Emojis: Smart ways to use them in business writing!

Emojis: Smart ways to use them in business writing!

Emojis! If you are active on Social Media, you have seen them everywhere. The little faces expressing all the different emotions people are feeling.  The 2019 Emoji Trend Report indicates that 61% of employees use them at work. It helps users to express their thoughts and feelings better and connect with people they routinely text or message online.

But do they have any place in business writing?
Various Emoji Icons

1. Emojis and Emoticons

The website Grammarist distinguishes between Emojis and Emoticons.

Emoji originates from the Japanese words e (picture) and moji (character). They were first used in cell phone communication in Japan. An emoji is a small image that can be inserted into a text to express an emotion or idea and are mostly used in email and text messages.

An emoticon represents a human facial expression using only keyboard characters like letters, numbers, and punctuation marks.  They have become popular in the 1990s with the introduction of emails and texting.

They are fun and are often used in the form of humor in electronic communication. It can break down the barriers presented by formal communication and bring conversations to a more personal level. The idea is to provide a reaction in electronic communication to someone who cannot see your body language.

2. Benefits of emojis in business writing

Expressing emotions as a business appeals to your customers’ human side, makes you more approachable, and might attract more customers. They can also help you to build on existing relationships.

Since they are deemed, to be honest expressions, they help to build connections because you appear to be honest and approachable. Make sure to always use them in the right context.

They can also help to emphasize your message by catching they eye.

Apple has collaborated with organizations like the American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and the National Association of the Deaf to develop a series of emojis to better represent the disabled.  This innovative idea helped to fill a significant gap and provided a more inclusive experience.

3. Drawbacks of using emojis in business writing

Even when appropriate, emojis might not always work in the way you intended. The main reason being that there is no universal agreement on what each emoji represents. You can find the meaning of many of them at Emojipedia.

Since you rely on your own personal experience in how you interpret them, another person might interpret it in a totally different way, which can lead to conflict and misunderstandings.

Many senior managers (especially the older generation) often find the use of emojis in business writing unprofessional. If they receive official communication from you using them they might deem you to be incompetent, thereby negatively affecting your reputation.

4. Tips for using emojis at work

  • An informal workplace setting will be more open to the use of emojis in electronic communication.
  • Use mirroring to determine if using emojis is appropriate. If people you correspond with do not use it, refrain from using them in your correspondence.
  • Do not use them when communicating with people you do not know very well, with your boss or with customers.
  • Do not use them in professional business emails for clients that you have not personally met or in any type of correspondence with them.
  • You can use them with colleagues with whom you have a friendly and relaxed relationship.
  • Do not use them in communication with your supervisor, manager, or executives.
  • Never use them when responding to a complaint or serious issue.
  • Do not replace words with emojis.
  • They are seldom used in the legal and financial industries, as well as in government.
  • Never use them in official reports, important client emails, and communications with partners.
  • Anything that might become a permanent record (like a contract, proposal, or policy document) should not include them.

5. Where can you use emojis in business writing?

5.1 Marketing

Emojis are often used when targeting millennials, as it tends to grab the attention of the younger generation. But make sure you know the meaning of any of them that you use.

Since it is popular on Social Media it is a powerful way for a business to engage with its clients. Research has shown that a positive emoji is amazingly effective as a social media status maker. The most powerful users on Social Media communicate with the use of emojis, and to get ahead in the digital world, you should consider doing the same.

The use of emoji increases engagement, leading to higher click-through-rates, engagement levels, and open rates. This also works on mobile and email.

Using them in marketing is almost equal to face-to-face communication. Researchers have found that seeing a “smiley face” activates the same areas of the brain as when looking at a real human facial expression.

They trigger emotions and feelings and is therefore good attention grabbers.

On many social platforms, you have only a limited amount of characters to use. Think about Twitter, which is aimed at short messages. Also, push notification which shows only a certain amount of characters. They can help you to save time and space while still effectively getting your message across.

Emojis can become a powerful part of your branding. Since it humanizes your business it makes it easier to identify with you and build meaningful connections.

Bottomline: - Emoji make your brand more fun!

A good example of using them in marketing is Dominos. Since a lot of their customers engage with them online, they made the ordering process fun and easy! The customers only needed to send a pizza emoji on social platforms to have their pizza delivered! To complete the process the customer creates a Domino account, select their desired pizza, and then link their Twitter accounts.

5.2 Communication

When emojis are used in business writing it leads to a richer experience, by clarifying the tone of the communication. To ensure that they are used in a meaningful way in business writing do not use them until you have identified the conversation style of the recipient and have established a common meaning for them. It is always good practice to follow the example of the recipient.

They outperform images by up to 9% and can be used where images cannot – for example in email subject lines.

5.3 Customer Service

…Every customer is a small puppy and a fierce lion at the same time. It all depends on the way YOU approach him/her.

Hacked: How & When To Use Emojis in Customer Support

When used as part of social and live chat communication, the use of emojis improve customer retention. They get your customer involved on a subconscious level and they feel as if your customer agent has an emotional presence. This is how they will perceive you as showing more empathy. They also help to create personalized written communication mechanisms, reduce negative responses, and connect better with generation Z and Millennials.

When using them when rating a product or service, the customer can express the emotion behind the rating, enabling you to gain insight into their emotional connection with the brand.

Follow these basic rules when using emojis in customer service:

  • Do not overuse them.
  • Signal only basic emotions.
  • Do not use then on the first contact.
  • Think about who you are talking to.
  • Do not use it when a customer is really mad.
  • When in doubt, do not use them!

5.4 Slack

Since Slack is by nature a casual collaborative platform, emojis can be used to brighten the mood, for drama, or just for fun! Just make sure to only use those approved for the workplace.

Using them is a quick way to respond to messages in Slack, often replacing the need for follow-up messages or replies. You can use up to 23 emoji reactions to any message, but the maximum is 50 unique emoji. Your reactions are highlighted in blue and those from others in grey. When hovering over the reaction, you can see who reacted to a message.

6. Conclusion

Like everything else Emojis also have their place. Use them effectively to build your brand, engage your customers, and improve your marketing efforts. But also remember the industries and record types where they should not be used.

Are you using emojis in your business communication? Share with us in the comments how you use them and if you got any good results from using them? ?

Also read Business Writing: How does it benefit the Hard of Hearing?

7. Sources

  1. Emoji vs emoticon
  2. Emojis might be fun, but are they appropriate in the workplace?
  3. Emojis: An Essential Tool for Innovative Business Communication?
  4. Do Emojis belong in Business Writing?
  5. 8 Reasons to start using Emojis in Business Writing Communication
  6. Emojipedia
  7. Emoji Marketing: 6 Brilliant Examples
  8. Hacked: How & When To Use Emojis In Customer Support
  9. Use Emoji Reactions

Leave a Reply