Use of Social Media Emoji Icons for Business Communication

By Emily Pribanic - Published on September 20, 2018
Social media emoji icons for business communications

While social media emoji icons are popular for people to use in their casual conversations, they are beginning to show up in business communication as well. Using social media emojis in business communication may seem like an unacceptable practice but a recent survey conducted by OfficeTeam, a temp staffing service, found that almost half of workers use emojis when sending business communication and 61% of senior managers agree that this is fine in certain situations.

Not all social media emoticons are created equal though, so it’s essential to understand which emojis are acceptable to use in business communication. The survey conducted by OfficeTeam found that a little over 20% of managers find the use of a smiley face fun and a little over 40% said the use of an OK sign was perfectly acceptable in certain situations. Almost half of the manager surveyed agreed that the use of the thumbs down emoji was unprofessional though, as the thumbs down emoji is often seen as negative.

Social media emoticons can be very beneficial to business communications because they allow the sender to notify the receiver of their emotions behind their words. Humorous references and sarcasm is not always conveyed very well through words alone so using a social media emoji in business communication can help convey those references to ensure that employees know when the other is joking or being sarcastic.

Emoji Icons in Business Communication

Many companies rely on group chats to get work done allowing social media emoji icons to be very beneficial. Social media emjois are great to infuse emails or group messages with personality and many business professionals find it perfectly acceptable to pile on emojis for special occasions like a coworker’s birthday or engagement announcement.

While social media emojis are great to use to wish someone a happy birthday or make your simple yes to their request more upbeat, emojis aren’t always great to use in business communication. Avoid using emojis in correspondence with senior leaders you’re not familiar with or with a manager that never responds to your messages.

It’s important to only use social media emoticons in business communication with people you have built a relationship with and a great rule of thumb to remember is to only use one emoji per email. Also, before you decide to use a social media emoji, make sure you completely understand what it means so you don’t come off as mad when you don’t mean to.

While social media emojis can add a lot of personality to your business communications, it’s never wise to replace complete words or sentences with them. This can be confusing and leave too much room for misinterpretation. Social media emoticons can be misinterpreted over online communication tools so it’s essential to be sensitive to how people who are receiving your business communications will understand your social media emoji use.

Emoji Icons in Marketing

Using social media emoticons in your business marketing can go a long way. If you’re looking to launch an emoji marketing campaign, remember that social media emoticons aren’t just for the body of your messages and can help your email stand out in a crowded inbox. As with using emojis in any business communication though, it’s important to remember that social media emoticons can be misinterpreted and should only be used with audience members you’ve built a relationship with.

Before you begin any emoji marketing efforts, try taking a look at companies who have used social media emoji icons to benefit their brand. Companies like Dominos, McDonald’s, WWF, and even the movie Deadpool have all successfully used social media emoticons to grow their brand and connect with their audience.

Whether it’s using social media emoji icons for an emoji marketing campaign or in-office business communication, emojis can help add personality to your messages or convey feelings that are hard to convey through words alone. Before you decide to use social media emojis in your business communications though, it’s essential to understand that there are no rules for the meaning of each social media emoticon and misinterpretation of emojis happens often. Do you use social media emoji icons in business communication? Has your company launched an emoji marketing campaign to grow your brand yet?

Emily Pribanic | Emily is a graduate of the University of North Texas. She has her B.A. in Advertising with a concentration in Copywriting. Emily has been writing since she was young and has a creative imagination. She lives in Dallas, Texas with her family and two cats.

Emily Pribanic | Emily is a graduate of the University of North Texas. She has her B.A. in Advertising with a concentration in Copywriting. Emily has been writing s...

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