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The Most Popular Emojis You Can Use to Drive User Engagement

They convey emotions in a way that words can’t.

By Victoria KurichenkoPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
Image credit: Lidya Nada on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered how much digital content is created daily? Here is a shocking truth:

  • 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram daily.
  • 306.4 billion emails are sent, and 5 million tweets are created daily.
  • In the last two years alone, an astonishing 90% of the world’s data has been created.

You see, people worldwide create a vast amount of informational content users cannot even consume. We want to create content that engages readers and makes them open, read, like, reflect on, and share it. Why? Because the content has zero value without engagement. However, all means are good to achieve the goals.

Emojis in a tweet can increase engagement by 25.4 percent. Emojis in a Facebook post can increase the likes by 57 percent, while the number of comments and shares can grow by 33 percent.

As a content creator, I am actively using various emojis to drive engagement and improve email click-through rates. I am going to show you some examples of how emojis can be actively used to drive engagement. But first, look at some fun stats of the most popular emojis.

10 Most Popular Emojis

With social distancing, people express their emotions to others in text messages more than ever before these days. Here is a list of the 10 most popular emojis used in communication and social media in 2020.

1. 😂 Face with tears of joy

This is the emoji equivalent of LOL (laugh-out-loud). It is used to express emotions that are impossible to keep inside when something ridiculous happens. Imagine you ask someone to date you on Facebook, or you return home to pick up a backpack, but eventually, leave without it. LOL.

2. 😭 Loudly crying face

This one may signal a person is in grief, but it is also frequently used to express other feelings like non-stop laughing or overwhelming joy.

3. 👇 👉 Pointing fingers

This one is my favorite. Whenever I create Twitter or Linkedin posts, I often include the pointing finger to direct users to the call to action or a link.

4. 🤣 Rolling on the floor laughing

This is reserved for genuinely hilarious instances where you cannot hold your emotions back.

5. ❤️ Red heart

This one is a universal and never-ending signal of respect and love. You may want to use it to praise your mom’s photo on Instagram or thank customers for staying loyal. The heart emoji is an effective sign of passing love from the other side of the screen.

6. 🔥 Fire

This is for alarming news, slang for things people find attractive, short-time offers, promo campaigns — everything marketers want to point your attention to. This one indeed drives engagement.

7. 😍 Smiling face with heart eyes

Whether you are in love with a new album of your favorite artist or choosing a new pair of shoes, the heart-eyes are there to express excitement and joy.

8. 🙏 Folded hands

This one conveys a feeling of belief that someone will get better soon, hoping that a client will return or a user will complete your target action. This one can be effectively used to ask for a favor and express support.

9. 😊 Smiling face with smiling eyes

This is the face of true happiness, self-satisfaction, a moment when you achieved or helped someone, and your actions have been praised.

10. 🥰 Smiling face with hearts

This emoji is a true expression of love shared with the closest friends, family, and significant others. You can use this when your significant other does something special, or you get a long-wanted gift for a birthday.

Emojis on Social Media

Emojis are universal. Their meaning does not change from country to country. Hence, they can be effectively used on social media by various brands to attract potential customers.

Take a look at this emoji ad from McDonald’s. No matter which language is used, we all get its meaning: "Having a bad day? Go to McDonald’s and get happy again. I’m loving it!"

McDonald's emojis ad. Image source

World-famous companies get even more creative when it comes to emoji usage. Would you be comfortable, let’s say, sharing a condom emoji to talk about sex? 🤔 No, I’m not joking now! A study from 2014 shared surprising stats, 84% of 16 to 25-year-olds said they would prefer to talk about sex using emojis.

Guess what Durex did? Yes, they used the power of emojis to spread the word about safe sex and raise awareness for World AIDS Day.

#CondomEmoji was a global social media campaign back in 2015 to establish Durex as a major player in the worldwide fight against HIV and AIDS.

This is what Lama Mansour, a brand manager of Durex Canada, said about this campaign:

“The Durex brand stands for loving sex, but loving it in a safe way, so the emoji campaign ties into our brand benefit and positioning.”

Most emojis are straightforward. Feel free to include them in your email subjects and social media promotion to boost performance. However, make sure you know the meaning behind them because apparent things for you might not be that apparent for your clients.

For instance, 60% of people assign sexual meaning to 🍑, while only 4% perceive this emoji as a peach. If you do not want to create buzz around your brand with biased emoji meanings, here is an Emojipedia for you. (Yesss, such things exist!)


Emojis are no longer considered inappropriate or informal. Companies around the globe utilize the power of emojis to catch users' attention, encourage interaction, higher click-through rates, and a better response rate from customers.

“Emojis are by no means taking away from our written language but rather accentuating it by providing a tone that words on their own often cannot. They are, in a sense, the most evolved form of punctuation we have at our disposal.” — Emmy J. Favilla

I hope you learned something new and had fun reading this post.


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Your support means a lot to me as a writer! You can also read more of my stories here.


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About the Creator

Victoria Kurichenko

Self-made marketer & content writer. Writing daily. Creating SEO-friendly content for 3 years.

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