Emoji Keyboards For Your Campus

There is an emoji for almost every situation. According to Unicode Standard, as of June 2017, there were 2,666 emojis. In 2015, Oxford Dictionaries made the word the year the “face with tears of joy” emoji. Companies, celebrities, and higher education institutions have been adding their own emojis to the mix for people to use. Emojis add personality, fun, and allow users to express themselves in new ways. They are also a way for brands to interact and connect with users.  

Colleges and universities have been releasing their own emoji keyboards to connect with alumni, students, and more to raise school spirit and show pride. Emojis can also be used for outreach purposes.  

Barnard College worked with Priceless Misc, a digital production and strategy company, to create an emoji keyboard. Priceless Misc recommends institutions create emojis people will actually use, release enough art to keep people coming back, provide variations on themes, create simple art concepts, keep people coming back for more, and coordinate emojis with events and campaigns to multiply impact.  

When considering an emoji keyboard, institutions should also keep in mind the different devices among users. For instance, the College of Charleston started pursuing its keyboard once the iPhone operating system changed its standard paw print from maroon to black, eliminating a go-to symbol of school pride. The institution’s new emoji keyboard, released in early 2017, is now recognized for its shrimp and grits emoji. According to The Post and Courier, the free keyboard cost $9,000 to create and also offers campus icons, gifs, and many different facial expressions for Clyde the Cougar, the college mascot.  

University Unions at the University of Michigan released “M-oji,” a set of 100+ emoji stickers that feature dining hall cookies, football coach Jim Harbaugh’s khakis, a squirrel, and more. The free app was created by a team of mobile developers and six student designers.  

Mississippi State University was the first university in the United States to have its own emoji keyboard. The university teamed up with Snaps, a marketing platform for brands, to release an app that was downloaded more than 33,000 times in the two weeks after it was released, according to the official blog of Mississippi State athletics. The keyboard has 40 custom emojis, stickers, and gifs for people to use.  

As these and other campuses are finding, often emojis can be a good fit for social media campaigns that align with an overall brand strategy.

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