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!

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