Launched in June 2016, Twitter’s emoji ad targeting gives brands the ability to connect with people based on the emoji they include in their tweets. While the ad targeting feature has been around for almost two years – probably a life on Twitter – some people think of emoji targeting as a relatively new concept compared to the platform’s standard ad targeting options.

“4C has asked hundreds of customers to use emoji targeting, but we work with over a thousand customers in total, so it ‘sa relatively small group of advertisers who experience this feature, “says Aaron Goldman, CMO for 4C Insights,” We expect this number to increase as brands see positive feedback at this specific level of targeting. ”

4C is one of six certified Twitter partners that offer emoji targeting campaigns. The data technology and marketing company offers a self-service platform for advertisers who use Twitter campaigns. Emoji targeting is one of the many targeting options available through the 4C platform.

Can emojis give results?

The OCM claims that one of its agency’s customers in the fast food industry that targeted different types of emoticons saw its engagement rates rise by 260%.

“This means that the number of people who responded to the ad has increased 2.6 times compared to the advertiser’s traditional ads.As a rule, a 10 percent increase over a Announcement is a solid result, so it’s a huge increase, “says Goldman.

Like most advertising targeting, the targeting of emoji can be superimposed on other criteria, such as age, centers of interest or location. The OCM claims that emoji targeting is a relatively new concept compared to standard targeting criteria such as demographic or geographic information used by marketers for decades.

“At the end of the day, it helps advertisers better know who they are touching and the best time to engage them, because an emoji gives a more colorful image of their audience beyond the black and white demographics and geography,” says Goldman.

Setting the context in context

According to JD Prater, director of growth marketing at AdStage, Twitter’s emoji targeting is focused on keywords.

At a previous digital marketing agency, Prater was overseeing a Twitter ad campaign that used emoji targeting paired with keyword phrases to redirect traffic to local weather pages to a weather app.

“We created ad groups targeting various weather emojis and segmented them according to weather conditions: rainy, snowy, sporty, etc. And we used sponsored Tweets for creations that also used emoji in advertising, “says Prater.

Prater says the goal was to target people using weather-related emojis, and tweet them to encourage them to see their local weather forecasts. The campaign used a number of emojis, including an ‘umbrella’, ‘rain cloud’, and ‘snowflake’, as well as emojis related to the activity as a person playing golf 🏌.

“We wanted to capture people when they were doing an activity or planning an activity, and then we hope to encourage them to check their local weather conditions for our Sponsored Tweets.”

Prater says the campaign’s results were correct, but his performance was not strong enough to continue delivering targeted emoji ads.

“The customer had specific goals for CPC [cost-per-click] and unfortunately these campaigns ran at a higher threshold,” says Prater, “The results were not necessarily bad for the industry , but for this specific customer, the CPCs were too high. “

A problem encountered by the Prater team in the context of the emoji targeting campaign was to determine the context in which people used emoji.

“For example, during our campaigns, we found people who used em [golf-club swinging] emoji to also mean” cast a shadow “in a conversation.This is certainly not a conversation about which we want to run ads – or take the em [umbrella] emoji, which we found used in various contexts, “says Prater,” People could “storm storms” or “you can not ☂️ on my parade . “”

Prater says that it’s hard to understand the meaning and context in which people use emojis, and that it’s much easier to make sense from the keyword patterns. He thinks that, in most cases, advertisers have an interest in targeting specific keywords rather than emojis.

“Right now, people are using emojis to communicate in different ways, and there is not really a universal standard.”

A return to the “Mad Men” of advertising

Although Prater thinks that it will be difficult to use emoji targeting ads to generate conversions, he thinks that advertisers who are looking for a commitment, or to help increase the number of followers, could to benefit from it.

“Ultimately, advertisers become more savvy by targeting their audience with the specific and relevant data offered by Facebook and LinkedIn,” says Prater, “I do not see why performance marketers would choose emojis instead. that targeting based on behavior and interests. “

4C’s Goldman claims that emoji targeting is not necessarily best suited to specific types of campaigns, but that it is most effective when it is applied strategically and authentically .

“Some brands want to get people to click and act right now – by targeting sportswear, for example, for people who have used football or basketball emojis,” said Goldman. “Other brands simply want to create connections with people – a certain state of mind, like someone who has just tweeted fire emoji.”

According to Goldman, emoji targeting drives marketers to discern the emotional intent behind an emoji.

“In a lot of ways, it’s a throwback to” Mad Men’s “ads, when marketers were forced to get into their audience’s heads to understand what would drive someone to use a specific emoji, and therefore the marketing message will best match this level of emotion. “

When asked what a large-scale campaign targeting emoji looks like, Goldman says his tool is still early on.

“Since emoji targeting is new and advertisers are still experimenting with it, there is no scale for campaigns when you are trying to determine what a campaign looks like. ” normal size “.”

Goldman points out that there are 2,666 emojis in the Unicode standard since June of last year, and the potential scale of single emoji targeting campaigns is huge, “L & # 39; Using creative software makes this scale workable for advertisers. ”

In the end, Goldman believes that emoji targeting should be used as any other targeting – to make the ad more relevant to the public.

[Traduction] “The mere fact that a marketer knows the nickname Twitter, the location and the favorite emoji of a consumer does not mean that all this information should be used in messaging,” says OCM of 4C. the first priority of an advertiser When in doubt, do not be scary! “

About the author

1508883209 976 paypals new marketing solutions tool highlights how buyers are using the online payment platform - The targeting of emoji ads on Twitter is still a new territory for some brands

Amy Gesenhues is the general reporter for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for land and search engine marketing. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning columnist for a number of dailies in New York, Texas. With over ten years of experience in marketing management, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more articles from Amy.