I've ended up with this, a fun little clap emoji that keeps "clapping" for as long as you hover over it.
As of writing this, it's not on the site yet - I've implemented it on my development environment and found a way to write the number to the database in a sensible way.
I've now pushed this live and you should be able to have a play with it below on an actual post 👏 unless you are on mobile, I need to adjust it so that a "press" on a mobile device would generate the same effect. I'm not entirely sure how to do this yet - but I'll figure it out, probably 👀
I'm not sure if the code is optimal or readable to anyone else, but I'm happy with the end result - ping me on twitter to let me know what you think or feel free to fork this pen and show me your version. 🙌