An empirical study on the effective usage of emojis in marketing communication

Winslet Ting Yan Chan, Chi Hong Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Emojis are now commonly used in the online environment, ranging from personal communication among peers to marketing promotions directed toward consumers. The total number of Emojis used in different online communication platforms exceeds 2,800 and is increasing continuously. Selecting a proper Emoji and using it effectively to enhance communication is not as simple a task as it appears at first glance. This research examines various aspects of the effective usage of Emojis including the number, position, and type (e.g., facial and non-facial) of Emojis in an online message. A survey with 234 respondents was conducted to investigate online users’ attitudes toward the usage of Emoji. The survey results showed that in general, users like using Emojis with text in online communication. Survey findings revealed that messages with Emojis were more preferable than those without. Facial expression-related Emojis are preferable in a generic context, while context-relevant Emojis are best used in specific situations. The preferable position for using an Emoji is at the end of a message. In addition, a memory test with 154 subjects (out of the 234 respondents mentioned above) was performed to show that using Emoji in a text could enhance the audience members’ memory of the text. This supports the hypothesis that Emojis can create and improve awareness of a message and enhance communication in the online environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Communication Enhancement
  • Emoji
  • Marketing Communication
  • Users’ Attitudes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

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