What can communications professionals learn from the Brandwatch Emotions Report?

Again, whilst I was browsing through LinkedIn, I recently saw a link to the Brandwatch ‘Emotions Report’ and I thought it would be something good to read. Turns out, there are some really interesting things that can be tracked using emojis!

If you want to access this report in full for yourselves, then you can view it on the Brandwatch website. I’ve summarised the report within the article, but I’d advise giving it a full read!

Firstly, as you know, I do love an emoji! I’ve even written about it before on Comma Comms!

1. How we use emojis

Firstly the report looks at how the public use emojis as part of their lives. I personally think this insight is amazing as it shows the diversity of emotions that emojis can reflect. It also shows that as well as moments of great joy 😂❤️, people are also sharing moments of sadness with their friends or organisations online 😭😩.

© Top 20 Most Used Emojis of 2018 | BrandWatch

Brandwatch have managed to separate emojis into six emotional groups: joy, disgust, sadness, anger, fear, and surprise.

© 2018 Emoji use, broken down by emotions | Brandwatch

I think this chart shows that although a quarter of usage is relating to joy, there is more usage linked to negative connotations such as disgust or sadness.

Of worry, there has been a growth in the use of ‘fear’, ‘sadness’ and ‘anger’ showing that the use of emojis reflects global events as well as people’s experiences with brands.

For communicators, these emotional groups are useful because you can ascertain the emotion of your customers through their use of emojis, something that is often more difficult from text alone.

© 2018 Emoji emotion by time of the day| Brandwatch

By analysing the time of the day where there is most ‘joy’, communicators can time their content to go out around these peaks. This may increase the likelihood of a positive reaction to your content.

Towards the end of the working day, even more so on a Friday, seems to be when people are most joyful . . . which is really not a shock.

There’s also some great information on the different meanings for emojis and how this analysis can affect the different language and emojis communicators can use to resonate with their target audience.

2. How we share emotions online

The report showed that Instagram was the happiest site, with joy leading more than 30% of all conversations, whereas news was led by sadness and forums attracting more anger.

© 2018 Emotion by channel| Brandwatch

This kind of information can provide communicators with guidance on the content they push out on different channels.

Brandwatch state that content on Instagram should be positivity focussed and if you’re planning to advertise on blogs or forums, then you should consider the tone of the audience using the platforms.

For communicators, understanding your channels is one of the most important things you will do. Knowing why your audience use different channels, and what they use them for, will allow you to place relevant and appropriate content in front of your audience at an appropriate time.

3. How do brands make people feel?

By far the most interesting part of the report for me is this section. When you’re looking at your sector, even if you’re the best against your competitor set, you’ll still need to consider how the general public regards the wider sector.

© 2018 Emotion by sector| Brandwatch

If you head over to the report, you can see the most popular emojis by sector.

This is useful for two reasons in my opinion. Firstly, this is a great indication of the emotions that surround your sector, but additionally, you can see the emojis that your audience use which you might be able to reflect in your online content.


The full report is definitely worth a read on the Brandwatch website and also it’s a great example of how to display content in a more engaging way.


If you have any comments or areas that you think I may have missed, please do let me know.

Follow me on Twitter for more updates . . . @BradTheCommsGuy

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