Unless you’ve had your head in the sand for the last few years, you’ve probably noticed the ubiquitous presence of those small pictures known as emojis. We all have a favorite, be it a classic smiley face 🙂, or something a little more obscure (we’re big fans of the rocket ship 🚀).
While we do love emojis at New Breed, we do believe that you can have too much of a good thing. Our rule of thumb is to use no more than three in any social post, email or what have you — though at the end of the day your emoji use should depend on your industry and audience.
Emojis have the ability to enhance your content, but they have their drawbacks too. So, we have a few tips to help you keep your emoji use “💯.”
A picture is worth a thousand words, and the same idea goes for emojis. They can help add that element of emotion and expression in a way that words sometimes can’t. Add an emoji to a post, and it immediately adds emphasis to whatever your message is.
Emoji’s can also accentuate or adjust the tone of your message. I’m sure we’ve all been in a situation where we have to send a serious-sounding text or email but want the person on the other end to know we aren’t upset. This is where the emoji shines — they can drastically change the way a post is received. Plus, they tend to resonate well with younger audiences, so if that’s a group you're trying to reach, it may be well worth testing out some emojis in your communications.
As great as emojis are, it’s important to think before using them. There are definitely a few places where you can go wrong, and that can cause the opposite effect than you’re going for.
First and foremost, they can be overused. As we mentioned before, we use a maximum of three per post, and we recommend that you come up with a similar guideline for your business. The overuse of emojis can make you seem unprofessional, which is the last thing you want.
Additionally, make sure your meaning is as clear as possible. Emojis have a nasty habit of being misinterpreted, and you don’t want your attempt at a fun post to be thwarted by an emoji that didn’t make sense, or worse, turned out to be inappropriate or even offensive.
There isn’t always a universal meaning for emojis, both objectively and subjectively. Objectively, the actual name of each emoji can vary from platform to platform, so you might be unwittingly making a different statement than you thought. Plus, emojis display differently in different browsers and devices (To accommodate for this, we always check Unicode’s Full Emoji List before using an icon in any of our content.). Subjectively, emojis can mean different things to different people, for all different reasons. It’s best to be careful to pick an emoji that has the least amount of ambiguity.
B2B Emoji Best Practices
With the benefits and risks in mind, here are a few best practices to follow when using emojis in your company’s content:
- Only use emojis if they match your tone, brand or audience
You know your business best, so you know whether or not emojis are an appropriate addition to your posts. They may be fun, but if they detract from your credibility, it’s not worth it.
- Add them to conversational marketing playbooks to humanize your chatbots and enhance customer or prospect experience
Chatbots can seem robotic for sure, but the inclusion of an emoji here of there will help to make them seem less stiff.
- Add them to you social media posts
The tone and feel is lighter and it’s a more informal atmosphere, making social media perfect for some top-notch emoji use.
- Use them make your emails more engaging
Especially if you’re writing a more casual or playful email, emojis can help you communicate more clearly through email or stand out in your recipients’ inbox.
- Don’t use them on your website.
Since people interpret emojis differently, placing them across your website can have a negative impact on your credibility, plus they can cause web accessibility issues. Furthermore, be wary of using emojis in web page titles because they might be read incorrectly by search engines and web browsers.
At the end of the day, use your best judgement! We know emojis are fun and useful, but you have to read your audience. Additionally, when using emojis, preview your content on as many devices and in as many browsers as possible so you can ensure everything appears the way you want it to.
Ellie is an SEO/SEM specialist here at New Breed Marketing.