Social Media 121: Emojis – Are they appropriate for your business’ social media?
It may sound like a trivial issue but using emojis in social media can change your audience’s view of your business. Emojis are great when used correctly. Some reports suggests that they can increase engagement by 25% and help boost your reach and impressions. So, deciding when it’s appropriate to use them can be a key decision when it comes to your social media marketing.
B2B vs B2C
If you are a business that rarely connects with the consumer, then it is likely you won’t be using emojis (very often). If you scroll through LinkedIn, you are much less likely to come across an emoji, because LinkedIn is designed for business to business and many people take a dim view of what they might consider ‘Facebook style posting’. However, when it comes to business to consumer, emojis begin to have a much greater presence 👌
Before using emojis in your social media there are a number of things to consider: your audience, who you affiliate with, your brand and the context of your post (to name a few).
Here’s a quick breakdown of how you can decide whether, and when emojis are appropriate to use as part of your social strategy.
Context – Think positively
The decision to use emojis is almost going to solely rely on the context of your posts.
Emojis are something that should entice your audience to read your posts or make your company seem more personable. The level of appropriateness will likely depend on the context of your post and that’s down to your own intuition 🤷♀️
In general, positive posts and content will allow for the use of emojis more than negative will because they tend to make the tone of the post lighter. Pretty Little Thing use a lot of emojis in their posts (especially on Twitter and sometimes on LinkedIn).
Pretty Little Thing is a B2C brand, their target audience is women in their late teens to mid-thirties and a lot of their curated content relates to celebrity news and the lighter side of current affairs. So, this brand would tick most of the boxes.
You don’t want to be throwing Emojis around randomly, again you need to take the context into consideration and make sure it’s relevant – to both the context of the post and your brand. An emoji needs to have a purpose, not create a confusing string of images that interrupt the message. If you’re posting an article about healthy eating, you aren’t going to be using the cake emoji as it’s not relevant to the context, you’ll probably be using a fruit or vegetable emoji instead 🥦
Here’s Warner Bros. giving a perfect example of emoji relevance on LinkedIn:
You should make sure emojis are relevant to your brand too. If your brand is associated with an official governing body or is in a serious sector like law, emojis may not always be appropriate. While it may be appropriate in one-off situations (i.e. to celebrate your companies fundraising efforts for your chosen charity or wish clients a Merry Christmas), it may not be suitable when discussing business in general as it may give the wrong impression to your audience.
An emoji speaks a thousand words – about your business
Think about your brand and how you want it to be viewed by your audience. Are they going to be captivated by the use of emojis within your posts? Is that going to make them want to click on that link more? Most importantly, is this the tone you want to convey about your business? By answering these fundamental questions, you’ll be able to determine whether adding emojis to your social media strategy is appropriate or not.
You’ll also find that there are more emojis that relate to certain businesses and markets. For example, if your business retails to the bridal market, there will be more options available to your use - hearts, a bride, a groom, a church (etc). If the business appeals more to builders and labourers, there aren’t many emojis that relate to these professions in comparison – so what will you use?
Stick to your gut feeling
If using emojis in your social strategy doesn’t feel right, then don’t use them – you know your business and your audience, so you’ll know whether emojis are right or not. One last tip: Check the urban use of emojis, some pictures have an alternative meaning and may cause offence 👍