On a personal note, friends have texted me the octopus emoji over the past year. Same deal with the fire emoji.
These are inside jokes. They make me smile.
The red hot octopus emoji? They help me bond with my friends. 🐙🔥
But what about using emoji in business? How well are businesses using emoji to communicate? Is emoji use in business even appropriate?
Over the past year and a half, I reached out to two huge international brands on Twitter to get help from customer support. Both brands quickly resolved my issues and answered my questions.
Problems solved! Hurrah!
Both of my big-brand customer service Twitter responses were helpful, positive, and upbeat. But here are the final words from each:
Note how one giant brand responded with an emoji: the other didn’t. The customer service rep with the monogram ^MF literally put a face on what was previously a faceless text relationship.
How is that supposed to make me feel? How well did each brand communicate with me?
Big companies are supporting emoji use in business communication. Many leaders in communication believe it can help support their brand promise.
Appropriate emoji use has become a part of corporate brand guides as well as business communication training programs. For the first time this year, I even found myself pitching emoji use in client marketing copy.
(The client said “yes”. And we’re off and running…)
Think of emoji as a new and nuanced form of punctuation. If you’re writing for modern people, how might you communicate more effectively by writing with emoji?
After all, real people use emoji in their day-to-day messages. Companies want to seem approachable and likable to their customers.
Organizations want to put a face and a feeling to what might otherwise be a perfunctory relationship. You’ll see big brands support emoji use — and develop guides for what is and isn’t appropriate for their brand.
You’re going to see more emoji use in business communication. Keep an eye out for it.
How does your company support the use of emoji in business communication? And if they don’t — why not?
For a quick (3m 36s) tutorial on using emoji and emoticons in business, check out this video on #LinkedInLearning.