Is there a practical purpose to use emojis for marketing your business? In many situations, the answer is no. However, don’t completely eliminate this from your marketing strategy yet, because emojis are perfectly kosher in a variety of industries.
Right now, what is the “professional” sentiment for emojis? Most likely, among business professionals, it’s deemed “unprofessional” to use emojis for any kind of marketing, right? Well, I have to disagree with this and later in the article I will show you exactly when it’s a great idea to use emoji marketing and when it’s not.
A word to the wise: Don’t rush into using emojis today. You have to survey your business environment, but there are associated risks with using emojis. Many can lead to a loss of revenue and losing clients if you’re not using proper discretion.
With that being said, consider this article to be your “ultimate” guide to using emojis to market your business.
What is emoji marketing?
Emoji marketing is the art of placing emojis in your texts, posts, tweets, ads, or any marketing materials your business creates.
There are many reasons why you should use them regularly, but there are just as many reasons to never use them to communicate to your colleagues and customers. The use of emojis has a very polarizing effect right now and the risk versus reward is very industry specific.
Use caution when putting them in your marketing messages unless you’re sure your audience will appreciate them. If I were to make a general statement, I’d stay only use them with younger audiences where making a purchase from you is not that big a deal. If you’re a stock broker, feel free to exit out, because this article is not for you.
How to understand if your industry is right for emoji marketing
If you’ve been reading some of my other blogs on the Digital Cartel Media blog, then you’ll probably notice that I’m really big on research before action. That’s because marketing a business without know who and where you audience is creates marketing plans that fail.
It’s never a good idea to guess and check when it comes to marketing without doing a large amount of research before posting, blogging, creating PPC or print ads, and anything else you’d like to do. It doesn’t take a long time to do, but it’s so vital to getting each message targeted properly. Just head over to this blog on Facebook Audience Insights to learn how you can understand more about the research process.
Emoji marketing is not for every industry. It’s especially good for industries that already use emojis in their daily lives, but not good in all situations. For instance, use emojis freely with younger audiences that use them all the time. Emojis are great for sharing emotions, when regular text is not enough.
Stay away from emoji marketing when doing customer service or fixing a problem even with audiences that use them all the time.
When using messaging services there can be a lot of misunderstandings because text-only messages do not work the same way as face-t0-tace interaction or phone conversations.
Why is using emoji’s a risk?
Humans have been programmed to interact with each other using mostly non-verbal communication. According to Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, 7% of any message is conveyed through words. That means that 93% of all communication is done through non-verbal means.
This social fact makes it easy to understand why things like video and emoji usage for communication has skyrocketed. Emoji’s and video allow a user to communicate in a way more suitable for human interaction. With just text, a communicator must learn to write in a way that is clear, concise, and emotionally charged. How many people do you know that can write that well?
In my professional opinion, because of the fact that many business people are not great writers, they should stick using video for business communications or at the very least, include emojis in their texts and emails when speaking with colleagues and customers.
Hopefully I didn’t scare you away with my last comment.
To answer the question posed in the heading of this section, why is using emoji’s a risk?
It’s a risk because you simply don’t know how your audience will react when you do it. It might be a great thing for one customer and a terrible move for another. However, I do believe for the right audience, emoji marketing can create stronger, more personable relationships for almost any industry.
When not to use emojis in business communications
Look, before I start listing off too many industries to avoid using emoji marketing, I want you to understand that many people in your industry are probably already using them and having success, but from my experience there are types of customers to avoid using emojis.
Without further ado, here is a list of instances to avoid using emojis in business communications.
- Customer service
- Troubleshooting guides
- With customers that require excellence
- Customers that have invested a large amount of money
- When customers are frustrated
- When customers are looking for an answer
These tips are pretty general, but I want you to realize the underlying state the customer is in. They are searching for answers, heavily invested, and looking for a quick and easy answer to ease their mind. Never and I repeat use an emoji with a frustrated customer. This is a sure-fire way to lose a customer immediately.
How to use emojis to build relationships
It’s sometimes difficult to understand when someone is happy, sad, excited, and more. Humans are sometimes emotionally complex beings. They say one thing and really mean another. Emojis allow humans to be more transparent with text.
When you communicate in a business sense, emojis can let people know how truly excited you are about the product you want them to try. You can use a variety of emojis to show that you’re happy they are a customer or sad that they are leaving for another brand. That connection is sometimes what can bring a customer back to your brand.
When you’re trying to convey an emotion with words and it’s not coming out right, just add a smiley face to show the sincerity. Or if you’re trying to be sarcastic, use at your own risk, add a cheesy grin to your statement to let the other person know you’re kidding around. It might even be a good idea to add a “jk” to make sure they know you’re kidding too.
The best industries for emoji marketing
It changes from industry to industry, but emojis are generally accepted by younger people. They are part of their communicative process already, so throwing a few happy faces shouldn’t make too much of a difference. If you’re trying to convey more complex ideas, with millennials, I would use more emojis than normal to avoid misunderstandings.
Here is a list of industries that emojis should be fantastic for, but please keep in mind, emojis are taboos in many groups of people. Use at your own risk.
- Fast Food Restaurants
- Amusement Parks
- Family Fun
- Creative industries
- Most visual brands
- Some Educational
Do you see the types of industries emoji’s are perfect for? These are industries where things are mostly casual or family oriented. The idea of the emoji is inject a little relaxation to the mood and lighten things up.
If you realize your clients are not loosening up with the addition of your emojis, then I would stop using them immediately and start over. Remember, emojis are supposed be a way to solidify the help the reader understand the emotions your trying to convey. If you’re not doing that then you have to find another way to convey those messages. Once again, use at your own risk and watch closely to the reactions of your customers.
Improve your communication without emojis
Let’s say you’ve decided that using emoji’s in your business communications is not for you. What should you do considering how humans interact with each other. Focus on ways to communicate more effectively with your marketing messages.
Here are a few quick tips.
- Use video if possible. Loom is a great tool to create quick videos in minutes. Just download the chrome extension and answer all your emails with short videos for free.
- Practice writing more descriptively. Writing is a skill many people need to develop. Reading books on how to improve your writing is one thing to do, but in order to truly improve you have to write all the time. Start a blog or just get a pen and write about something you enjoy.
- Learn the language of your target audience and beware about offending someone. Staying away from political, religious, and sexual terms is obvious, but one of the easiest ways to cause communication issues is through the use of sarcasm. I would say, just don’t do it.
For more information on building relationships with customers check out more from Digital Cartel Media blog.