2 Min Read
The Business Case for Emojis
People have used pictures to tell stories for centuries. Emojis are no exception.
You can draw a direct line from the cave paintings of the Iberian Peninsula dating back 64,000 years to the smiley face you used in your last text message.
As human communication has evolved, the symbols we use to convey meaning have changed as well.
Today, emojis are an accepted and essential part of modern communication.
In fact, 92 percent of people use emojis online every day.
Like the hashtag before them, people today use emojis to guide the intent of their message. And in a world gone remote, that context matters more than ever. Researchers have found our brains interpret emojis as non-verbal, emotional communications.
Emojis are the “body language” of the digital age.
Embrace the Emoji?
Their growing popularity has left businesses grappling with how (and if) they should use emojis.
In some cases, the way customers are using them can reveal a lot about sentiment and spending.
Quartz analyzed the emojis used to catalog transactions on the digital wallet app Venmo during the pandemic. Emojis related to a night out with friends (like 🍕 and 🍻) were down, whereas the emoji for golf (a popular pandemic sport), saw an upswing.
Despite their intent to convey fundamental emotions and experiences, emojis are not as universal as you might think. That’s a risk for businesses.
The exact image displayed can vary depending on device, and different cultures interpret different symbols differently. A misinterpreted emoji has been at the center of multiple court cases.
For most brands, the best course of action today is to take things on an emoji-by-emoji basis. Subject lines and social media? Maybe. Shareholder letter? Probably not.
But that doesn’t mean you should discount emojis completely. Customers are conveying a lot of information with those yellow faces. And to assume B2B brands will never have a use for emojis may well be shortsighted.