Twitter's most popular brands according to emoji analysis

Tweets containing a brand name and an emoji have grown in number by 49% since September 2015 making it more important than ever for comms managers to be able to dissect the purpose and intent of the colourful sprites in messages from the public.

On social media, consumers use emoji to convey emotions to brands, social media analytics companies like Brandwatch can use this feedback to build a picture of how select companies are perceived online. In the age of ‘let’s attract millennials’, brands are more eager than ever to invite these modern hieroglyphics into their discourse and customer service.

The Emoji Report from Brandwatch found that female tweets were responsible for 61% of emoji analyzed, men only contributed 39%. The most commonly displayed emotions on Twitter were the joy emojis representing 31% of all symbols. This was followed by disgust at 21%, sadness at 16%, fear at 15%, surprise at 10% and anger at only 7%.

Over the last few years the use of negative emojis has remained stable although two peaks were noted. Negative emoji use grew by 3% in the months before and during the British EU referendum (23rd June 2016), furthermore it reached a two-year peak of 28.9% of all emoji in the week of the US election.

The report indexed the 50 brands that have received the highest share of positive emojis over the last two years.

The top ten features Pantene, Jameson, Subway, InterContinental Hotels, Tesla, Unicef, Tommy Hilfiger, Aviva, Guinness and MasterCard, from a peak of 93.9% positivity to 86%. Pantene benefited from influencer engagement from Yuri and Selena Gomez, Tommy Hilfiger also made good use of influencers. InterContinental requested user generated content from their trips and Jamesons and Guinness saw a significant upshot during St Patrick’s Day.

Across the whole list it becomes apparent some sectors draw more ire than others. Hotels, apparel, spirits and beer are the most laden with positive emoji and non-profit, energy, public sector, insurance and consumer banks received the least.

The report concluded: “Brands, in particular, are set to garner the most value from emoji analysis as it provides a real-time look at how their brand, products, and services are perceived online compared to their competitors.

“It wouldn’t require much effort to imagine a world in the near future where the volume of positive or negative emojis next to a brand name could be used to help determine a company’s market cap. Or a world where a 100% increase in emojis that represent illness help identify potential health issues across geographies.”