Why Social Algorithms Prefer Emojis Over Text

Social algorithms are basically the main ingredient when it comes to branding. When you’ve got the algorithm-game right, you’re likely to succeed with your marketing strategies, reach more people, and gain traffic. It wasn’t this complex to get your content and pages to rank on top of your audience’s search feeds maybe a decade ago, but now it’s all about algorithms and what companies are doing to satisfy those algorithms. Hence, keeping up with the needs of these social algorithms should be of utmost priority to your campaigns. One such priority comes in the shape of emojis.

Previously known as emoticons, emojis have increasingly become a common method of communication not just between friends and family members, but also between brands. But why do social algorithms prefer these emojis when you could just use text to get your point across? This blog contains all that information and more.

Increase Engagement

Emojis operate the same way that your visual content does, in that they increase the probability of audience interaction. Let’s take the example of Facebook alone; in 2016, Facebook emojis were just a way for people to interact with each other, but by 2017, Facebook confirmed that emojis actually have an impact on a page’s visibility, meaning they have a direct connection to Facebook’s algorithm.


Reports show that using emojis increases engagement rates by about 60% more likes and 30+% more engagement and shares. Moreover, a user’s utility of emojis also has an impact on what they might see on their timelines, i.e. if you react to something with a reaction emoji instead of just the like-button, it will increase your chances of seeing similar content more on your timeline.
Facebook Reactions - Social Algorithms Prefer Emojis

Although this doesn’t take into consideration the kind of emoji you used i.e. even if you use the angry or sad emoji, the chances of you watching content like that also increases not just the one where you react happily.


A while ago, Quintley analyzed about 29,000 Instagram profiles and 5 million posts to discover almost 57% of accounts use at least 1 emoji in their posts, and posts with emojis had an interaction rate of more than 15%.

Engagement rate

Emojis may not feel relevant to your brand, and they might even seem inauthentic or out of tone for your voice, but data suggests that there is at least some advantage to the continuous use of emojis. Moreover, the amount of emojis now available at every user’s disposal means there must be at least something subtle enough to fit with your brand’s tone without compromising on your credibility while also giving you a chance to experiment on increasing your engagement rate.


Despite its emphasis on B2B marketing, LinkedIn is also a good place to gain attention on your content based on the use of emojis as 68% of professionals believe their use can increase your credibility. With the right amount of emoji usage, you can gain just the right kind of attention from your audience. Although you may want to be cautious about this because too many emojis makes you come off as immature and unprofessional, and since it’s LinkedIn we’re talking about, that’s the last thing you want to come off as in front of the audience.

Bring Relatability

Another reason emojis are so preferred by algorithms is that they bring a level of relatability to your audience, and anything that’s relatable, is loved by platforms and their optimization code. Basically, using emojis resonates with the audience as they bring a human touch to a brand’s message, making it easier for people to understand the purpose for which a message is being given by any brand. And bringing this human trait to your marketing is what social media emphasizes.

Applies the Less is More Strategy

Emojis are a guaranteed way of conveying more by saying less. This is a great weapon for platforms like Twitter where there is a limited character count. It’s also a great tool when it comes to using storytelling as a content strategy. There is a huge number of emojis available at your disposal, you just need to know how to create a story out of them. This is one of the main reasons social algorithms prefer the use of emoji over text, because emojis simplify the message, and get your point across so easily, you’d start questioning the use of long, complicated captions.

The Relevance of Emojis in SEO

Bing was one of the first search engines to allow the use of emojis in searches. Ever since many search engines such as Google have allowed the use of emojis when searching for content. Although, there are some limitations in place to prevent the overuse of emojis on the site.

Firstly, Google doesn’t list emojis in your SERPs if they’re not relevant to the searcher’s queries. Secondly, emojis can also get omitted when they’re considered to be too misleading or spammy.

But even if your use of emojis is relevant, there is a chance that Google won’t show exactly what you mean for it to show when you use a specific emoji. E.g. the emoji 🍑 is for the fruit, peach, but that’s not what it’s used for when it comes to social media. Hence, if you use this emoji for your searches, you will be redirected to some very questionable, explicit content related to the meaning attached to this emoji rather than the fruit itself.

Hence, you need to be aware of Google’s algorithm when it comes to the use of emojis because you won’t be gaining an automatic advantage over SEO with simply the use of one or two emojis in your meta descriptions and titles. Although paired with the relevant keywords, this emoji use can give you an optimized result.

3 Big Reasons Brands Use Emojis in their Campaigns

Brands Use Emojis

With the age of personalized branding, there remains little doubt that brands will use this tactic to make their campaigns stand out from the rest. But how do they do it, is where their creativity and the relevance of their campaign gets tested. There are some brands that have excelled at the use of emojis to send their message across. One of the biggest examples of this would be Pepsi, which even started using emojis on their packaging. Below are some of the best examples of brands using emojis for their marketing campaigns.

1. Add Personality

Pepsi – PepsiMoji

2. Spread Awareness


3. Be Playful



There is no question that emojis are an important tool to be used in today’s age of digital communication, and they can give you an advantage when it comes to relevance and audience preferences. Furthermore, they’re fun to use, and they bring a more human and story-focused touch to your content which text alone may not be able to provide to the people you mean to engage with. Maybe emojis aren’t as effective in SEO as they are elsewhere, there are still a lot more benefits to emojis elsewhere, and it’s time every brand starts capitalizing on these benefits to optimize the relevance of their own content and messages.

Maha Abdul Rehman

A content writer and a psychology major, I procrastinate for 6 months or write consecutively. And I occasionally watch (see: obsess about) Football.

Explore further 👇

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x