Going Emoji: Twitter Adds New Targeting Feature for Advertisers

By BKV in Social Media on September 21st, 2016

Emoji targeting could be a game changer for Twitter advertisers.

As social media companies work hard to capture digital advertising revenue, they continue to expand their repertoire of targeting features. Most recently, Twitter has gone emoji. Similar to the way you target users based on keywords, you can now go after your audience based on the emojis they use in messaging.

The following is a look at new Twitter emoji targeting features, along with its potential advantages for advertisers.

Express Your Emojions

The central premise of the emoji targeting feature is that social users communicate important messages through emojis. Essentially, these image icons combine efficiency that tech-savvy users love with conveyance of particular feelings. Emotional appeals have always been powerful in persuasive advertising. Emojis are a communication mechanism that speak to the emotions of the messenger.

If you sell sports brands, for instance, you might go after Twitter users that include a basketball or football emoji in messages. Imagine a national sporting goods brand looking to promote a major sale; they can pitch their sponsored Tweet to anyone that has included a basketball emoji during a certain period of time. Pizza companies could conveniently target people who use the pizza emoji in a Tweet.

Be Sure to Stay on 1f3af

According to Marketing Land, the number of emoji options initially available for targeting are limited. This initial limit likely gives Twitter an opportunity to evaluate and fine-tune the feature before expansion.

One of the specific limits is that you can only target one emoji at a time. Thus, a company selling winter coats could target users displaying the emoji for cold. However, if someone includes the cold emoji and the emoji for being ill, advertisers have to choose. Combo targeting should get added in the future, which will improve precision. In this example, you could target someone who is both cold and ill with specific products.

Character Plays an Important Role

Effective marketers have always adapted to changes in the marketplace. In social media, users have increasingly taken interest in acronyms, emojis and other forms of quick expression. It is difficult to target people using historical keyword strategies when typical Tweeters don't post in complete sentences.

Emoji targeting is fairly straightforward as well. You identify one or more characters that match your brand, define common reasons people would use them in a Tweet, and tailor your sponsored posts to highlight matching benefits.

Twitter Emoji targeting may seem gimmicky, but this efficient and adaptive form of target marketing is likely to grow in usage quickly.


Digital advertising emphasizes precision and cost-efficiency. So too does emoji posting on Twitter. To adapt to the communication styles on particular technology, the transition to emoji targeting makes perfect sense.

The next step is to work with an expert digital advertising firm that can help take your brand to the social audience. Contact us to discuss your brand and your goals.