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Emoji Marketing for Higher Education

Last month, Facebook rolled out “Emoji Reactions” providing users with even more options to express themselves. Here’s the full range below:

According to a media report, “the feature will be tested first in Spain and Ireland and will be available on both mobile and desktop versions when it launches.”

I will brace myself for the deluge of the angry emojis when my 13-year-old asks for yet another X-box game and I respond with the “haha” face.

Meanwhile, the good news is that higher education marketers will have even more options to engage with prospective students.

Are you already including emojis in your Facebook posts?  If not, well, that’s….

Here’s why.

Prospective students are inundated with communications from colleges and universities. As a parent of a high school senior, I have stacks and stacks of incoming postcards, viewbooks, and letters to prove it.

Has my son read them all?

There is so much – and what little spare time he has outside of school, homework, and extracurricular activities, he spends online.

The fact of the matter is that he’s not alone.

Consider these Facebook stats.

According a recent report from Pew Research Center, 82% of Facebook users are between the ages of 18-29, the highest percentage of any age group.  In addition, “Facebook continues to have the most engaged users – 70% log on daily, including 43% who do so several times a day.”

If you are marketing to undergraduate or graduate prospective students, and you aren’t optimizing your digital marketing- including posting on Facebook at least once a day, you are missing out on a huge engagement opportunity.

But it’s far more than simply having a presence, posting some content, and hoping it will stick.

The best posts that drive conversions speak to the needs and goals of your target audience, embrace a conversational tone, and foster an emotional connection.

And one of the most effective ways to establish an emotional connection is to communicate using the language of your readers. And today that’s emoji.

Here’s an example of a Facebook post from a friend’s 16-year-old daughter who was was writing about her older sister leaving for college. Note the messaging above the throwback image.

(Oh, the endearing pet names that siblings have for one another.)

There are 9 emoji to 23 words, representing nearly 30 percent of the content in the post.

It’s just one example, but I can assure you that I see a lot of emoji in Facebook posts of individuals in their teens, twenties, thirties, forties — and beyond.

Think about that in the context of your target market for your undergraduate and graduate programs.

If you need some more convincing, here are some additional reasons why emoji are important to include in your Facebook posts:

  • Capture attention in a busy newsfeed
  • Tap into emotions to establish a personal connection with prospects
  • Humanize your college or university
  • Convey the personality of your programs
  • Communicate [virtually] “face-to-face”
  • Drive a call-to-action
  • Communicate more effectively with a global audience through universal language

So, go ahead.  Increase the (e)mojo of your Facebook posts.  It will help drive conversations that will increase enrollment. And your prospective students will give you the:

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