padding-top: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1488416148017{margin-top: 20px !important;}”][vc_empty_space height=”40px”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552421693674{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Previously held by Beyoncé’s “pregnant with twins announcement” and Kylie Jenner’s announcement about her child Stormi’s birth, the most liked photo ever on Instagram now belongs to… an egg? A photo of an egg gathered 53+million likes! [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”869″ img_size=”463×374″ css=”.vc_custom_1552421725628{padding-top: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner][mk_divider style=”thick_solid” divider_width=”custom_width” custom_width=”50″ align=”left” border_color=”#f06781″ margin_top=”0″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552498566022{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Having trouble with your social media? Contact us for a consultation on your strategy![/vc_column_text][mk_button dimension=”flat” size=”large” url=””]Contact Us[/mk_button][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Serving Customers Through Social Media

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552502641605{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Have you created a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter profile for your business? Are you using these profiles? If your answer to the latter is “no”, then you should be concerned.  And even if you answered “yes”, this still applies to you.

Social media platforms are a way for you to connect with both your current and potential customers. Sure, it’s a place to promote your latest updates, product launches, or special offers… but it’s also a BIG player in direct customer service. This is where questions are asked and where complaints are voiced. If you’re not being a part of these conversations, get someone in place who can be (and properly prepare them). Not addressing these posts is a terribly missed opportunity.

So how should you be handling customer service on your social media platforms? Below are a few tips on how to interact with commenters in order to form customer relationships and transform them into brand advocates.

The Faster, the Better

If a customer is asking you a question, respond as if that person is standing directly in front of you.  You wouldn’t wait 2 days to tell someone your business hours or completely ignore customer feedback (good or bad). Slow responses can result in lost revenues and/or imply a lack of interest in your customers (the people who determine your success) to a stadium on online spectators. Reply to people as soon as possible and be prepared to take the conversation offline – Twitter feuds are a bad look, after all. Same-day replies are your customers’ preference. That’s high bar to achieve, but if it were easy, as the say goes, everybody would be doing it.

Only Employ the Essentials

Interacting with people through Social media is time consuming and expensive- whether it’s your time or someone else’s. Don’t add more to your workload by creating accounts where you don’t need to. Targeting an older demo? Maybe Facebook and Twitter are all you need. Have a highly visual service or product? Perhaps Instagram is your answer. Research your target market’s social usage and compare the findings to your business’s needs. The platforms’ whose answers overlap are the only places you should be.

Establish a Personality

Obviously, personality is easier to display when your brand is more light and fun (hello funny memes and #TBT participation). But, even the more serious lines of business can relay passion, thoughtfulness, and positivity in an authentic manner. Find what works for you and exude it. And something that unifies all types of business is the need to show appreciation. Tell your customers “Thank You”. Say it often. Do it one-on-one. Outside of your website, where else are you going to find an audience that’ll be more engaged with your brand? The quality of your product or service, combined with true gratitude, is how you turn a customer into an advocate. Having brand advocates is what makes your business obtain long-term sustainability. Therefore your advocates value is insurmountable!

Providing excellent customer service on your social media is an obligation. Fewer are the days of people picking up the phone to talk to you. These conversations are happening on your social media, now. And the reward of putting in this hard work can have 10 times the return. Good experiences people have with your brand can result in public acknowledgement for the world to see- a positive tweet testimonial has the potential to reach thousands! So, engage with your customers and see the incredible impact it has on your business.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][mk_divider style=”thick_solid” divider_width=”custom_width” custom_width=”50″ align=”left” border_color=”#f06781″ margin_top=”0″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552501487512{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Need help reviving your social media accounts? Not sure if you’re active in a space where you customers are? Here at Decantery, we are happy to help questions like these and more! Contact us today to discuss your social media strategy and tactics.[/vc_column_text][mk_button dimension=”flat” size=”large” url=””]Contact us[/mk_button][/vc_column][/vc_row]

An Intro to Hashtags for Businesses

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552509421251{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]You see them on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds: #tryingtobeclever, #letstalkinhashtags, #worldslongesthashtag. Hashtags aren’t just an accessory to your posts, there is a purpose for them and once you know the why’s and how’s…you may adjust the way you use them.

What is a “#”?

Hashtags are words or phrases, sans spaces, that are activated by putting a “#” at the beginning of it.  Their use is meant for making posts searchable.  They’re of Twitter origin, intended as a means of tagging the topic of a tweet.

Here are 3 top ways hashtags are used:

To Participate in Popular Social Trends – These general hashtags are a way to interact with your social friends/followers. Meant for anyone and everyone to use…they’re part of universal social conversations. When done right, it’s good to see brands participate in these kinds of posts- here to join in the fun, not just pushing their product.

Examples: #TBT (Throw Back Thursday), #TIL (Today I Learned), #ROLF (Rolling On The Floor Laughing, #MCM or #WCW (Man or Woman Crush Wednesday)

Share Event Experiences – This can range from a professional conference, to weddings, fun contests, or simply a reoccurring game nights with a group of friends. By making your event into a hashtag you can easily access photos, posts, and gauge sentiment. You can even register your hashtag here to collect all the elements in one place, plus get analytics insight.

Examples: #CES2017, #Oscars, #ForeverGreen2015, #GoogleSummit, #2016SmithSummerExtravaganza, #CivicTech, #OneLifeMakeItCount, #Tarte2Go

Catalog Experiences – Using hashtags this way is much like their initial intention and have evolved into wide spectrum of use cases. There’s personal use, such as tagging every photo of your child since birth with the same hashtag…sort of a social scrapbooking method. The blogger of Tales of a Twin Mombie does this with her twin boys #lopeztwinsies

Professional use, often as a means of promoting an aspect of an organization such as company culture. Southwest airlines does a great job of this. Look up #SWALuv on Instagram to see photos of internal award moments, company parties, and day-to-day fun on the job.

And lastly the more “general” use so your posts and images can be found when someone is looking for a particular topic. Such instances could be tagging your favorite Mexican restaurant dish with #enchilada if you snap a drool-worthy pic, #bored if you’re standing in line at the DMV and want to publicly complain about your despair, or #CompanyName if you have a great experience at an establishment and want to spread the word.

A Few Beginner Tips

  • Use existing hashtags. Unless you’re creating a hashtag that you plan on using repeatedly, do not make up a phrase that will never be used again just to appear witty.
    • Acceptable: #CompanyName2017Picnic
    • Discouraged: #whenyoubreakyourfavoritemug …just say # SMH (shaking my head) and call it a day.
  • Don’t overly hashtag. Facebook’s is not intended for hashtag use like Instagram and Twitter. Use 3 hashtags in a Facebook post max, the ideal range is 1-2. Twitter allows unlimited hashtags, but they recommend no more than 2. Instagram is where you’ll see an abundance of hashtag abuse, where the limit is 30. There’s a debate over an ideal limit, 3-12 is a general consensus. When hashtags are overly used, it appears spammy.
    • Also, don’t use hashtags in every post. Use them for purpose, not emphasis.
  • Only use hashtags where they serve their purpose, as in the platform they’re meant for. Right now that’s strictly Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the plethora of hashtag options. Take advantage of the variety and apply the most relevant selections so you can attract the right crowd. Overtime, you’ll figure out what works for you.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row style=”thick_solid” divider_width=”custom_width” custom_width=”50″ align=”left” border_color=”#f06781″ thin_color_style=”single_color” thin_single_color=”” thin_grandient_color_from=”” thin_grandient_color_to=”” thin_gradient_color_style=”linear” thin_gradient_color_angle=”vertical” thin_grandient_color_fallback=”” thickness=”1″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″][vc_column][mk_divider style=”thick_solid” divider_width=”custom_width” custom_width=”50″ align=”left” border_color=”#f06781″ margin_top=”0″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552508788468{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]In need of a partner to help you get off to a good start or don’t have the time to bother with your Social messaging strategy?  Contact us today, we’re here to help![/vc_column_text][mk_button dimension=”flat” size=”large” url=””]Contact Us[/mk_button][/vc_column][/vc_row]