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Sounds a little ridiculous, right? Emoji strategy? But lest we leap to judge prematurely, consider that 92% of us now use emojis and nearly 33% of us use them daily. According to research conducted by Facebook, emojis or clusters of emojis are replacing the once ubiquitous acronym-speak (e.g. LOL, TMI, NP, etc.) to convey inflection or nuance in our posts or messaging. To get the data, Facebook looked at public posts and comments during the last week of May in 2015 then anonym-ized the data. Posts that contained the often used response “haha” or “hehe” were studied. Facebook found that people used emojis 33.7% to comment on a funny post yet only 1.9% used “LOL.”OMG!To add to the mix, a recent Wired article went a step further, suggesting that emojis will displace netspeak acronyms as the favored method for conveying nuance and emotion in general. The fact that netspeak acronyms may soon join Cornish on the dead-language list is not really what’s important for marketers. More relevant is the emergence of a powerful and pervasive new form of expression. It’s been only about five years since Apple iOS included the emoji keyboard and 3 years since Android followed suit. The emoji messaging trend, which may have seemed cute at first, is now unquestionably mainstream, particularly with Millennials and the ever-growing Gen We-ers. The exponential rise in mobile usage and platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat have fueled the emoji revolution. So, if people are “speaking” this new language, shouldn’t the brands who serve these people become fluent as well?Big Brands Meet with Mixed SuccessTo promote the 2016 Chevy Cruz, the brand created an all-emoji press release with the hashtag, #ChevyGoesEmoji. They then invited consumers, primarily image-fluent millennials to whom the vehicle was marketed, to translate the press release. However, consumers struggled to decipher the meaning.Chevy creates all-emojiy press release                  Incredible concept but people seemed to have difficulty with the length and actual message itself. Maybe the work to decipher the message was not quite worth the payoff-which is typically the fun in decrypting emojis. Keep in mind that this was a promotion and perhaps a bit too forward thinking for its time.Domino's DeliversDomino’s on the other hand introduced a platform that allowed customers to order pizza simply by texting or tweeting the pizza emoji. When given the choice between using shorthand, “easy order” or using the pizza emoji, 4 times as many consumers choose the emoji. The initiative garnered a lot of positive PR and buzz about the feature remains relatively high.Order Domino's via emoji                    It’s clear that emojis are here and now. How long they continue to penetrate the cultural visual vernacular is up for debate. But it’s apparent that brands, particularly those that rely on social media intel about their customers, should expend resources to learn the language of emojis. Some savvy businesses are doing just that.Shopping Concierge, Operator, Dials it Up with EmojisI made a recent purchase with the new text-based shopping concierge app, Operator (founded by Robin Chan of Uber fame), virtually every message in our exchange (first system-generated and then from the live rep) was punctuated with emojis.  Operator uses emojis in messagesUsing emojis in this context of a concierge helped convey a sense of humanity, personality, enthusiasm and a lighter tone. Plus it worked. I bought an air purifier (another post for another day.) In closing, when you consider the fact that marketers are using mountains of data to identify and establish more personal and engaging relationships with customers, it stands to reason that understanding, processing, surveying and conversing in emoji will be fundamental ;)