As it’s World Emoji Day (yes – there is such a thing.  For more info on this see http://worldemojiday.com) I had to write this post as so many of my clients ask me “Is it appropriate for me to use emoji in business communications?”.

Unfortunately the answer isn’t clear cut – it depends.

There’s no doubt that the huge explosion of emoji usage in recent years has led to those little cute pictures in text messages become a brand in itself, with stationery, cuddly toys and now even a film featuring them.

92% of people online use emojis (source: Ad Week) and it’s not just for teenagers.  The age group that uses emojis the most frequently is 25 – 29 year olds (source: Expanded Ramblings).

Even big brands are getting in on the action – 59% of the top 500 brands on Twitter have used emojis and the increase of emoji use in marketing messages is a whopping 775% (source: Expanded Ramblings).  Some brands have even gone as far as to design their own emojis – Burger King, Disney and Mentos Mints being just a few.

So, should you be using emoji in business communications?

Emoji in business Tip 1

Before you consider ANYTHING else, ensure you have a very clear picture of your business personality and also your customers.

Are you a retro sweet shop targeting mid to late twenties people?  Absolutely fine to sprinkle a few 🍭 🍬 in your marketing messages. Maybe you’re a beauty salon who’s customer base is mid thirties mums who like a bit of a giggle – by all means use 💄 💅🏻 💆🏻 every now and then.

An accountant who’s clients are medium size businesses with employees?  💵 📈 – not looking quite so professional now are you 😳

Emoji in business Tip 2

Make sure you know exactly what the emoji means before you use it!

😯 this emoji is mainly used to show surprised but it is actually called “hushed face” (i.e. being quiet)

😂 always used in place of LOL (laugh out loud) or ROFL (roll on the floor laughing) this emoji actually means “tears of joy” – the correct emoji for LOL or ROFL is 🤣

Emoji in business Tip 3

ALWAYS know what an emoji looks like on other platforms before using it.

Poor old Cookie Monster’s celebration of World Chocolate Day (yep, another random day of celebration!) was ruined for people with Samsung devices.  Why?

He tweeted:

What Samsung users saw:

Crackers on World Chocolate Day??

Emojis can look totally different on each platform so make sure you’ve checked them out before using.  A great resource is https://emojipedia.org.

I hope this post has helped you work out if using emojis in business communications is right for you, but if you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to get in touch by commenting below!

Jo

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