Emoticons in marketingLet’s talk emoji. It seems like they are going to become a mainstay in the marketer’s lexicon – if they aren’t already – what with Facebook giving them a trial run in Ireland and Spain.

The emoji test run spells curtains for the mooted “dislike” button, with the sentiment buttons expected to become a permanent fixture in time.

The new “Reactions” will allow users to choose a more appropriate sentiment when the “Like” button doesn’t suffice. However, it seems marketers are split on whether or not they are a good thing.

On the surface, it’s hard to argue against the benefit of the move, as it enables users to provide greater feedback on the content they are consuming.

Dare I say, even when the feedback is not quite what we’d envisaged, it could still make better marketers of us as it will provide us with a better idea of where our content efforts are going wrong.

David Carter, chief creative officer at US-based advertising and marketing firm Mithun, holds this particular opinion: “The data will help marketers break down the posts more specifically,” he told Ad Week.

“It’s super easy for someone to click on the ‘like’ button. But if a person takes the time to select one of several buttons, I’d say that’s a higher level of engagement.”

Some commentators have even suggested that once marketers gain access to this data, they will be able to start targeting campaigns based on the emotional state of various consumer segments.

However, some are concerned that the new “love”, “haha”, “yay”, “wow”, “sad” and “angry” buttons will prove somewhat reductive, and rather than aid marketers, they will make their lives more difficult.

“While negative comments can actually help brands open the door to discussions, creating opportunities to offer customer service, clear up misunderstandings and address rumours, a negative button would not create the same room for two-way conversations between brands and fans,” said content developer Amy Edel-Vaughn.

What do you think? Are marketers right to be concerned about users who hit the anger emoji and run? Or will they provide useful data regardless?