Prior to April 27th, Instagram was searchable by hashtag and user handle only. Digital Marketing Strategists, especially Social Media & Community Managers should take notice of this change. This change is foundational to the way we communicate on what is quickly becoming the internets leading visual commerce source.
As brands catch on to the way consumers share images with emojis it will be interesting to see how brands attempt to monopolize a certain emoji for their product promotion.
Beyond the land grab race for emoji brand association, top brands are also creating emojis of their own and putting serious money behind their promotion. Last week AdWeek featured anarticle on Mentos and their “ementicon” campaign. Mentos unvieled their 10 “ementicons” emojis as a way connect their community and make brand communication on social channels even easier that a traditional hashtag.
“We’ve seen messaging, emoticon and emoji use skyrocket across platforms globally,” said Ben Shaw, strategy director for BBH in London, Mentos’ agency. “Creating branded emoticons, or social stickers, allows Mentos to participate in a space that can be difficult for brands to penetrate.”
The difficulty brand penetration into the emoji world is an obstacle well articularted by Ben Shaw, but continuing along with the #(red shoe emoji) example makes it clear that brands have already penitrated the emoji space.
With the search of the #(red shoe emoji) is a customer generated marketing asset from one of BANGS Shoes brand ambassadors. From the que of content made searchable by the emoji search feature, brands can filter the hundreds of thousands of posts per day to a more manageable amount to identify useable content for their brands.
Without a hashtag opt in, such as a #BANGS2015 or another brand promoted call to action, digital marketing strategists will need to obtain and manage the digital rights to this new source of UGC.
StoryBox provides scalable and effective digital management solutions to help brands make emoji curated content useable and brand safe. Through these customized solutions, your brand can remain protected while you engage with fans and receive authorization to use their user-generated content, images, and videos. The team at StoryBox is dedicated to helping brands request the rights needed to amplify the use and reach of user-generated content, images, and videos, on your brand’s website, social networks, ads, and other marketing applications.
Finishing up the #(red shoe emoji) example, its apparent that Instagram’s Emoji Hashtag feature will impact visual commerce and digital marketing strategy. Quantitative marketing studies directed at intentionality and frequency of use have already been a focus of some marketers, and a few fast moving brands are begining to promotoe emojis of their own to tap into this social sharing visual space. Taking emoji hashtags one step further, brands now can increase their ability to search, find, and display brand safe customer created content by using Instagram’s new feature.
For more information on how brands can use customer created content: