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For many brands and small business owners, it might be tempting to dismiss emojis as frivolous, capricious and even a little un-businesslike. But here’s the thing: brands and business ignore emojis at their own risk. As the first-ever “Emoji Trend Report” from Adobe points out, emojis actually open up a lot of new opportunities for businesses to connect better with their customers, prospects and employees.
Practical business uses for emojis
Take, for example, the use of emojis within the subject headline of emails. Every business could benefit from higher open rates and more conversions. Well, did you know that simply including a single emoji in the subject headline makes it more likely that a prospect or customer will open your message? Or that customers are naturally inclined to view companies that use emojis as more likeable and approachable?
Moreover, emojis can play an important role in the whole customer service experience, especially when it comes to the young consumers in Generation Z. A clear majority (65%) of emoji users actually feel more comfortable sending each other messages with emojis than picking up the phone. That’s because emojis are fun, personable, and just a little bit whimsical. Contrast that to the distinctly non-whimsical experience of navigating a customer service phone tree, in which the goal appears to be avoiding having you speak with a single human being. Thus, just about any business could benefit from moving some of their communications with customers to the text message realm, where they can fully leverage the power of emojis.
Emojis to encourage diversity and inclusivity
As the Adobe emoji trend report also notes, emojis are also leading the way when it comes to enhancing diversity and inclusivity on the web. Companies like Adobe are at the forefront of creating new gender-, race- and sexual orientation emojis that enable people to communicate in a way that makes sense for the way they identify with themselves. Emojis are a potentially subtle but powerful way for companies to make statements about their values, mission or goals. What better way to signal that you are a supporter of LGBTQ rights, for example, than to include LGBTQ-related emojis in your marketing materials?
Emojis as part of the overall marketing mix
Almost universally, emojis are viewed as bringing joy to users, and bridging possible communication barriers. They lighten the mood of any conversation, and instantly position your company as a friendlier place to do business. Of course, you don’t want to overdo it when it comes to emojis, but their judicious use throughout any marketing campaign can be a great way to attract and retain customers. According to Adobe, for example, 81% of people say that people or organizations who use emojis are “friendlier” and “more approachable” than those that do not.
To be sure, emojis are an emerging digital language that needs to be taken seriously by brands and businesses. They can be used to foster a more positive workplace, change consumer perceptions about your brand, and even encourage purchases and conversions. At one time, emojis might have been exclusively reserved for personal communications between friends and family, but not any longer.