Skip to main content

An Emoji is Worth a Thousand Words

Grumpy Cat

Technology has always fascinated me. In elementary school, my favorite class was typing. In high school, I found Photoshop and InDesign. In college, though, I really found what I was passionate about: social media. This fascination wasn’t about seeing how many likes I could get, it was a curiosity about how it all worked, and why it drew in so much attention.

I have studied the tactics behind it all. I researched what times in the day were best to post, read about tracking the amount of people who saw your tweet, and looked into what content gets clicked on the most. The more I learned, the more I fell in love with it.

A huge part of drawing other users in is the use of visual aids. This is on any social media platform, whether it's a geofilter on Snapchat, a GIF on Twitter, or a meme on Facebook. Images draw attention to the post, and users are more likely to view it if there is a visual aid drawing them in.

There are many ways to tell your story visually. These are five ways to use visual aids in a way that will make other users more likely to click or share.


1. Snapchat Geofilters

Snapchat is a popular app for college students. You can show off your cute pet, share your family vacation, or show your school pride at sporting events. No matter what you use it for, Snapchat allows your friends to sneak a peek into your daily life.

When Snapchat came out with geofilters, the game changed. These filters allow you to creatively show where you are in the world. Accessing these filters is as simple as having your location turned on. Your device will pick up when you’re in a location with a filter, and allow you to swipe left or right to add it to your image.

 With this app, you can trick your phone into thinking you’re anywhere in the world. This allows you to see some of the filters offered in Japan, London, and anywhere else you can imagine.

2. GIFs 


Incorporating GIFs into your social media is another visual aid that draws users in. According to, a GIF is “a set of standards and file format for storage of digital color images and short animations.” We know GIFs as the short video typically used to share emotions or reactions.

Recently, Twitter has added a GIF button as an option for your tweets. They’re separated into popular categories like eye roll, happy dance, hug, oh snap, and OMG.

When composing a tweet on your phone, there is a button at the bottom of the screen that says GIF. You are able to search for specific GIFs, or you can look through the many categories. I find that when I use a GIF, people retweet me more than when I just type out a tweet. Next time you feel the urge, add a GIF of a yawning baby when you can’t wait to take a nap after class.


3. Memes

 Memes have been around since before the internet was invented. They’re used on all social media platforms, and I know my friends enjoy making them about each other. There are the typical memes on the internet, like Bad Luck Brian, Overly Attached Girlfriend, Grumpy Cat, and Moon Moon. There are also sites to help you make one for yourself.

Using memes in social media means knowing your audience. There are some that your friends will love, but your grandma might not appreciate. Being wary of this fact will help you bring more users to your post and will generate more likes.

Relating memes to an event or something you enjoy will bring more people in. Just like with GIFs, memes can be used to show reactions. If you want a specific message on a popular meme, you can go to this site to make your own.

 4. Emojis 


Emojis have become a way of communication for a lot of people. These little icons help people tell stories or express emotions, all with a laughing cry face. They allow people the option of showing their train of thought a little more creatively.

Not long ago, Facebook added reactions in addition to the like button. This incorporated emojis to show shock, laughter, anger, love, and happiness in addition to the original like option. Many Facebook users also wanted a dislike button to show that not all things posted on Facebook were something to be liked.

Incorporating emojis into the liking system brought in a whole new way to interact. When someone posts a sad story, users can now show their support by clicking the sad option. While this isn’t a way to tell your story visually, it allows you to react to other stories in a more visual way.

To use these emojis on your phone, simply press and hold the like button. To do this on your computer, hover your mouse over the like button. This is a fairly new concept, and many people are still figuring it out. Next time your friend posts an engagement on Facebook, show them you care by tapping the love button.


 5. Videos/pictures

 Videos and pictures are what I typically use on Facebook to draw more attention to my newsfeed. On the flip side of that, I tend to click on stories that have interesting videos or pictures. This is the most basic way to bring users to your page and have them interested, whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

I find that videos I take are the content that people like the most. While I do go on to edit my videos and add music to them, even adding a simple video gets a lot of attention. Introducing videos into your social media allows you to see how many people viewed it.

Pictures also tend to draw more people in than a long, wordy post. Saying that a picture is worth a thousand words really does apply when it comes to social media. Posting pictures of your trip to Hawaii will bring more clicks in than writing a long essay-style post about it.

Overall, bringing any of these elements into your posts online will bring more attention to what you share. Hopefully you keep these things in mind when deciding what to post next. Incorporating images and GIFs is a fun way to bring life to your experiences, and let others see what adventure you’re off to next.

 My Role

My name is Melissa Decker, and I’m a strategic communications major with an emphasis in advertising in the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. My position is Digital Media Director, and we are working with Whitesville, W.Va. this semester. My goal is to set up a user-friendly website and social media campaign for the town and for the tourist community.