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How to be fluent in emoji



Here at jump! we love to study people. Their behaviour, their beliefs, their motivations.

We’re always looking for ways to better connect with people, all people. As any good marketer will know, in order to connect you need to be able to speak the language. And for today’s marketers this includes the universal digital language of ‘emoji’.

According to one Business Insider report, emoji now make up to 40% of all communication messaging on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Nowhere is this more evident than among younger mobile users. ‘Generation Z’, essentially anyone born after 1995, are the first true digital natives preferring to communicate with symbols rather than text.

So wanting to better understand this growing obsession with emoji and not wanting to sound like aged technophobes we recruited some bona fide Gen Z’ers and have done some snooping into what emoji are, how to use them properly and what brands are getting emoji right.

emoji post 1

The emoji family currently consists of 93 round yellow guys, 15 families of four, 10 happy couples and 42 national flags, provoking international melodramatic messages infused with yellow smileys. Emoji, essentially helps convey tone, facial expression and body language in trying to get our message across.

So how fluent are you? You can probably speak smiley face but can you speak moon face?


Moon Face Emoji

When to use: no exact purpose, enjoys being mysterious. Can be used to express social awkwardness.

When not to use: never


The difficulties and misunderstandings with emoji lie with emoji grammar. Often misused which in turn portrays an incorrect meaning. A study by Bangor University found that 31% of over 40s admitting they avoid using emoji in text because they lack confidence in how to use them appropriately.


So here’s our top tips to getting it right:


Sassy Emoji

When to use: strategically placed after a sassy or sarcastic comment, hand held in a post hair flick position.

When not to use: you’ve made a grammatical error in a smart response

hear no say no

See-No-Evil Emoji

When to use: you made a big mistake last night, or you’ve managed to embarrass myself.

When not to use: you are fully accountable and proud of your actions

100 percent

Keep it 100 Emoji

When to use: if you think is something is cool, also can be used for ‘keep it real’

When not to use: crocs are topic of conversation


dancing twins

The Dancing Emoji Twins

When to Use: the dancing twins show a bond you have with someone, or claiming to be twinning (matching) with a good friend or when you and your bestie take a celebratory selfie.

When not to use: someone has shown up to the debs in the same outfit as you


Nail Polish Emoji

When to Use: Demonstrates an air of nonchalance or not really giving a damn, you have more important things to do.

When not to use: when you’re applying for an internship or job that you really really want.


By understanding the language of emoji you open up numerous new ways for creative storytelling for your brand. It presents an opportunity to play a little.

story pic

According to Mary Meekers internet trends report, Smartphones have become the go-to digital device for many, especially millennials and Gen Z.

  • 87% say their smartphone never leaves their side
  • 80% say it’s the first thing they reach for when they wake up
  • 60% believe everything will be done on mobile devices

Given the growth in Smartphone usage, marketers need to evolve how they communicate with customers now relying more on real-time, short and visually engaging content. What better way to do this than an emoji?

Some brands have already embraced emoji within their marketing campaigns. Two examples we like are Mentos & Domino’s. Both are great examples of getting the tone and context right. It’s absolutely essential when using emojis to mean the same things that your audience does.

peace outwaving hand





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